Jean Chaline, Laurent Nottale, Pierre Grou: « If you put on one line the main events of the history of evolution, you can see a law which shows you the internal logic of evolution. From this law, the next important change concerning human beings will be in 0.8 million years. »
Well, when I put on a line the main events of the history of evolution all I can see is statistics. You may try, you must try, to describe the facts using a mathematical equation (quite logical approach for a lot of people), because it could allow to calculate the probability of new events by extrapolation. But that’s a quite tricky exercice, meteorologists know well about that. And surely you don’t know what the event will be, you can speculate about it, you just don’t know. And I wouldn’t be here in 0.8 million years to check about the exactitude of the speculations which would help to adjust the model; you don’t even know if Homo sapiens will survive over that period! And I’m not imagining disasters as meteorites hitting Earth and dramatically changing the environment. Or an alien civilization colonizing Earth and eating those bipedal yummy snacks ’till there isn’t a single one left 😦 . Nothing spectacular, say (and this is a possible scenario), an HIV-like pathogen (as efficient to certainly and slowly kill), spreading like flu (allowing pandemics) with an animal reservoir (for it to survive while it sweeps us).
Certainly, I think that speculative evaluation of probabilities doesn’t account for predictability of evolution.
There is more to come…
French speaking/reading people may want to read Bernard Dugue‘s reaction to the same paper: Darwinien ou non-darwinien ? Réactions à un article de Jean Staune.