National Research Council of Canada. NRC Institute for Information Technology
Proceedings of the 1999 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO-99) Workshop Program, July 13, 1999., Orlando, Florida, USA
Evolvability is the capacity to evolve. This paper introduces a simple computational model of evolvability and demonstrates that, under certain conditions, evolvability can increase indefinitely, even when there is no direct selection for evolvability. The model shows that increasing evolvability implies an accelerating evolutionary pace. It is suggested that the conditions for indefinitely increasing evolvability are satisfied in biological and cultural evolution. We claim that increasing evolvability is a large-scale trend in evolution. This hypothesis leads to testable predictions about biological and cultural evolution.