History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Studying history: academic courses in world history, and the eonic effect

November 17th, 2008 · No Comments

Below is an email to the H-World email group. The many discussions of how to teach world history (if one teaches it at all) betray the induced inchorence of Darwinian, anti-teleological, reductionist (and, johnny come lately, postmodernist) demands on historiography. The result is a series of misunderstandings of modernity, endless confusion over Eurocentrism and its liabilities, revisionist views of Western Civilization, allergy to the idea of the ‘West’, and in general a view of history that doesn’t amount to more than the diverse histories of the local that make it up.

World History And The Eonic Effect to the rescue!!!
The eonic effect gives us the clue to world history using a very simple and intuitive method. The book seems at first an indiluted version of historical theory, but this is to prevent ‘easy metanarrative’ formation by rhetorical expansion on false teleological or ideological interpretations.
But in fact this approach is built around a virtual table of contents for a simplified and highly conherent world history from the Neolithic to the present. The formulation automatically subsumes a new view of evolution, the relationship of evolution to history, a treatment of the ‘fundamental unit of analysis’ (the civilization in Toynbee’s phrase) that is entirely novel, an interpretation of the Axial mystery, and a total clarification of the confusion of medievalism and modernity. In addition, from a secular viewpoint a new and productive approach emerges to treat the evolution of religion, even as the stance of critique is brought to bear on the confusions of religious history. The climax and tour de force is the ‘discrete freedom sequence’ and the study of emergent democracy in world history and the discovery of the hidden stream of the evolution of freedom.
Almost perfect for a one year course in world history, with backup from associated materials from the various sectors outlined in the dynamic model, a model that can throttle back from theory into periodization and chronicle.

We have lived so long with the Darwinian butchery of history that it seems normal. But it is quite abnormal, abnormally so!

World History or Western Civ? ( was Preparing Sec Ed Teachers to Teach World History)
Following these debates over world history one gets a sense of the incoherence, I won’t say the lack of a ‘metanarrative’, of the whole subject. The factor of Eurocentrism tends to deflect attention from the unifying factor of modernity, and the enigma of its emergence. Behind that lies the confusing influence of Darwinian evolutionism which claims all accounts of origins, precipitating a collapse of universal histories.
Attempts to find coherence in world history can be found in a work such a Maps of Time, by D. Christian, an attempt to look at Big History in the sense of proceeding from the Big Bang. But this work suffers from the assumptions of Darwinism, which precipitate instant analytical failure. And not use is made of the remarkable phenomenon, and hint, of the so-called Axial Age, the clue to the behind the scenes dynamic in world history.
But there is another approach to ‘Big History’, which might be called ‘Deep History’ or ‘macro’ history (as with macroevolution), which is to look at world history in light of the discovery of demonstrable dynamical patterning (the eonic effect, http://eonic-effect.net ). This allows one to elucidate the connection between ‘evolution’ (possibly non-Darwinian) and ‘history’, detect a relationship between a macro history in a mainline reciprocal to the great diversity of micro histories. This allows one to resolve the issue of Eurocentrism by seeing that the issue of historical evolution is a distraction: the question of modernity is not about Europe finally, and the idea of the ‘West’ is a red herring. We can deal, not with ‘civilizations’, but with dynamical subsets or timeslice transformations of cultures/civilizations. In general a dose of theory, a postdarwinian mindset, and balanced macro/micro view is what is needed to balance the study of world history from its current incoherence which is intractable in the context of current paradigms.
This approach, brought from relative degree of abstraction, would provide a highly practical approach to historical study, and a splendid outline of world history, realizable as a specific history in all sorts of combinations able to do justice to the reciprocity of directionality and diversity.
The current paradigm is one of deep paralysis, so one cannot as yet foresee this kind of approach being tried. But the current Darwin paradigm is rapidly foundering (try a Google search for ‘Altenberg 16’), so the time is fast approaching when a new perspective on world history will be needed. There the resolution of the history/evolution paradox in the so-called ‘eonic effect’ can come into its own, and provide a new way to bypass the ‘metanarrative’ with a genuine ‘meta’ of some kind, a universal history of human development in civilization.

Tags: Evolution · History · Third Edition · World History and The Eonic Effect

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