In quantum physics, wavefunctions are constantly being copied with variation. Quantum Darwinism essentially proposes that wavefunction collapse represents a form of selection - and that the resulting evolution of the observed universe thus has a Darwinian character.
Quantum Darwinism appears to be fairly heavily dependent on wavefunction collapse. Wavefunction collapse is a controversial process. So far, no real evidence has been found favouring the idea. It looks like a bunch of made-up nonsense - as was pointed out by Hugh Everett and his Many-worlds interpretation.
Zurek apparently largely rejects many worlds = writing:
There are two key ideas in Everett's writings. The first one is to let quantum theory dictate its own interpretation. We took this "let quantum be quantum" point very seriously. The second message (that often dominates in popular accounts) is the Many Worlds mythology. In contrast "let quantum be quantum" it is less clear what it means, so - in the opinion of this author - there is less reason to take it at face value.Can quantum Darwinism work without wavefunction collapse? The problem is that there's then no equivalent to death or resource limitation. However, there is still differential reproductive success.
Can one have Darwinism without death? There is still heredity, variation and differential reproductive success. That does tick most of the boxes of Darwinism.
I think it has to be conceded that quantum Darwinism is reasonably accurately named. Whether a Darwinian perspective tells us anything that we didn't already know in this case seems more debatable, though. It may not make a difference to predictions - but it might have an impact on visualisations of the process.
Of course, if the "many-worlds interpretation" ever collapses - so to speak - quantum Darwinism might become a lot more interesting.
- Relative States and the Environment: Einselection, Envariance, Quantum Darwinism, and the Existential Interpretation - Wojciech Zurek
- Quantum Darwinism - Wojciech Zurek
- Quantum Darwinism - Anil Ananthaswamy
- Quantum Darwinism as a Darwinian process - John Campbell
- Quantum Darwinism - on Wikipedia
- A quantum of natural selection - Seth Lloyd