Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 207–215 | Cite as

Life, the universe and everything

  • Andy GardnerEmail author


The Formal Darwinism project probes the connections between the dynamics of natural selection and the design of organisms. Here, I explain why this work should be of interest to philosophers, arguing that it is the natural development in a long-running scholarly enquiry into the meaning of life. I then review some of my own work which has applied the tools of Formal Darwinism to address issues concerning the units of adaptation in social evolution, leading to a deeper understanding of the adaptation of individual organisms. Finally, I sketch some directions Formal Darwinism to explore beyond the biological sciences, with a focus upon cosmology.


Anthropic bias Cosmological natural selection Design Group selection Inclusive fitness Multi-level selection Optimization Selfish gene Superorganism 



I am funded by the Royal Society of London.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiologyUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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