Brief report on some interesting research that demonstrates that mass extinctions speed up the evolution of those species that are left. What is particularly nice about it is its support for the principle that evolvability is itself selected by evolution. As Kevin Kelly once memorably put it, ‘change changes itself’. In other words, the rules of change are themselves as much subject to evolution as anything else, and this is one of the central ratchets that leads to divergence and complexity. A crucial if fiendishly hard to implement principle for those of us seeking to seed practical self-organizing systems such as, say, the Landing, or who are looking for a better and more resilient way to run courses and universities.
Address of the bookmark: http://www.rt.com/news/312460-extinction-events-boost-evolution/