David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind and Matter 4 (2):219-234 (2006)
The scientific community believes in the theory of evolution with a passion that rivals that of any religious belief. This passion extends beyond the irrefutable evidence of the fossil record to the familiar claims of 'survival of the fittest 'and random mutation. Yet the theory of natural selection has,to the knowledge of the present author,never been tested against the alternative hypothesis that evolution is, in fact, the ongoing development of a single, world-spanning super-organism. Just what kind of evidence would settle this question is not clear, so this paper is intended to begin the discussion. It does so by suggesting how a new, quantitative theory of 'pragmatic information' could analyze the widespread temporal and inter-species connections that a developmental view of evolution would imply.
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