Evolution is a process where an object adjust to the environment through change over time. For an evolution to appear we need two factors.

  1. Objects that can multiply and change
  2. Environment that enforces the change

Both are necessary and sufficient. Without objects we have no things to evolve. If they could not multiply than we only have self-improvement. Without environmental pressure the changes do not lead anywhere. Note that the improvement is always with respect to the environment – there is no evolution for its own sake.

Examples of evolution (format – object, environment):

  • creatures’ DNA, living creatures on earth
  • pseudogenes, DNA
  • viruses, infected creatures
  • genres, music
  • ideas, brains
  • words, spoken and written language

I find it interesting to ponder in which non-standard fields does the notion of evolution make sense. I like, in particular, ideas where quick spreading objects are called memes and words that did evolve quite naturally, but their environment changed with the introduction of print and interconnected world.