Advertisement

Introduction

  • Igor Popov
Chapter

Abstract

Darwinism is based on the idea that evolution occurs due to selection from a large or an almost unlimited source of variability and that its direction is determined by adaptation to a constantly changing environment. An alternative viewpoint implies that the material of variability is limited, that organisms are predisposed to vary in certain directions and that this predisposition is the determinant of evolution. While evolution does respond to external changes, it does not depend on them; adaptation is not the evolutionary mainstream. This viewpoint has usually been referred to as orthogenesis (from the Greek orthos—straight), that is, development in a certain direction or “directed evolution”. Numerous other terms have also been coined to express this idea (nomogenesis, autogenesis, ologenesis, autoevolution, to name a few), while the term “orthogenesis” has not always meant directed evolution. Not uncommonly, it was used to describe a phenomenon when related groups of organisms (in fossil record or in current existence) could be said to represent series of directed transformations. Orthogenesis is closely associated with the doctrine of organicism, which postulates that species or higher taxonomic groups undergo the same life cycle as an individual: birth, growth, development and natural death. Though Darwinism holds the ideas of orthogenesis and organicism to be erroneous, their followers have accumulated some thought-provoking facts, which it would be unreasonable to ignore.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research and Fondation Maison des science de l’homme for providing financial support of the studies (in 2005–2007 and in 2013) that resulted in this book. I am grateful to Natalia Lentsman and Springer Publishing Company for careful work with my manuscript. I thank Dr. Andrew Ostrovsky, Saint Petersburg State University, for advice and encouragement during preparation of the manuscript.

References

  1. Alexandrov DA (1996) The history of Russia evolutionary moprhology in the end of the 19th – the first third of the 20th century (Istoriya otechestvennoy evolyutsionnoy morfologii zhivotnykh v kontse XIX v. – pervoy treti XX v.). Extended abstract of Cand Sci (Biol) Dissertation. MoscowGoogle Scholar
  2. Blyakher LYa (ed) (1975) History of biology from the beginning of the 20th century to the present (Istoriya biologii s nachala XX veka do nashikh dney). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowler P (1979) Theodor Eimer and orthogenesis. J Hist Med 34:40–78Google Scholar
  4. Bowler PJ (1983) The eclipse of Darwinism. Johns Hopkins Univ Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  5. Bowler PJ (1989) Evolution. The history of an idea. Univ of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  6. Bowler PJ (2003) Introduction (Predislovie). In: in the shadow of Darwinism. Alternative theories of evolution in the 20th century (V teni darvinizma. Al’ternativnye teorii evolyutsii v XX veke). Yasnyy den’, St Petersburg, p 5–6Google Scholar
  7. Davitashvili LSh (1948) The history of evolutionar palaeontology from Darwin to our days (Istoriya evolyutsionnoy paleontologii ot Darvina do nashikh dney). AN SSSR, Moscow, LeningradGoogle Scholar
  8. Davitashvili LSh (1966) The modern state of evolutionary teaching in the west (Sovremennoe sostoyanie evolyutsionnogo ucheniya na Zapade). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  9. Driesch H (1905) Vitalism as history and as theory (Der Vitalismus als Geschichte und als Lehre). Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, Leipzig. English edition: Driesch H (1914) the history and theory of vitalism (trans: Ogden CK). Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Filipchenko YuA (1977) Evolutionary idea in biology: a historical review of evolutionary teachings of the 19th century (Evolyutsionnaya ideya v biologii: istoricheskiy obzor evolyutsionnykh ucheniy XIX veka). MoscowGoogle Scholar
  11. Gould SJ (2002) The structure of evolutionary theory. Harvard Univ Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  12. Jahn I (ed) (2000) The history of biology. Theories, methods, institutes, concise biographies (Geschichte der Biologie. Theorien, Methoden, Institutionen, Kurzbiographien). Spektrum, Heidelberg/BerlinGoogle Scholar
  13. Levit GS, Olsson L (2006) Evolution on rails: mechanisms and levels of orthogenesis. Ann Hist Phil Biol 11:97–136Google Scholar
  14. Mayr E (1982) The growth of biological thought. Harvard Univ Press, Cambridge (Mass)Google Scholar
  15. Mikulinsky SP (ed) (1972) The history of biology from ancient times to the early 20th century (Istoriya biologii s drevneyshikh vremen do nachala XX veka). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  16. Nazarov VI (1974) Evolutionary theory in France after Darwin (Evolyutsionnaya teoriya vo Frantsii posle Darvina). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  17. Nazarov VI (1984) Finalism in the modern evolutionary teaching (Finalizm v sovremennom evolyutsionnom uchenii). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  18. Nazarov VI (1991) The teaching about macroevolutions. On the ways towards a new synthesis (Uchenie o makroevolyutsii. Na putyakh k novomu sintezu). Nauka, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  19. Reif W-E (1983) Evolutionary theory in German paleontology. In: Grene M (ed) Dimensions of Darwinism. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, p 173–203Google Scholar
  20. Reif W-E (1986) The search for a macroevolutionary theory in German paleontology. J Hist Biol 19:79–130Google Scholar
  21. Reif W-E (1999) Deutschsprachige Paläontologie im Spannungsfeld zwischen Makroevolution und Neodarwinismus (1920–1950). Verhanglungen zur Geschichte und. Theorie der Biologie 2:151–188Google Scholar
  22. Richardson RC, Kane TC (1989) Orthogenesis and evolution in the nineteenth century. In: Nitecki M (ed) Evolutionary progress. Univ of Chicago press, Chicago/London, pp 149–169Google Scholar
  23. Rieppel O (2012) Karl Beurlen (1901–1985), nature mysticism, and aryan paleontology. J Hist Biol 45:253–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zavadsky KM (1973) The development of evolutionary theory after Darwin (1859–1920s) (Razvitie evolyutsionnoy teorii posle Darvina [1859–1920-e gody]). Nauka, LeningradGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor Popov
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Petersburg State University, N. N. Petrov Research Institute of OncologySaint PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations