Chapter 8: Implications for Everyday Systems

Section 5: Fundamental Issues in Biology

Belief in [biological] optimality

The notion that features of biological organisms are always somehow optimized for a particular purpose has become extremely deep seated—and indeed it has been discussed since antiquity. Most modern biologists at least pay lip service to historical accidents and developmental constraints, but if pressed revert surprisingly quickly to the notion of optimization for a purpose.

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]