The aim of this pilot project is to contribute to a new theory of evolution by natural selection. We will integrate the findings and concepts from several exciting new fields of biological research into a unified theoretical framework. Instead of the current dogma of the Neo-Darwinian Modern Synthesis (NDMS), with its overemphasis on chance and slow mutational change, the emerging extended evolutionary synthesis (EES) includes a modern understanding of the interaction of genomes with the cellular and outside environment. This project will join other efforts in formulating new theories of biological variation during evolution. Unlike most efforts in this direction, our work will be guided by the concept of biological spiritual information. The big question providing the fundamental rationale for this project asks whether there is any evidence for purpose or direction in evolution. We will build a theory that can encompass convergence as an emergent phenomenon of complex gene regulation during development. Our starting point for theory development will be published models and data on gene regulatory networks, convergence, and retrotransposition. We will test the model using perturbations and determine its efficacy in explanation of real data. We expect to produce review articles integrating the data and concepts from several disparate fields, as well as publications presenting the theoretical framework as it develops. This project can have a major role in public perceptions of evolution by providing a cohesive scientific theory of complexity in evolution. While it isn’t likely that such a theory will have specific theological components, it will go a long way toward providing Christian thinkers with material to help resolve the current disconnect between the prevailing view of evolution as a random process and the role of God in a spiritual and creative process of the development of life on Earth.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.