Life, the universe and everything

Andy Gardner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The Formal Darwinism project probes the connections between the dynamics of natural selection and the design of organisms. Here, I explain why this work should be of interest to philosophers, arguing that it is the natural development in a long-running scholarly enquiry into the meaning of life. I then review some of my own work which has applied the tools of Formal Darwinism to address issues concerning the units of adaptation in social evolution, leading to a deeper understanding of the adaptation of individual organisms. Finally, I sketch some directions Formal Darwinism to explore beyond the biological sciences, with a focus upon cosmology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Anthropic bias
  • Cosmological natural selection
  • Design
  • Group selection
  • Inclusive fitness
  • Multi-level selection
  • Optimization
  • Selfish gene
  • Superorganism
  • Natural selection
  • Formal theory
  • Adaptation
  • Covariance


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