Joined: Sep. 2006
As I exercise due diligence in reading Schindewolf, I've been working on the concept of Orthogenesis, which looms large in his thought.
I ran across this account (among many others) on the Web, and I wonder whether Daniel Smith thinks that it fairly represents the concept:
|Orthogenesis is the notion that evolution proceeds in straight lines. This can refer to the idea that evolution proceeds straight from species A to species B without any side branches. More importantly, it refers to the idea that an evolutionary lineage changes steady, uniform way with no reversals. Sometimes, but not always, it was imagined that species were evolving steadily towards a goal. Usually this trend was supposed to be caused by some “mysterious inner force” (to use Simpson’s words) of the species that compelled it to evolve. Some supporters of orthogenesis would say that once a trend got started in a lineage that it would unchangingly continue until extinction occurred.|
Lets use some concrete examples to illustrate what this meant. Supporters of orthogenesis had pointed to the sabertooths. They claimed that the sword-like canine teeth of these cats over evolutionary time continuously got bigger until they were overgrown to the degree which they caused the animals extinction...
"You can establish any “rule” you like if you start with the rule and then interpret the evidence accordingly." - George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984)