PCT vis-a-vis Evolution (and evolutionary epistemology)

[From Chris Cherpas (960206.1930 PT)]
    [re: Powers (960128.0530 MST)]


In other words, operant conditioning can't exist unless the organism is
already capable of controlling outcomes. That underlying organization is
a prerequisite for operant behavior.

I suspect that it is also a prerequisite for evolution, simply because
it is a prerequisite for survival. Organizations that are not capable of
control simply return, rather sooner than later, to the substrate of
inanimate matter. Evolution takes place only among living control
systems. Whatever evolves, whatever survives as an organism, must also
be a control system. Why? Because only control systems can keep
producing specific ends, such as eating, in an unpredictably variable

Bill: do you explain evolution by control theory, in preference to
explaining control theory by evolution -- a kind of "universal
control theory," analogous to Gary Cziko's "universal selection theory?"
I'd be interested in the PCT perspective on evolution. How did the
earth go from having no control systems to having them?
I don't know if this has been discussed on CSGNET before, but I see
various versions of theories/philosophies which relate PCT and evolutionary
epistemology. I wonder how Gary's and Bill P.'s views differ in this

Gary's _Without Miracles_, while making a case for PCT, per se, describes
learning in evolutionary epistemological terms, and I wonder if Gary ever
thinks of control systems as [micro-]evolutionary systems -- I have.

Hugh Petrie's book on enquiry and learning seems to envision a kind of
balance between control and evolutionary processes, so
neither subsumes the other. Anyone else have different interpretation?

Best regards,