The left can no longer proceed with unexamined views of evolution based on Darwinism. It has been outflanked by the Intelligent Design movement whose critiques may show confusion over the issue of ‘design’ but which has picked up and developed the classic underground critiques of the Darwin paradigm: selectionist evolution. It is almost impossible for leftists to speak critically on the subject without getting blackballed by the general conformity on the issue. But times are changing rapidly. More and more mainstream biologists are falling away from the false consensus.
It should have been the job of leftist/marxists to have exposed a theory that has a troublesome legacy of ‘social darwinist’ ideology. Some have done so from the perspective of the critique of sociobiology, trotting our Spencer but absolving Darwin. But the problem is with the claims for natural selection. And it is desperately easy to see the key flaw in selectionist evolutionism: the issue of statistics. Beyond that there is a subtle difference, and confusion, between saying that natural operates in the natural world and saying that natural selection operates in the culture of intelligent agents: those agents can consciously apply such a theory to culture as a ‘should’: instant ideology. And the confusion of all this with class warfare as natural selection has a grim historical legacy, mostly suppressed.
Beyond that, one of the best ways to see the problems with Darwinism is to study the eonic effect, so-called, as developed in World History and the Eonic Effect. This book/material is about world history but it has a useful way to debrief oneself as to evolution in deep time. The reason is that ‘evolution’ and ‘history’ are linked as the historical emerges from the evolutionary. The historical is about free agents and evolution is about their emergence. The issue arises with the onset of the ‘animal’ who makes history, so to speak, but becomes very explicit in the evolution of primates to man, and especially man, whose ‘evolution’ is the ‘evolution of freedom’. Although such abstractions can be hard to analyze they do show that the question of history and evolution is a janus-faced unity. But in the process conventional science suffers from the inherent contradiction or antinomy involved in such declarations about the evolution of free agents. The latter is not as such any assumption about free will: free agency is a more generalized variant.
Thus, in studying the eonic efect, the question of a causal theory or science of history is exposed as the new type of model looks beyond historical laws to a kind of historical potential in motion as history resolves to a series of transitions showing directionality and the realizations (of men) that arise in their wake. The point here is that we can track evolution, but we never really see its mechanism, itself perhaps a misnomer since the process is not causal in the linear/temporal sense. We don’t see the teleological Kibitzer that periodically intervenes to reset the unfolding process, a deliberate ‘design’ argument manque: we see design, but not designer . The situation resembles ‘fine tuning’, to the degree we know anything about that, and suggests that both life and the resulting emergence into mind primates/man is part of a so far non-existent cosmological theory of life and evolution. Something primordial on the surface of a planet and in the cosmological background generates the emergence of life in a sort of Gaian metaphor, or no metaphor at all.
The eonic effect shows the way this appears to us: a series of epochal intervals starting with transitions filled with innovations and then the open future of those transitions in the play of free agency. While this is open to conjecture it generates its own validations as we zoom in to see what’s going on. And that requires a lot of study. In fact we begin to see that to the extent we see ‘evolution’ or ‘history’ at all, it is with very limited data sets, and very geographically restricted ones.
Study of the eonic effect offers no certainties but it does kick the problem upstairs and gives the larger perspective on the hypercomplexity of evolution entirely lost to the cretin theories like natural selection.
You may argue that evolution in deep time and historical development are distinct. And you may certainly start that way, but slowly but surely the analog in both sets of process becomes clear along with the unity of ‘evolution/history’.