Neo-Darwinism, the dominant interpretation at present, attempts to operate within a strictly materialistic framework. Evolution is regarded as a gradual process that comes about through the interplay of two factors: random mutations (accidental changes of genetic material) and natural selection that enables some of these changes to take over on the basis of their adaptive and reproductive advantages. The dynamic of evolution is based on the struggle and competition within and between species for limited resources. Although this process is considered directionless, it is apparently responsible for bringing forth the successive forms of life from single cell organisms to human beings. This interpretation of evolution has its merits, but also has some flaws. It was widely accepted in the 20th century not because it explained everything perfectly, but because it accounted for the facts better than any alternative and because it fitted well with the prevailing ideology of materialism. The purpose of what follows is not an attempt to prove Neo-Darwinism wrong, but to show that it is incomplete, which is why it cannot provide plausible explanations for all the characteristics of evolution (e.g. the increase of complexity) and for all the paleontological and biological facts. Actually, almost every key term associated with this view: chance, natural selection, competition, and gradualism, raise some doubts, especially if taken dogmatically as it is often the case at present.
- . The phrase ‘survival of the fittest', which is also linked to this model is not considered, because, as biologist Waddington already pointed out a long time ago, it is just a tautology: the existing species have survived because they have been the fittest, and they are the fittest because they have survived.