Principle of Accumulation of Design

Principle
The vast majority of what consider to be a ‘designed x’  is an accumulation of designs that came before that ‘x’. This stands in contrast to the belief that an ‘x’ needs a be produced by a more designed ‘x’. This principle is the foundation of bottom-up design.
Darwinian Explanation
 
“Darwin’s contribution is granting the premise of the Argument from Design… Watches and other designed objects don’t just happen; they have to be the product of what modern industry calls ‘R and D’ — research and development — and R and D is costly, in both time and energy. Before Darwin, the only model we had of a process by which this sort of R-and-D could be done was an Intelligent Artificer. What Darwin saw was that in principle the same work could be done by a different sort of process that distributed work over huge amounts of time, by thriftily conserving the design work that had been accomplished at each stage, so that i didn’t have to be done over again. In other words, Darwin had hit upon what we might call the Principle of Accumulation of Design. Things in the world (such as watches and organisms and who knows what else) may be seen as products embodying a certain amount of Design, and one way or another, Design had to have been created by a process of R and D. Utter undesignedness — pure chaos in the old-fashioned sense — was the null or starting point.” (68, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)
Psychologist Richard Gregory: “Time’s arrow given by Entropy — the loss of organization, or loss of temperature differences — is statistical and it is subject to local small-scale reversals. Most striking: life is a systematic reversal of Entropy, and intelligence creates structures and energy differences against the supposed gradual ‘death’ through Entropy of the physical Universe” (Gregory 1981, p. 136)
Source
 
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *