Pluralism in the Explanation of Evolutionary Facts

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 2-3, 2009

Preliminary communication

Tonći Kokić   ORCID icon ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

pages 169-193

2-3_10_Kokic PDF


The theory of biological evolution is accepted as an indisputable scientific fact in the natural sciences, but its influence reaches beyond them. The reason for this is that the theory of evolution, besides its high level of scientific influence, also has implications in other areas (politics, religion, ethics, culture). The theory of evolution is not a final and unique theory but rather a dynamic area consisting of a number
of different theories or groups of theories. Furthermore, there is no consensus on the principles which govern the transformation and multiplication of organic forms; instead there are several ways of explaining evolutionary changes. One contribution of the contemporary philosophy of science is a plausible pluralistic explanation of evolutionary facts and principles. Contemporary philosophy does not perceive scientific theories as final forms which are subjected to an examination of the formal and logical structures of a certain level of knowledge, but as changeable entities which are constantly transforming and improving. Following this lead, this paper determines the main principals of the theory of evolution and presents four alternative theories or groups of theories: 1) the group of saltationistic theories; 2) Neo-Lamarckism; 3)
orthogenetic theories; and 4) the theory of morphogenetic fields. Alternative theories take the form of numerous conceptions which attempt to improve recent solutions and to answer unanswered or inadequately answered questions from the standard theory of evolution. Hence, the research of alternative theories of evolution is not irrational
and illogical since it can contribute to the improvement of science. The variability of scientific theories indicates the possibility of the further development of these theories; therefore the standard view of the theory of evolution is not unquestionable.


alternative theories; evolution; morphogenetic fields; principle of transforming; Neo-Lamarckism; orthogenetic theories; saltacionism