Johannes Seidel: "Teilhard's Concept of Evolution"
The concept of evolution is crucial to Teilhard‘s conception of the world. Teilhard‘s concept of evolution is not restricted to biological evolution, but it encloses both the history of the universe and the history of mankind. This paper focuses on Teilhard‘s “physics,“ and in particular, on his understanding of the biological evolution. Teilhard‘s understanding of evolution differs from Darwinism in two ways: According to Teilhard, evolution has a direction, and this direction means “higher“. Complexity and consciousness continuously develop into higher levels, caused by planetary compression. The more complex an entity is, the more conscious it is. From this it follows that totally brute matter doesn‘t exist. Instead, all elements of the universe contain some germ of internalness or consciousness. Its importance increases corresponding to the increase in complexity. And finally, reflection, thinking and freedom emerge in man. According to Teilhard‘s “law of complexity and consciousness,“ life and consciousness are not accidental or anomalous phenomena in the universe but the intensification of an omnipresent property of the matter.
2008 July 16