History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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In search of history: crossing a threshold of observability

January 28th, 2009 · No Comments

We can braid together selections from World History And The Eonic Effect to clarify the basic arguments, beyond the divergent extra material.
Our views of history are still based on a narrow set of facts beginning with the sources of our traditions. But the facts have long since exploded that, and produced a picture of the emergence of civilization that still doesn’t register in public narratives. And that expansion of our knowledge has crossed a threshold: we have enough to see that a long-range dynamism is at work, something we couldn’t quite infer before, but which suddenly illuminates the significance of the Axial Age, so-called, for the first time.

1.1.1 In Search Of History

Historical research has greatly expanded our knowledge of world history, and the result is an unexpected discovery: that of a process of universal history in the action of a mysterious dynamic generating a non-random pattern. We call this the eonic effect. Further, the scale of this process is such that we can only call it ‘evolution’. Thus, for the first time we can detect the unmistakable evidence of non-random evolution, and this in world history itself. This leaves us with the question, What is evolution? And this forces another, long overdue, What is the relationship between history and evolution? This could be recast as the paradoxical question, When did evolution stop and history begin?

A moment’s reflection will tell us that no instantaneous passage between the two is plausible and that our terms have been left ragged. We must, by this logic, be able to detect a Transition between evolution and history. Can we find evidence to match this deduction? Indeed, we can, our non-random pattern, the eonic effect. In fact we can say more: if we apply that same logic to our Transition we should expect it to take the form of a series of transitions in an alternation between evolution and history, as if overlayed, the one emerging from the other. The eonic effect shows just this property of transitions in a series. Have we reached the end of the Great Transition? If not, then our evolution still constitutes our present and future. We should ask who man is, with such wisdom as would constitute achievement of the title, homo sapiens.

Our thinking is conditioned by Darwinism, which throws ‘evolution’ into the past, with a tacit set of assumptions about random evolution. The result is an enforced incoherence. This is often matched with a prejudice against any consideration of a science of history in the large, and/or any attempt using the philosophy of history to seek historical meaning. A further critique of the idea of universal history comes from the postmodern rejection of the Grand Narrative .

In this context the status of a science of history is ambiguous, as the philosopher Karl Popper in his critique of historicism insisted, with his rejection of the idea that history has meaning. Yet as the labors of archaeological research proceed a falsification of this perspective emerges. Karl Popper was wrong: history has meaning, and we can discover large-scale coherence in its unfolding. It is hard to break the habit of thinking universal histories have all been discredited. Suddenly we see the existence of a world system, but this requires looking beyond individual civilizations to the whole phenomenon of Civilization since the Neolithic.[i]

As we proceed in search of history we will discover an irony, which is that we will find evolution in history, and then history in evolution, and this will give us an insight into the descent of man. We must move beyond the myth of purely genetic evolution, and the fixation on natural selection. We can recalibrate our definition of ‘evolution’ to include man’s past, present, and future, with a new kind of model that can carefully define the nature of our evolving freedom.

The evolution of man is, and remains, a complete mystery. There is something almost mythological in the projection of Darwinian scenarios of natural selection onto the Paleolithic. Such evidence as we have is mostly that of skeletal remains, highly incomplete, of a series of hominids stretched over millions of years. Dogmatism in such a situation takes on an almost religious character in Darwinists. In the midst of this void of hard information we are to believe that all the complex functions of the human advance are to be ascribed to processes of natural selection and adaptation. Such claims, pressed into service for metaphysical conclusions, are weak in their evidentiary basis. In contradiction to this, flagrantly out in the open, is the evidence of a Great Explosion in the period around 50,000 B.C. As if crossing a threshold homo sapiens suddenly begins to leave traces of all the forms of higher culture that are characteristic of man as we find him in history. The suddenness and depth of this rapid passage, if we can trust the data, call out for explanation beyond the standard and very vague claims of mysterious mutations. This is really a question of what we mean by ‘macroevolution’, as opposed to ‘microevolution’. Is not Darwin’s theory really one of microevolution? The problem is that observing anything that resembles macroevolution demands a very detailed record of evolutionary sequences, and this invokes a crisis of correct observation.

We are ready to take a look at the evidence for non-random evolution in history itself, mindful of the distinctions we think we should or should not make between cultural and biological evolution. There is an irony to our views of evolution. We look to deep time to find the answers to our quest to understand evolution, and yet we have very little data to conclude anything. We then apply that thinking to history, and yet here we have what is really a far more detailed record, seen at close range. We fail to suspect the fallacy here, or that history itself shows the direct evidence of evolution.

And the evidence for the non-random patterning in world history:
Mysterious Drumbeat

Looking backward, world history since the invention of writing reveals the evidence, contradicting Darwinian assumptions, of non-random evolution, an image of nature climbing Mt. Improbable. We assume the flow of world history follows random logic, conditioned as we are by Darwinism . The rapid growth of archaeological knowledge since the nineteenth century has greatly expanded our views of the emergence of civilization and, significantly, crossed a threshold of five thousand years, the bare minimum interval, we are about to see, for grasping the logic of historical evolution. A non-random pattern on this scale shows us something missing in Darwinian thinking and falls into the category of ‘evolution’, ‘evolution of some kind’, with a question, ‘What is the meaning of evolution?’. This pattern can be seen from two perspectives…

And then the attempt to find the meaning of this ‘mysterious drumbeat’:

A Frequency Hypothesis,

but we soon discovery the elusive character of this outer appearance of the eonic sequence, as we stumble on its deeper aspect, beyond observation:

A certain strangeness: beyond space and time?

Tags: selections · World History and The Eonic Effect

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