Survival rather than selection: Novelty and innovation in evolution
In the classical Darwinian evolution scenario, natural selection acts towards the optimization of the species fitness. However, it is hard to corner what exactly determines fitness for a given species, especially in the context of a complex environment, often shaped by the coexistence of a great number of different life forms. In this situation, rather than in the optimization of a few well-defined traits, success is measured by the identification of a workable compromise in the simultaneous accomplishment of a great number of tasks. These ideas lead to a new field of enquiry in evolutionary theory, linking evolution and ecology, and fully recognizing the high-dimensional nature of adaptation dynamics.