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Neo-Orthogenesis and Neo-Darwinian evolution

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Neo-Orthogenesis and Neo-Darwinian evolution

Postby valetudo » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:12 am

Before my question I would like to state as clearly as possible that I completely accept Darwinian natural selection as an established scientific fact and a logical and beautiful explanation of the majestic evolution and diversity of life. Although not a biologist, I have read much on evolution, including Dawkins' excellent book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' and have listened to many lectures on the subject.

I'm also not a believer in any of the Abrahamic religions or any established contemporary religion (although I do appreciate the metaphysical teachings from some Eastern traditions) and I reject the notion of any personal, anthropomorphic god.

I am an Intrinsic Teleological Pantheist; I believe that the evolution of the Universe (of matter, life & technology) is leading towards an end that is currently obscure to us at this stage of our evolution (and may always be unknown to us). This is a completely naturalistic (and no doubt contentious) pantheistic philosophy.

I completely reject the classical non-Darwinian, unilinear, orthogenetic hypothesis that is often associated with Lamarckism and which has been convincingly discredited with-the almost universal acceptance of-Darwinian natural selection.

However I have come to adopt a Neo-Orthogenetic view of evolution that I believe is completely compatible with Neo-Darwinism. I would describe Neo-Orthogenesis as: the inevitable emergence of biological complexity and intelligence shaped by Darwinian natural selection working within space-time and the physical constants and forces of our Universe; which once emerged-in at least some cases-will spawn technological evolution. Once again, I am not championing classical orthogenesis; nor do I believe that intelligence must evolve on a planet whenever life does; in fact I believe that intelligence is probably relatively rare in the Universe, happening perhaps as little as once per galaxy (or less). The Neo-Orthogenetic theory, which I have come to accept, simply states that our Universe (or any other sufficiently large Universe with the same physical laws and constants) will inevitably spawn intelligent life and in at least some cases (perhaps many), the biological intelligence will spark the process of technological evolution. In many ways my Neo-Orthogenetic theory is similar to the Strong Anthropic Principle just without the anthropocentrism.

I would argue that anyone who believes that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe holds a Neo-Orthogenetic worldview.

My question is: What are some objections to the compatibility of Neo-Orthogenesis and Neo-Darwinian evolution?
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