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Dysteleology is the philosophical view that existence has no telos - no final cause from purposeful design. Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) invented and popularized the word "dysteleology" (German: Dysteleologie). Dysteleology is an aggressive, yet optimistic, form of science-oriented atheism originally perhaps[original research?] associated with Haeckel and his followers, but now perhaps more associated[by whom?] with the type of atheism of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, or Christopher Hitchens. Transcending traditional philosophical and religious perspectives, such as German idealism (including the philosophies of Hegel and Schelling) and contemporary New Age thinking, modern philosophical naturalism sees existence as having no inherent goal.
Romanes, George J. (1874-03-12). "Natural Selection and Dysteleology". Nature. 9 (228): 361–2. doi:10.1038/009361a0.
'Prof. Haeckel has invented a new and convenient name, "Dysteleology," for the study of the "purposelessnesses" which are observable in living organisms—such as the multitudinous cases of rudimentary and apparently useless structures.'
- "dysteleology". Oxford English Dictionary (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. 1933.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Dysteleology". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 787.
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