The Darwinian research program has been very successful over almost 150 years. But two of its core presumptions militate against pursuit of ‘the exploration of the evolution and fundamental nature of life, especially as they relate to meaning and purpose’. These Darwinian presumptions are: the centrality of competition, and the need to avoid teleological explanations.

This research project aims to show that cooperation (rather than mere competition) and interpretation (which is inherently purposeful) may together have been intrinsic to the emergence of life.