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《Studies in Dialectics of Nature》 2016-01
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Isn't Evolution Progress?——Critical Thinking on Stephen Jay Gould's Views of Anti-evolutionary Progress

LI Jian-hui;School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University;  
When we learn about and research on evolutionary theory, we generally get such kind of ideas: the evolution of life is from simplicity to complexity, from single forms to diversity forms, and from lower organisms to higher organisms. Thus, the idea of evolutionary progress appears obvious.However, in contemporary academic circle, some biologists and philosophers, such as George Williams and Stephan Gould, challenge this idea. They either believed that Darwin himself disagreed evolutionary progress, and considered that the idea of progress is anthropocentric and subjective, or believed that biological evolutionary events is contingency and unpredictable, and there is no so-called progress in evolution. With the translation of Gould's books into Chinese, a number of Chinese scholars accepted Gould's thoughts and criticized evolutionary progress. They even thought that translation of "evolution" as "jinhua"(evolving progress) is a fault, and claimed that we should use "yanhua"(evolving process) to replace "jinhua".This research concludes that Gould's arguments against evolutionary progress are not valid; the facts of evolution shows that though sometimes there is degenerate in evolution, the general trend of evolution is progress.
【Fund】: 国家社会科学基金重大项目:生物哲学重要问题研究(14ZDB171);; 中央高校基本科研业务费专项资金资助
【CateGory Index】: Q111
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