Archive for November, 2016

Introducing the Royal Society’s Evolutionary (Over-)Extension Meeting to Trans-Evolutionary Change

Royal Society

“New Trends in Evolutionary Biology: Biological, Philosophical and Social Science [sic] Perspectives”

London, U.K.

7-9 November, 2016

“The extended evolutionary synthesis is best regarded as an alternative research programme, entirely complementary to orthodox evolutionary biology.” – Denis Noble

“A better understanding is not always an extension of the earlier model, sometimes it is an alternative.” – Kalevi Kull

Summary of the Abstracts

 A closer look at how the modern evolutionary synthesis is being approached, since a major amendment or replacement is being suggested. Can any kind of coherent ‘alternative’ to the current Darwinian consensus be found in the abstracts of the meeting’s participants? The answer is no. But aspiration itself indeed seems to be part of this Royal Society bargain.

Continue reading ‘Introducing the Royal Society’s Evolutionary (Over-)Extension Meeting to Trans-Evolutionary Change’


What is Trans-Evolutionary Change?

The Royal Society’s 07-09 November ‘New Trends’ meeting in London faced an extension of the modern evolutionary synthesis in biology at the same time that a replacement of Darwinian evolutionary theory was being suggested. In light of the second option, particularly regarding the ‘philosophy and social science’ component of the Royal Society meeting, we introduce the notion of ‘trans-evolutionary change’ involving human choice and action.

Trans-evolutionary change (TEC) solves both a negative and a positive problem. First, how to identify limits or borders around evolutionary change so that evolution is not conceptually over-extended. Second, how to study the teleological person-oriented dimension of change-over-time in social sciences and humanities (SSH) that is absent or proportionally minimal in ‘agent-less’ or largely ‘non-human’ fields of study. This combination of solutions enables us to break free from naturalistic ‘Darwinian’ ideas in SSH.

Continue reading ‘What is Trans-Evolutionary Change?’

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