A Philosophical Proof Of Evolution

Recently I read an article which asked Richard Dawkins what he belived but could not prove (can’t find the link sorry I think it was in a science magazine). His answer was “That some form of darwinian evolution is present in every level of existence” (or something like that)

This reminded me of one of my pet theories that Evolution is a Truth ‘A Priori’, that is a Universal Truth

Darwinian evolution is often stated as the “Survival Of The Fittest” if we re-state that in terms of “Emergent Systems” we could say

“What is most likely to persist, is what is best suited to persist”

Is this not a truth “A Priori”? As in the truth of the statement can be determined by its parts without needing to test its elements

Such a statement, as it applies to “emergent systems” goes a long way to justifing Richard Dawkins belief stated earlier.


Evolution also requires changes to descendants. If the children of an animal (or organism) are exact replicas of the parents, then no adaptation is possible, and therefore no ‘fitter’ specimen will emerge.

One might suggest that any order in the universe is possible only through the replication of patterns of organization. Order is, after all, the stability of a pattern of organization. Objects are in so far as they are ordered, and they are ordered in so far as a system of particles can maintain a stable pattern.

Is there a difference between the ongoing, dynamic maintenance of a stable pattern of organization and a continuing process of repeating a pattern of organization?

If not, then Dawkins seems to be on the right track. In other words, if objects exist only in so far as the pattern which defines the object as such is repeated in a stable manner, then any object exists only in so far as it has been selected to exist. Note that selection does not imply a selector.

Objects can be viewed as replicated patterns. They exist in so far as they can guarantee that their replicators (the systems of particles from which they emerge) can continue repeating them.

This might make it sound like every object has a pure, Platonic Form. However, the form is produced through the repetition itself. The form does not exist beyond the pattern which is repeated, and that is selected only by virtue of whatever selective pressures are acting on the systems of particles the organization of which repeats the pattern.

This sounds an awful lot like Nietzsche’s Will to Power and Eternal Recurrence: existence as an expression of the will to repetition.

It also reminds me of Charles Sanders Pierce’s notion of Evolutionary Love. He argued that the order in the universe is evolving and growing.

It would be nice to have a way of fitting this all in to quantum physics and relativity.

It would also be nice to have a way of modelling an evolutionary system that has no fundamental units. For, if there are fundamental replicators, their existence could not be explained through evolutionary theory, and they would therefore count as an exception to the rule.

There is not only evolution but devolution is existing in the Universe. Not only growing but also diminishing and probably some other processess to which we don’t have names at the existing language.
Concernig second part thee is book by I.Prigogine and I.Stengers “Order out of Chaos” which is trying to fit quantum phisics into this matter.

Pragmatist, you said a lot of interesting things. the world sounds heavily hermeneutical in your account. which i guess should suprise no one.
for example:

oh, and i just got introduced to semiotics. can you suggest peirce readings? which one mentions evolutionary love? my teacher mentions this article in passing.

my first thoughts to the original question as to evolution being a priori lead to kant. evolution relies upon time. time, for kant, is a priori.

Actually, Darwin never said that.
One of his defenders said that to explain his idea, Darwin’s saying was “Natural Selection”.

Intuitively I would also say evolution exists on many levels. I would say that not only are biological organisms evolving throughout the Universe but the Universe itself is evolving, stars are born, stars die, planets form, etc…,

Also, BIG TIME, the Universe is awakening everywhere, and through us as well, we are just beginning to discover just how amazing this really is, and there is order. The Universe is ordering itself, and it’s a proveable fact.

This all implies PURPOSE. And there is Philosophy, the seeker of this purpose. <Many of us believe this life HAS MEANING. And we color it by discussing the concepts here.

I see a clear connection between evolution and philosophy. AM I the only one evolving here, or is this progression really a progression. I’ve made some progress, how bout you?

Evolution as a scientific theory cannot be proved. It provides the greatest explanatory power and there are various supporting elements that have been ‘proved’. However, the full theory cannot be proved; but it is the best one around.

Like the original poster I would like to think that evolution is an a prioritruth Sadly, it cannot be demonstrated and so it is destined to remain philosophically underdetermined.

Is it just me, or is this tautological and thus vacuous? I think you misrepresent Darwin.

Yes, it appears that this is a self-evident (analytic) proposition—that is, if we posit that if something is best suited to persist, it is most likely to persist. However, I think this is something that at least requires some observational proof, especially because it is Darwinian evolution. And the way Dawkins put it, “some form of evolution is present in every level of existence” (I’m going by what you said in your opening post) is a form of unrestricted generality, and the problem with unrestricted generality is, as you have mentioned, cannot be proven empirically—because it is an anywhere-anytime proposition, yet it needs that sort of proof.

I find with evolution people lose sight of the thing that makes it all work, that is the laws of physics. ‘Order out of Chaos’ has already been stated, but this is not quite accurate, the laws of physic have always existed, in some form, otherwise our existence wouldn’t be possible. Can the laws of physics evolve? Or are they a constant throughout all the many lifetimes of the evolving chaos? We can’t know for sure, but from all the available evidence one can assume that they don’t evolve, though our understanding of them does.

It’s important to view evolution in this light; as if these laws are constant then in effect they design what happens and how things evolve. From a technical standpoint all that would be required to create life would be to understand these laws completely and implement a virtual universe inside a computer, input some garbage and let the laws sieve out the order and eventually life.

We know in maths that 1 + 1 = 2, the next question for the laws of physic is their actual accuracy in our universe. Are they like maths in their interaction forming infinitely precise results or is there room for variability so to speak caused by what in maths is called a rounding error? If there are no ‘rounding errors’ then the universe is predetermined and all the interaction of the chaos is knowable even predictable to someone external to the universe’s in closed system. The only possibility of freedom for the Emergent System from the laws of physics are these ‘rounding errors’, if they exists.

So while the chaos is evolving into order, the order is coming about from the underlying laws (rules) of how the chaos can interact with it’s self. Meaning evolution can’t do something that is contrary to the laws of physics. In effect the order that comes from chaos is the manifestation of the laws, their ethereal from given body. A spiritually minded individual could put forward a proposition as follows: If the laws of physics are static, while the extent of our knowledge of them maybe limited, they are ultimately constant. Therefore all evolution of matter must occur in order with these laws. These laws decided what can and can’t come into existence, in essence they are what could loosely be described as godlike is so far as giving life with a predeterminable course and still allowing freedom within their boundaries. Some believe that Gods are the manifestation of an underlying power, so evolution can still corroborate that opinion.


I believe there is an article or two on Evolutionary Love in the first volume of Peirce’s collected works. I have odd feelings about Peirce. I enjoy him more as a curiosity. He can be inspiring, but also disappointing. While his arguments are often logical to the extreme, they are just as often unfounded and poorly thought-out.

In addition to the idea of Evolutionary Love, he also had the notion that everything came down to thirdness–that we can only know one thing by knowing another, and also by knowing how the two interact. Kind of like subject-object-verb. You can only know a subject in so far as it relates to an object, and that only in so far as there is a verb. Everything comes down to the third thing, the relationship, since that is what defines the two.


Evolution is evolution, for better or for worse. But, yes, while order may increase locally, it is said to be decreasing globally. So, if the order in the universe does follow evolutionary principles, we might say the cost of this enterprise is a decrease in overall order. However, a completely disordered universe–a “heat death”–would be completely ordered. It would be completely homogenous. So, should we say that the overall decrease in order is just as adequately described as an increase in order?

Perhaps we could say that the local evolution of order within the universe works in a different organizational direction from the larger level of order in the universe. So, it’s not that the universe is becoming less ordered overall; rather, it’s that various orders are competing, and each are evolving at the expense of others. This doesn’t imply “devolution.” Rather, it implies metaevolution: an evolution of evolutionary systems.