Biological Theory

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 187–191 | Cite as

Evolution: Limited and Predictable or Unbounded and Lawless?

  • Wim Hordijk


In this brief commentary I compare and contrast two different views of evolution: one of limited (convergent) evolution and mathematical predictability, and one of unbounded diversity and no entailing laws. Clearly these opposing views cannot both be true at the same time. Their disagreement seems to rest on different underlying assumptions, and the challenge is to see if they can be reconciled.


Convergence Evolution No entailing laws Predictability 



Thanks to both George McGhee and Stuart Kauffman for stimulating discussions and providing food for thought, to Stuart Newman for suggestions on improving this manuscript, and to the KLI Klosterneuburg for financial support in the form of a fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition ResearchKlosterneuburgAustria

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