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Intelligent evolution - an exponential progression of the evolution of life

  Evolution is the way and the instrument by which living systems adapt to their environment. Evolutionary adaptation is the result of thre...

 Evolution is the way and the instrument by which living systems adapt to their environment. Evolutionary adaptation is the result of three functions working together. These functions are mutation, reproduction, and selection. During the process of evolution, as an individual reproduces, changes occur in the characteristics of its offspring, which modify the reproductive capacity of the new individual in the environment. This process is called evolution. Evolution creates living systems to adapt to a changing environment. 

A characteristic consequence of the evolutionary mechanism of life on Earth as a process is the increase of the complexity, which we can call progress. Evolution capable of progress requires the evolutionary system to use a template in the process of reproduction. The use of a template is not a strict requirement for the functioning of living systems, but in evolutionary systems the use of a template necessarily leads to progress. In the evolutionary process, the consequence of using the template is that complexity increases.

The process of mutation in biological evolution on Earth takes place at the molecular level, through coupled chemical reactions. The inherent nature of chemical reactions is statistical randomness, and the diversity-generating function of biological evolution is based on this randomness. The random nature of mutation is also true in the case of usage of chemical catalysts and for the incorporation of horizontal gene transfer. 

Random mutation provides the flexibility for unintended (blind) evolution to adapt to changing environments. When evolution achieves a change in an individual's traits by randomly modifying the template (hereditary material) that determines the traits, this mode of evolution can be called natural evolution. 

Evolution, the process of adaptation to the environment, is not only observed in biological systems. The functions of mutation, reproduction and selection, evolution is also at work, for example in the functioning and development of human society and technology,. Society behaves as a living system, using a meme-like template, the habitual system of society as a hereditary medium. Technological development is also evolutionary, but the hereditary material is even more abstract, manifested in accumulated knowledge. 

The nature of the progression of evolutionary systems is determined by the way mutations occur. If evolution is natural, i.e. the mutations are created by processes based on randomness, evolution will essentially lead to linear evolution in time. The rate of linear evolution may vary from time to time as the effects causing the mutation change, and linear evolutionary progress may be steep (jump-like) (when the equilibrium state of the biosphere, the system of living organisms is broken by some effect), but the linearity of the progression of natural evolutionary systems over time is typically maintained because of the randomness of the mutation mechanism. 

There are, however, evolutionary systems where, at some level, the mutational effect of the evolutionary process is not just random change, but artificial design in a controlled way plays a role. In such evolutionary systems, an intelligent component is present in some way, and therefore such evolutionary systems can be called intelligent evolutionary systems. 

The evolutionary progress of human society and man-made technology is intelligent, the process of mutation in reproduction is not just random changes. These systems are still evolutionary systems, the three characteristic components of evolution are present in the operation of these systems as well. 

In these evolutionary systems, the intelligent component is the human being, and these evolutionary systems are decisively influenced by the presence of humankind. In these systems, the process that generates mutation is at least in part generated by the planning intelligence of the problem-solving human.

In these systems, selection is still determined by the fitness of the environment, i.e. the suitability of the mutated system to function in the environment. This is true even if the environment is no longer necessarily a natural environment, but a more or less artificially created habitat. 

In intelligent evolution, the nature of the evolutionary progression is determined by the knowledge of the component that creates the mutation. The application of knowledge in the mutation process of evolution differs in a fundamental characteristic from the random mutation process of natural evolution. Knowledge is based on information that can be accumulated. 

As the knowledge of the intelligent component participating in the evolutionary process increases through accumulated information, the speed and efficiency of the process that creates mutations also increases, resulting in an increase in the speed of evolution, i.e. an acceleration of evolution, which creates an exponential increase in complexity, and creates an exponential increase in progression. The rate of exponential evolution may vary from time to time as the effects that cause mutations change, exponential evolutionary progress may be slow, but the exponentiality of the progression of intelligent evolutionary systems over time is typically maintained due to the accumulative knowledge-based mutation mechanism

Intelligent evolution is characterized by exponential progression. Society and technology adapt to the environment through intelligent evolution, and exponentiality is recognizable in its progression, in its increase in complexity. 

The intelligent living system evolves from a process of (biological) evolution based on random mutation to a process of intelligent evolution based on planned mutation built on accumulated knowledge, creating new levels of evolutionary development.

Intelligent evolution can also be directed towards existence in artificial environments. The characteristic feature of the artificial environment is that the basic laws that determine its functioning are not necessarily the strictly fixed laws of the natural environment, but the laws that determine the functioning of the environment are created by the intelligent component itself. 

Intelligent evolution can adapt efficiently to the environment, but as long as it takes place within the rigid operating rules of the natural environment, exponential evolution carries significant risks that could lead to the collapse of the biosphere. The risk of intelligent evolution from exponential growth persists as long as evolution (still) takes place in a natural environment operating according to rigid laws. If evolution is no longer taking place in the natural environment, if selection is no longer driven by natural environmental influences but takes place in an artificial environment under modifiable environmental rules, then intelligent evolution may be transformed into a state of intelligent design. 

Intelligent evolution is a transition towards intelligent design, which is characterized by the process of evolution not only adapting to the environment, but also modifying or even fundamentally determining the rules of the environment in order to progress, to increase complexity. 

As a hypothesis, the intelligent design-based phase of evolution could also be a trivially non-excludable solution to the mystery of the existence of a life-friendly, tuned universe.

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