Distant spiral galaxy NGC4603 [Courtesy NASA]

Are there analogues of biological evolution in other fields?

David H. Bailey
Updated 2 January 2021 (c) 2021


Many creationists and others have wondered, if evolution is truly a fundamental, universal principle, why we don't see evolution in action in arenas other than biological evolution. In the absence of such nonbiological instances of evolution, they argue, the central principle of evolution in biological species is drawn into question.

Real-world analogues of biological evolution

In fact, there are numerous analogues of biological evolution in other fields of science, several of which are both intriguing and compelling. Here are some that the present author is familiar with:

Computer simulations of evolution

We should also mention the burgeoning field of evolutionary algorithms, also known as "genetic algorithms." In this discipline, computer programs mimicking the process of evolution have been utilized to develop engineering designs that in many cases are superior to the best-known human efforts. Applications of this methodology have been found in aerospace, chemistry, electrical engineering, financial analysis, materials engineering, robotics, and others [Marczyk2004].

In addition, many studies have been done using computer programs to directly simulate the process of biological evolution, as a tool to better understand the interplay between mutations, adaptations, and environment. Along this line, the present author has done one study in which an evolution-like process was used to generate segments of English text that in many cases are quite similar to segments taken from real Dickens literature. For full details, see English text.


In short, the fact that biological evolution is a legitimate and scientifically valid principle of science is strongly buttressed by the fact that there are numerous compelling analogues of biological evolution in other fields of study. Many of the same characteristics apply: descent with modification, reproduction and proliferation, "genes" of one type or another transmitting information from one generation to another, and, in many cases, an increasing degree of sophistication in the result. Biological evolution is but one example of this over-arching principle.

For additional discussion, see Creationism, DNA, English text, Intelligent design and Theory.


[See Bibliography].