The process of evolution is by default thought of as driven towards the multiplication, preservation, amplification, and ordering of life. When the opposite negative aspects are evoked (such as entropy, death of organisms, extinction of species, large-scale mutations, natural disasters), they are considered secondary in relation to positive processes aimed at life. Despite Marx’s assumption that Darwin had dealt a death blow to teleological explanations,
evolutionary thinking still remains largely under the spell of teleology. The attribution of the dialectical primacy to positive processes is one of the remnants of theological systems of comprehension, which implies meaning, purpose (for instance, survival and betterment of species), and harmony to evolution. In my lecture I present a reverse perspective that considers negative processes as crucial, relying on Darwin’s own doubts about progress in evolution, Gould’s theory of entropic evolution, and the current knowledge of genomics, microbiology, and stochastic processes that does not support teleological Darwinistic approach.
The late Freud thought of the death drive as a central force in human existence. However, psychoanalysis in general tends to separate humans from nature, associating the latter with the life drive. Yet, if one considers nature as driven by the death drive, one would have to acknowledge that the human death drive is even more ‘natural’ than their life drive.