A perspective on (neo-)Darwinism (2010)


Attempted Synthesis
Christianity And Evolution
Continuity And Discontinuity
Origin Of Life
Schools Of Thought


A perspective on (neo-)Darwinism first of all has to account for those assumptions derived from the humanities, causing neo-Darwinism not to be a purely special scientific or natural scientific theory. A discussion of the many-sidedness of living entities highlights the difficulties surrounding a definition of biology. Attention is briefly given to the physicalism of Darwin’s 1859 work before the quest for origins is discussed. These considerations pave the way for an assessment of striking shortcomings in the thought of Darwin and his followers. In particular, modern nominalism is identified as an important source for neo-Darwinism, especially manifest in the idea that organisms are not types and do not have types (Simpson). Darwin’s idea of incremental (continuous) change both in respect of the genesis of a complex organ (or the origination of the first living entity) and of successive fossil forms contradict the current state of affairs – and the same applies to his own radical idea that “injurious” variations will be eliminated immediately by natural selection, for it cannot be reconciled to the role of mutations in neo-Darwinian theory. In addition neo-Darwinian paleontologists pointed out that evolution requires intermediate forms and paleontology does not provide them (Kitts) and explicitly confessed that they have paid lip-service to the idea of change while they knew all the time that it was not true (Eldredge): the dominant theme of the paleontological record is stasis, constancy – a type appears and remains constant for millions of years before it disappears (Gould). The supposition of incremental continuity received a further blow from the “Cambrian explosion”, the “nasty fact” that most “major animal groups appeared simultaneously” about 530 million years ago. A few aspects of the uniqueness of humankind are treated as well as the confused picture found in an attempt to synthesise neo-Darwinism and Christianity. In an appendix a brief assessment is added concerning the pretentions of neo-Darwinism.

Copyright information

  • Ownership of copyright in terms of the Work remains with the authors.
  • The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the Work, provided attribution is given to the place and detail of original publication, as set out in the official citation of the Work published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the Work on the authors’ or their institutions’ websites or institutional repository.

Publication and user license

  • The authors grant the title owner and the publisher an irrevocable license and first right and perpetual subsequent right to (a) publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the Work in  any form/medium, (b) to translate the Work into other languages, create adaptations, summaries or extracts of the Work or other derivative works based on the Work and exercise all of the rights set forth in (a) above in such translations, adaptations, summaries, extracts and derivative works, (c) to license others to do any or all of the above, and (d) to register the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for the Definitive Work.
  • The authors acknowledge and accept the user licence under which the Work will  be published as set out in https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ (Creative Commons Attribution License South Africa)
  • The undersigned warrant that they have the authority to license these publication rights and that no portion of the copyright to the Work has been assigned or licensed previously to any other party.

Disclaimer: The publisher, editors and title owner accept no responsibility for any statement made or opinion expressed by any other person in this Work. Consequently, they will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any reader as a result of his or her action upon any statement or opinion in this Work. 
In cases where a manuscript is NOT accepted for publication by the editorial board, the portions of this agreement regarding the publishing licensing shall be null and void and the authors will be free to submit this manuscript to any other publication for first publication.

Our copyright policies are author-friendly and protect the rights of our authors and publishing partners.