“Most people think that evolution is something that we can at best imagine, because it took an enormously long time to happen. This view is wrong. We can witness evolution all we want, if we look at the changes in our technology, movement, government, and standard of living.”
“Forget biomimetics. No live thing is copying another live thing. No matter how smart, the dolphin is not copying the shark. They are different—each in the present-day frame of its movie of design evolution in big history. With the airplane, the human-and-machine species is not copying the albatross and the V-shaped flock of birds. These animals—the bird and the human-and-machine species—could not be more different, birds versus mammals, older versus more recent. Yet the better the airplanes fly, the more they look the same and (big coincidence) they look more like the birds. They arrive at the same features because the direction of evolutionary change is the same for everything. Through these insights, the constructal law provides us with a broader and much sharper vision of evolution. We see that it is not just a phenomenon of biology but of physics. We find that we can witness evolution by paying attention to all around us, from the evolution of the wheels on carriages to the evolution of sports.”
Zane, J. Peder; Bejan, Adrian (2012-01-24). Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization (Kindle Locations 1915-1919). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
And I would add, to the evolution of “learning.” Evolution happens in the immediate moment, not in the abstract; i.e. a random mutation in the past meets a specific contingence in the future. In Natural Dog Training published in 1992 I postulated that dogs don’t learn by imitation. Rather there is a universal emotional dynamic within each dog, and when an observing dog is energized by the actions of another dog, it will subscribe to the same principle of emotional conductivity and begin to approximate what the other dog is doing. Its behavior will EVOLVE to be resonant with what the other dog is doing, either aligned with it if the object of resistance is high, or equal/opposite in order to complement themselves within the same wave form (feeling). Every interaction between any two beings invokes an emotional thermodynamics (internal affects and external effects) and this registers a change in the network in that moment by the emotional charge acquired by each party of the interaction. This charge accrues and then at some point acquires critical mass and affects a future interaction. It carries forward into subsequent engagements with the environment the physical memory of either resistance or conductivity. The thermodynamic chain of change perpetuates itself. It is not a phenomenon of mental learning but of physics.