Is it competition, or is it cooperation?


Artricle reads: The traditional forces of evolution are mutation and selection. Let us consider a population of reproducing individuals. If reproduction occurs with mistakes, we have mutation. If mutants reproduce at different rates, we have selection. Mutation and selection are the classic components of the evolutionary process, and they explain a lot. But if we ask: How do we get complexity? How do we get the emergence of more and more complicated structures? Then I’m arguing you need a third component, and this is cooperation.

Neither competition, nor cooperation, contain the vital drive we all feel. It is only that competition and cooperation are necessary, as we engage reality and even oscillate between the two and enter into a dialectic. For example, one may focus on the fine details (to go our own way, to compete), and then surrender to the surrounding background (go with the flow, or cooperate). Likewise, one can use deductive thought to evaluate particular outcomes, and then to fall back on inductive thinking to generalize. This sets up an internal oscillation that will converge to a crisper expression. In dialectic form this may converge to an agreement among opposing positions. Otherwise, a bio-polar oscillation may not converge, and in this case may reveal a deeper disagreement.

Note that when we speak of competition, or cooperation, we are characterizing the vital drive that we all feel. It is not that this drive is explained by natural selection, it is that the vital drive comes as a necessary precondition. More generally, the apparent oscillation between (competition and cooperation) is needed to tune one`s self to God`s emotion, which is a transcendent love. The oscillation is like a prayer. It is not that this oscillation is sufficient, but it is necessary. It is not like the vital is an explained oscillation, but oscillation is a needed expression if God is going to answer our prayers.

Through the activity of competition and cooperation, we find what we are looking for and can move on to higher expressions. In evolution the vital finds a mutation that becomes useful for survival, like a rock climber that clings to pressure points on a rock surface and climbs higher with the discovery of new and better grips and supports. Some call this evolution natural selection, but it is the vital that does all the work.

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