2.a) The definition of evolution

If we ask ourselves, “what is evolution?” a good idea would be to consult a dictionary. The General Dictionary of the Spanish Language gives us the following definitions for the term “evolution”:

  1. The action of things developing or transforming by gradually passing from one state to another: the ~ of species; the ~ of a theory, of a policy
  2. The effect of things developing or transforming by gradually passing from one state to another
  3. p. ext. Movement, change or transformation, in general: the evolution of a dance
  4. Movement, change of troop or ship formation for defense or offense purposes
  5. Fig. - Change of conduct, purpose or attitude
  6. BIOL. - Derivation of the species from living organisms, from others already in existence, through a process more or less gradual and continuous
  7. PHILOS. The hypothesis that attempts to explain all phenomena by successive transformations of a solitary original entity

While making critical commentary on these definitions of evolution, we can observe various aspects.

The first characterization of things developing and transforming themselves from one state to another is the gradual pace; if it were fast or accelerated, we would enter the concept of revolution.

The second observation is that the concept of evolution has two primary meanings, one being point 1) "The action of things developing or transforming by passing gradually from one state to another"; and of point 2) "effect of... ". The first refers to the internal dynamics of things that makes them develop or transform, in short, their development. The second relates to its external appearance that is nothing else but the effect or result of internal evolution and its external perception.

Sphinx of Egypt (2620 BC) Museum of the Louvre
Sphinx of Egypt 2620 BC

Together with the two primary or general meanings, internal and external evolution, we find other specific purposes. In point 6), there is an especial mention of biological evolution. This definition does not add anything special except that, because of the usual dynamics of the evolution of the species, it is verifying the long-term concept for the field above. It is explicitly giving us the idea derived from the Darwinian Theory and its subsequent adaptations; that is, a specific type of concept of evolution referred in point 2).

In the assumption of understanding the point above 2) as an internal effect, the definition of evolution in point 6) would mean an external effect.

On its behalf, point 7) defines the philosophical base on which rests the mentioned theory and origin of life.

In conclusion, the concept of evolution in biology is different from the above two central ideas of development.  In standard biology, it refers to the external perception of the changes or transformations and limits itself to a long-term process.

For the General Theory of the Conditional Evolution of Life –GTCEL–, the concept of evolution corresponds to the meanings of short-term and long-term internal dynamics in which, evolution being long-term, the addition of changes is no longer in the near-term but instead in each generation.

Next, we are going to explain the consequences of one focus or another of evolution.