Is there a general evolutionary criterion?
In search of general interrelations, as universally valid as possible, the question arises whether certain demands of evolutionary criteria are showing up time and again, whether they are universally valid. Certainly there are properties which are of advantage to any system. If we remember that most systems are subjected to harsh competition in the course of their evolution, we should be able to find similarities. For example, rapid adaption to changing environmental conditions is always advantageous. At the outset the system adopts fixed functions. According to the environmental situation, other functions have to be executed. Rapidity in adaption is demanded as well. Adaptability itself will continue to be part of most evolutionary criteria. A universal system with as many degrees of freedom as possible - which it can actively adapt to - is of advantage over other systems whenever the environment is subject to changes.
Naturally, the parts of criteria mentioned here are not of such a broad general nature that they appear in every system. For living organisms in ecological niches, constructions designed to fulfill fixed functions, and systems depending heavily upon stability, are possibly not of an essential nature. The importance of locating evolutionary targets with a significance as general as possible cannot be underestimated by any means. With their aid, an assessment of the evolution of large cybernetic systems becomes possible in the first place. Now it is possible to make predictions as to whether a system is heading up a blind alley, like a living organism in an ecological niche, adapted down to the point of dependency, or whether it advances to a universal system, capable of flexibly reacting to its environment. At the same time, criteria creating universal, adaptable systems capable of evolving are of particular interest. Precisely here we can find criteria for sensible societal evolution. A sensible, conscious societal evolution can only be initiated if society becomes consciously aware of the general evolutionary criteria, if it manages to precisely state its goals, and if it finds evolutionary processes which it slowly adapts to these goals. This conscious realization of one's own evolution follows the realization of system/environment relationships, and it certainly is a general goal for a universal system. I personally consider the following criteria essential for the general path of evolution:
As a consequence of such an evolution, it seems inevitable to me that the result is a conscious realization of system/environment relationships. More and more, the system has to take the effects of its actions on the environment and its repercussions onto itself into account. Therefore, action is also an important prerequisite for conscious realization. From a certain organizational level, every system will be subject to the creation of conscious awareness.
Conscious awareness is by no means a privilege of man. Much rather, it is also a product of evolution, just like man is. The evolution of conscious awareness already starts at a significantly lower level. As soon as a system starts to actively deal with its environment an insight into interrelationships begins, triggering its action. Here, the inevitability of this process becomes clear. It also becomes clear that this process does not necessarily have to be confined to living organisms; much rather, it is only bound to certain conditions. Societies also have to pass through this process, either in order to adapt to changes or in order to react to the competition of other societies with similar demands. At this point, the universal validity of an evolutionary theory becomes manifestly clear. Basically, the way to creation of a conscious awareness is something that technical systems are not barred from, either.