I got to see an exhibition of a few of Theo Jansen’s actual art pieces called Strandbeests.
They are wonderful art and exciting engineering.
The exhibit had Jansen doing some videos and wall exhibits where he compared his work to evolution. Since his art pieces kept changing in response to his new techniques and new designs he made the analogy to evolution.
Evolution doesn’t work on individual non-reproducing objects. Evolution is based on change (both constant and abrupt), pretty much random, with pressure on the reproducing population based on death and failure to reproduce the next generations.
Many classes of objects evolve in this way, but not Jansen’s Strandbeests.
I have pointed out that modern commerce is based on evolution. New variations of existing businesses and industries are occurring constantly. Human investors and creators are the reproducing organism. Some new variations survive. Others die. That keeps modern commerce evolving.
I interviewed Stephen J. Gould the great publicist for evolution. He understood it beautifully and wrote many peans to the genius of evolution. The one thing he didn’t understand was that evolution works on reproducing groups. I asked him what was the minimum number of homo sapiens that could reproduce. A critical data point in understanding homo evolution. Was it 20, 40 or 200? Without sufficient gene diversity the group would not survive. Most tribes know this (except Arabs) so they steal women from other tribes and encourage exogamy.
Gould didn’t understand the issue or see its centrality to evolution.
You, my readers do. And that is why the Strandbeest is not an example of evolution.