This is actually the issue I would most like to explore. Can evolution theory really apply to everthing in the universe, both living and not living?Evolutionary theory need not apply just to life.
That which can reproduce itself in the next moment will exist in the next moment; a monkey is simply a higher-order reproducing pattern than a rock (that is to say, the monkey pattern is sustained by a great deal more variability).
If a rat is adapted to life in the sewer, is a rat decomposed into carbon, hydrogen and the other elements also to be considered an adaptation to the sewer? Is the sewer (as another 'living entity) an adaptation to the chemicals of the rat, or indeed of the 'living' rat itself?
I think if we pursue this line of reasoning any further we shall see that the whole notion of adaptation soon loses any explanatory power. If everything is Life then there is no such concept as maladaptation, for the dead rat is as well adapted as the living rat. If there is no maladaptation then there is no adaptation and the notion of an organism evolved to suit its surroundings becomes a nonsense.
So, we can see that Darwinism as presently understood needs vitalism to lend it coherence. Yet the vitalistic 'spark of life' is nothing more than a fable that exists in our own heads.
It would seem that the only thing that can be said is that the patterns of life are in a ceaseless process of change. But within this scheme of change, nothing lives and nothing dies, and certainly nothing adapts.
Can this really be the case? Is Darwinism, the grand narrative of our time, just another myth? Really, I think it is.
A few months ago, I joined others in the attempt to offer a critique of Darwinism that was not based on religion. You can follow the conversation here:
As you see, we were not able to come up with such a philosophical critique and the conversation soon descended into an empirical evaluation of the theory.
The new critique outlined on this thread, is, I would say, a truly philosophical critique. I think there are many people on this thread who view evolution as a kind of truism, and forget that it too is amenable to criticism. It is particularly important to remember this when evolution theory gets taken as axiomatic and used as a basis for devising epistemological theory, ethics and societies (all of which have been attempted on this forum).