Is there a science of evolution?
September 27th, 2018 •
One of the most tenacious confusions that pervades most discussions of science and culture is the idea that there is a science of evolution. We must of course define what we mean by science, and this usually implies deterministic laws. But no laws of evolution in that sense have been discovered, the silly and amateurish idea of natural selection being no counter argument. It should be obvious: we can’t predict the outcome of evolution using scientific laws.
The discussion is confused because there is a scientific project as to evolution, and a good one: the collection of data, the piecemeal biochemical analysis, a rough historical sketch of the facts of evolution, and so one, but this is still a convergent research project, not truly a science. Because we suspect teleology, we would have to redefine the meaning of ‘science’ from scratch. A similar situation arises with a ‘science of history’ and we have suggested that the ‘eonic effect’ (which is not a science but a convergent research project) gives us a glimpse of the stupendous scale and complexity of an ‘evolutionary’ something, showing directionality over tens of millennia and injected creativity and aesthetics…(in our case with the distinction of free agents and system action). The resolution is that ‘evolution’ is a cosmological process also, and this just might connect with fine-tuning. Whatever the case, the reductionist analysis of evolution has so far failed.