Simon Conway Morris is quoted twice and heavily reported and interpreted. I wondered if Jean Staune discussed those issues with Conway Morris himself, or if this is his own interpretations; I suspect the latter is true.
This entry is a little bit more complexe then the other « citations commented ». We are here at a central point where Jean Staune will cross the barrier between darwinists and non-darwinists. And this is done with a quite tricky way.
“ Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe ” (14). This book analyses the numerous phenomena of “ convergence ”. By this, he means to say, the way in which evolution can attain goals almost identical  to each other by different paths. For the Classical Darwinians
“ It is very unlikely that the occupants of one planet will look remotely like those of another planet ”. The phenomenon of evolutionary convergence indicates that, to the contrary, the number of alternatives in strictly limited. […] If this is a correct thesis, it suggests that an exploration of how evolution “ navigates ” to particular functional solutions may provide the basis for a more general theory of biology. In essence this approach points to the existence of something analogous to “ attractor ” by which evolutionary trajectories are channeled towards stable modes of functionality ” (14 p. 309).
It is remarkable to find in a book of one of the greatest living Paleontologists this notion of “ attractor ” used for several years now by Anne Dambricourt, and the fact that we need a more general theory of biology to explain evolution exactly like in my story concerning Pluto and meteorology!
These conceptions bring us to this:
“ Mammals and apes, (or any biological entity) have of course, arisen by many specific historical trajectories, but in these (and many others) instances, the various convergences of mammals and apes that are documented indicate that although any history is necessarily unique, the resulting complex forms are not simply the contingent upshot of a local and effectively random process. On any suitable planet there will, I suggest, be animals very like mammals and mammals much like apes. Not identical, but similar, perhaps surprisingly similar  “ (14 p. 308)
It is certainly one of the most provocative propositions for Classical Darwinism. But Conway Morris would add to this an even more provocative idea. On all the planets that are “ suitable for life ” evolution will deliver a species very similar to us; but the Earth is the only planet in the Universe which is suitable for life!
Because, being suitable for life imposes all sorts of constraints on a planet. Astrophysicists have discovered recently that among them, having a moon large enough to stabilize the orbit of the Earth, being protected from comets by one giant planet such as Jupiter, being situated in the perfect distance to the Sun for liquid water, having an active tectonics in a necessity. Because all these elements give so many constraints, Conway Morris thinks that Earth is the only habitable planet in the universe meanwhile, (what irony!) on all habitable planets, life is ready to reveals itself, develop and originate species with intelligence and consciousness like us!
It is a thesis with great originality, however, it is especially the first part of this theory that we must retain: the existence of convergences in evolution here on the Earth is sufficient to argue that if Life develops on other planets, it will, more or less, achieve the same result and the appearance of a species with consciousness, capable of posing existential questions. We do not have the need to receive via the SETI project a picture from another planet in order to have the same sort of evidence. The necessity of an “ attractor ” of one sort or another is also an essential element of Conway Morris’s theory which confirms the work or intuitions of Dambricourt, Chauvin, Fondi or Schutzenberger (see below for the last three).
Conway Morris doesn’t support the thesis that evolution act the same way in different parts of the universe, he think that there was, and will be, a single occurrence of life in the universe, planet Earth, Sol system, Milky Way. So, whatever evolutionary convergence is discussed is based on similar environmental conditions and one strict darwinist would expect in this case that similar environments will select similar solutions thus providing similar results. As a child I was surprised by the similarities between sharks and dauphins. And considered both sharks and dauphins as fiches. Neither is a fish, both have different species, and they are quite different. The similarities are the product of two independent selection histories leading to species adapted to their medium, water. Form convergence for the fittest to swim individuals is explained by hydrodynamics, and alimentation modes (both are hunters). Similar in form but just have a look at their genomes! OK, I’m going to far, molecularist’s reflex. Let’s keep it macro: their skeletons, cartilage vs bones, the way they gather oxygen or the reproduction modes. Quite dissimilar despite the fact that this is a well know evolutionary convergence.
This is the second occurrence where Jean Staune make the confusion between « goals almost identical »  and « Not identical, but similar, perhaps surprisingly similar » , the points of view of a teleologist and a darwinian respectively.
Conway Morris (hypo)thesis is then spliced and interpreted: « …however, it is especially the first part of this theory that we must retain: the existence of convergences in evolution here on the Earth is sufficient to argue that if Life develops on other planets, it will, more or less, achieve the same result and the appearance of a species with consciousness, capable of posing existential questions. »
Why should we retain just the first part?
Why, if the conditions in other planets are different, evolution will achieve the same results?
Why should there be a species capable of posing existential questions?
The only answer I see here is to support Jean Staune’s narrativum.
There is another element that is used in a strong way, « attractors », not attractors, « attractors ». By attractor you know what you mean, by « attractor » or something analogous to “ attractor ”, as presented by Conway Morris you don’t, and Jean Staune’s expression “ attractor ” of one sort or another is much less explicite. It use it to make a connection between Conway Morris’s theory unconfirmed thesis asserting that it confirms the work or intuitions of Dambricourt, Chauvin, Fondi or Schutzenberger.
This is not bad science, nor bad literature, this is rhetorics, and quite similar to a sophism I say.
If there is a guy, knowing a guy,…, knowing a guy with can introduce me at Conway Morris I would like to have his opinion on Jean Staune’s interpretation of his book.