Saturday, 12 October 2013

Production and elimination diagrams

In my 2011 book on memetics, in the chapter on Universal Darwinism, I proposed that there were numerous advantages in classifying evolutionary events into the categories "production" and "elimination" instead of "selection" and "drift". The concepts are especially appropriate when teaching evolutionary theory.

My proposed division broadly matches the "creation" / "destruction" dichotomy - though we can't easily use those terms, because they are not always technically correct.

I later made a video promoting the idea titled Natural production and natural elimination.

Today, I have some new diagrams - showing how the concepts of "production" and "elimination" are orthogonal to "selection" and "drift".

These concepts are similar to those proposed by Geoffrey M. Hodgson and Thorbjorn Knudsen at the beginning of Darwin's Conjecture: The Search for General Principles of Social and Economic Evolution.

Hodgson and Knudsen's proposal is in chapter 1 - which is available online here. They call the intersection of selection and elimination "subset selection" and the intersection of selection and production "sucessor selection".

My proposal is better, though. Hodgson and Knudsen subdivide selection, but they don't seem to notice that precisely the same division can naturally be extended to subdivide drift as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment