Online Symposium

What Next in Evolution:

Does the Paradigm Need to Shift?

10 October 2020


There is a body of scholarship demonstrating the inadequacy of the genocentric Neo-Darwinian paradigm as an explanation for the full range of evolutionary phenomena. While there has been a move toward an Extended Synthesis of evolution that incorporates avenues of inheritance external to genetics, the precepts of the Neo-Darwinian paradigm persist, and evolutionary theory remains plagued with ambiguities and explanatory lacunae. Over the last century, the acceptance of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, and a recognition of the noosphere as a dimension of the global dynamic systems challenged some of the fundamental principles of evolution as currently modeled. The often-hostile division in anthropology, split along the natures of cultural and biological evolution, and the growing body of data identifying epigenetic forms of inheritance calls for vigorous discussion to define the parameters of the current paradigm. The symposium will address questions such as:

What are the limitations of the Darwinian theory as applied to the universal nature of evolution?

What alternatives theories can be used to model evolution?

Is there a unifying principle in evolution?

Is there an accepted universal definition of life and how does that impact our understanding of evolution?

What are the implications of evolutionary theory on human destiny?

How should our understanding of evolution guide humanity in our contemporary world?

What impact will climate change have on the evolution of life on earth?

Leading scholars in the field of theoretical evolution will discuss these topics and the implication of evolution on the future of the world. Papers will be presented in 20 to 30-minute online format followed by round table discussions on the topics.

Where and When

Saturday, 10 October, 2020, 11:00 am - 4:30 pm GMT

4:00 pm - 9:30 pm YEKT / 7:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT / 6:00 am - 11:30 pm CDT

Via Zoom, with a live broadcast on YouTube channel of School of Advanced Studies

Schedule for the Conference
Session 1: Evolutionary Theory: Should it be challenged?

11:00 am (GMT)

Toward a Unifying Theorem of Evolution

Jay Silverstein, School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen

11:30 am (GMT)

The Death Drive of Evolution

Julie Reshe, School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (GMT)


Session 2: How is the Theory of Evolution Evolving?

2:00 pm (GMT)

Do Right Triangles Exist? Is Evolution 'True'?

Kenneth Weiss (Emeritus), The Pennsylvania State University

2:30 pm (GMT)

What Can Evolutionary Biology Learn from Cancer Biology?

James A. Shapiro, University of Chicago

3:00 pm (GMT)

Evolution of complexity at the interface of conflicts and cooperation

Eugene V. Koonin, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm (GMT)

Discussion and closing remarks


To submit a Proposal for this Symposium send an abstract of ~200-300 words to:

Jay Silverstein
School of Advanced Studies
University of Tyumen

Speakers Invited:

Doctor Eugene V. Koonin
National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA)

Professor Julie Reshe
School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen (Russia)

Professor James A Shapiro
University of Chicago (USA)

Professor Jay Silverstein
School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen (Russia)

Professor emeritus Kenneth Weiss
The Pennsylvania State University (USA)