Do you have any opinions about John E. Stewart's theory of evolution

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Jim Morris

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Jun 22, 2015, 4:00:21 PM6/22/15
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... as described at http://www.evolutionarymanifesto.com/about.html and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030326471400080X

I just happened across it. It claims evolution has a general trend towards diversity and integration into larger, hierarchical assemblies, and carries its predictions to a single Earthly intelligence.

Brett Hall

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Jun 22, 2015, 6:55:58 PM6/22/15
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On 23 Jun 2015, at 06:00, Jim Morris <james....@gmail.com> wrote:

... as described at http://www.evolutionarymanifesto.com/about.html and http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030326471400080X

I just happened across it. It claims evolution has a general trend towards diversity and integration into larger, hierarchical assemblies, and carries its predictions to a single Earthly intelligence.

While evolution by natural selection explains diversity and complexity, it is not predictable and nothing this paper says adds anything true and new. Seems to me this paper is just natural selection + some metaphysics and political opinions added on. In the abstract we read:

"An understanding of the trajectory and causal drivers of the trends suggests that they are likely to culminate in the the emergence of a global entity."

It's hard to tell what is meant by that. On the one hand, being very generous: that's trivial. We have a global ecosystem of sorts. On the other-the author seems to be hedging towards something pseudoscientific. A "global superintelligence" would be that sort of metaphysical pseudoscientific thing. There's no superintelligence possible. There's just people who are interested more or less in problems...and if it's possible in the future to think faster and remember more stuff, we (as individuals) we gain those capacities too.

Also: predictions from theories are never "likely" to happen. Either a thing occurs, somewhere, sometime...or it doesn't. There is no in-between. 

Towards the end we get some predictions before the conclusions. One is:

"Predicts that the further integration of humanity into a global entity will be driven by the potential benefits of overcoming the cooperation problem on a planetary scale. Humanity will increasingly encounter challenges such as climate change and war that demand global coordination because they cannot be adequately solved by nation states or other smaller-scale entities acting alone (of course, the forces that drive the trajectory of evolution do not provide any absolute guarantee that human civilization will respond effectively to these challenges and survive them)."

That's no prediction and it is certainly not science. It's pure (political) prophesy. Given the way the author sets things up-with natural selection providing a 'direction' for evolution in the way he wants: anything follows. Including that anti-human paragraph about people *not* choosing to do stuff...but rather being compelled by evolution to participate in some sort of socialist structure. In my opinion: it's nonsense.

War and conflict and problems generally are soluble. If you want details...feel free to ask.

Brett.


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