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Börje Ekstig, Assistant Professor, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Ekstig, Börje. 2009. Complexity and Evolution: a Study of the Growth of Complexity in Organic and Cultural Evolution. Foundations of Science, no. Special Issue of the Conference on the Evolution and Development of the Universe (EDU-2008). In press.

In the present paper I suggest a model of life implying human culture to form a continuous extension of organic evolution. The model supports the widespread notion of an accelerating pace of organic and cultural change and suggests acceleration to be seen as a process in time against the level of complexity.

The model has led to the construction a new shape of the Tree of Life depicting complexity versus time, and I discuss the seemingly contradictory observations that each separate species by and large shows relatively minute evolutionary changes whereas life as a whole displays a universal increase of complexity. According to this view the human species is unique amongst all other living creatures in as much as it has reached the highest level of complexity.