History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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‘We have discovered Huxley ’s evolution #2’

January 30th, 2009 · No Comments

Freedom Evolves! Huxley’s Evolution #2

We have discovered Huxley ’s evolution #2, and we are in the strange position of trying to disprove Darwin in practice, the effect Huxley noted. And we should begin to share Huxley’s sense of alarm, for we see that the self-interaction of selectionist theory, as a belief system, with history is producing wrong results. We end up needing to oppose the theory in practice (hopefully!), a built-in falsification, a jamming process so to speak. The whole scenario is cockeyed.

In fact, we have produced an empirical counterexample to the claim that freedom in any sense evolves through an adaptionist scenario.

Freedom evolves The evidence of the discrete freedom sequence, and, indeed, the whole pattern of eonic data, clearly demonstrates that something larger is involved in anything we might call the ‘evolution of freedom’. In the process we detect something remarkable: a macro component to this ‘freedom evolution’.

The factor of macro-action in the emergence of freedom is discovered unexpectedly, and generates a paradox of the Kantian type. And that a cautionary tale as we proceed to examine the ‘realizations of freedom’, the factor of micro-action. Our data gives us two such moments, both at the point of the divide in successive transitions: post-Solonic Greece, and the emergent democratic streams at the divide following the French and American Revolutions.

Huxley’s Evolution # 2 Problems arise with Darwin’s theory and we have seen some crucial ones, among a host of others:

1. Selectionist theory claims that agency or even ‘free will’ in some sense arises in an adaptive scenario. Yet we can see from the eonic data that there is a macro component to the question of freedom. In general, we must demand to see empirical data demonstrating the evolutionary process in action, on the scale of our hurricane argument.

2. Darwinists often speak of the ‘gene for religion’, and would have to claim that religion arises as an adaptive formation. Yet we can see in historical times the way in which religions arise. There is an explicit process of ‘distributed evolution’ that proceeds beyond local adaptation toward a global result.

3. Sociobiologists seem to claim that ‘human nature’ is a given from the selectionist evolution of the Paleolithic. But this is pure speculation, and we see in history something far more complex. We can barely define human nature at all, and can see that historical evolution might be changing that human nature as it goes along.

4. Natural selection is most certainly not the driving force of world history. Survivors often need special help in the eonic sequence, and the ‘survival of the fittest’ produces huge obstracles to a genuine advance, which often does an end run around the ‘survivors’.

There are endless other problems arising with this runaway usage of selectionist thinking. Adaptation is not the issue. It is time to be finished with Darwinian fantasies. Survival of the fittest, and competition, and economic action, are not the laws of macroevolution. All of the advances we see come from high performance intervals of seminal innovation. And these appear in a developmental sequence.

One problem is that we are so used to a different concept of evolution that it is hard to change our semantic and verbal habits. And yet we should persist in our usage, leaving open the option of a completely revised terminology. The reason is that Darwinists, after denying that their theory applies to history, cleverly or unconsciously apply it anyway, and in any case the work of sociobiologists now wishes to Darwinize history.

But we can already sense the disastrous consequences of Darwinian thinking It puts a premium on social conflict, competition, and misleads those who are confronted with the ethical potential in all situations.

Thus the problem is the exact connection to man in the Paleolithic. In general, there are several possibilities. Our eonic sequence is continuous all the way back, and involves all stages of man’s evolution. Or else it is itself discontinuous and switches on at crucial stages in man’s evolution (how would it do that?). We can take the matter no further without more evidence. By showing that more data is required, we must at once caution Darwinists against the abuse of their theory based on theoretical hallucination, and the dangers of theoretical tragedy.

But one thing we can say is that the visible eonic effect gives us a snapshot of ‘evolution of some kind’ and that we see this in history. There is no other possibility, granted our way of defining the sliding scale (evolution to history). The process we see has its finger in too many pies for any other type of evolutionary explanation to work. We can only fit one elephant in a room this size.

We would do well to forget Darwin applied to history, given this broader perspective, since the issue of ethical action is retabled with great vigor and takes the immediate form of the question of qualitative action. Not the winner take all of survival of the fittest, but the high performance levels required to advance the system, is the key. We must take the gifts of nature and render them at the level of the highest motive, lest we degrade our chances in the spectacle of hallucinatory evolutions. We may not easily state the canon of this ethic, but it makes no difference to the fact that this is a system of generated potential, and it requires more than mechanized principles of predator/prey nonsense. The great irony is that the great religions were the fittest survivors, and our eonic system must leapfrog the Eurasian inertia to reseed political freedoms, and indeed a renewal of science, which did not survive the Darwinian thinning out of Axial antiquity.

We have an ingrained tendency to blame history for our own faults. We can see that the eonic sequence is operating on a minimum principle and is always benign, while the realizations in its wake rapidly turn into something else. If, for example, democracy is an eonic emergent, then anything less loses it status by comparison. As our emergent source areas proceed toward a new liberal civilization they also tend to imperialism in their exteriors, spoiling the outcome, one not benefited at all by wrong-headed theories of the Darwinists.

It never occurs to anyone that ‘nature red in tooth and claw’, as a depiction of nature, can be as anthropomorphic as anything from religion. Even a cursory glance at the eonic sequence shows an organized and benign process that is waiting on man to respond with something more than the usual carnivorous logic. It creates a potential for political freedom, for example, but man takes millennia to respond, and even then the realization is inadequate. Best to be forgetting Darwin at this point. It seems to be man that is ‘red in tooth and claw’, projecting his nature onto the universe.

Here’s the original post and book selection discussing ‘Huxley and evolution #2’:

Here’s a selection from World History And The Eonic Effect that I didn’t put online: on Huxley’s belated realization that something was wrong with Darwin’s theory.
He stumbled on the basic gap in Darwinism: it doesn’t really answer the question as to how many evolved. We can see that something else is required to explain the man that we see, the photo finish argument that arises to cast doubt on Darwinian claims about the descent of man.

Huxley and Social Darwinism

It wasT. H. Huxley himself who spotted the flaw in the theory of natural selection in his work, Evolution and Ethics, and in the process unwittingly exposed a paradox in the theory he had so long defended. His perception was that there must be something else beside the ‘law of evolution’, survival of the fittest, at work, for man was condemned to oppose its effects in practice, on ethical grounds. Whence, if we accept this dualism, comes this evolution # 2? Here the data of the eonic effect shows us at once two levels of evolutionary action.
Here the effects of Darwin’s theory here were ideological, and misleading, if not disastrous. It is not adequate to point out that Darwin was himself at pains to distance himself from the misinterpretation of his own theory, in the confusion with the views of such thinkers as Herbert Spencer who is blamed for everything. Like software with a glitch, the consequences were immediate. This refers to the controversies of so-called Social Darwinism in this ambiguity of ‘evolutions’. Here ‘theory’ confronts its own effect of the theory itself on history, after it enters this history. For the first unconscious suggestion, in this case, is that unlimited social competition in the immediate present will improve genetic structure in the far future, a gross misunderstanding of a theory taken to be true at all times.
This ‘survival of the fittest’ aspect is, in any case, demonstrably false of man’s social experience, as the mechanism of cultural evolution. Thus extreme competition is met by the response of social law in the evolution of civilization, if not economy. And the place of Adam Smith here is entirely complex and misleading, this philosopher being a de facto source of a new ethics, even as his work is polarized between an economic and moral dimension. Survival of the fittest business firm is simply another process, as is the tonic of Olympiad sports competition. The issue of evolutionary causality in the study of the evolution of civilization has been so confused by assumptions of material causative motive, as in the imputation of economic determinism, that the real evolution of social cooperation seems to have been forgotten. In general, theories of evolution must themselves interact with the near future of all free action, in a confusion of external observer, and temporal participant, ‘acting out theory’. Amoebas had never read Darwin, but after the publication of his book cultural evolution underwent clear changes. We see the danger of factoring the fact-value distinction out of the statement of evolutionary ‘laws’. The record of civilization shows something very different and reveals clear evidence of centuries of ‘idle time’, dark Assyrian centuries, between interrupts as the ‘winners’ of social competition gain control.
These issues invoke the field of original meanings of the term ‘evolutionism’ as they were born from ideas of progress and passed into the radicalism of the period of revolutionary modernism and thence into the conservatizing theme of social competition, and survival of the fittest, in the rise of a new form of economy. We are left suspicious the radical ‘shoulds’ of social justice passed into the ‘musts’ of ‘scientific’ counsel as determinism in a reversed conservative vein, although the later socialists of the nineteenth century, by and large, were adherents to the Darwinian theory. Darwin’s theory was hopelessly compromised by ideology and economic thinking. It is the issue of the inability of Darwin’s theory to set the boundary between history and evolution.
The rise of technological civilization has created a new confusion, theories applied to self-realization. But we can see their limitations, especially in the realm of ethics. And none of them explain the emergence of an ethical agent. In the final analysis, theories of evolution must invoke, not this or that principle of ethical behavior, but the full potential of all of them.

Tags: selections · World History and The Eonic Effect

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