History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Evolution: a Gaian matrix

April 18th, 2009 · No Comments

Looking at the eonic effect it is hard to credit the one-dimensional random evolution of Darwinism (which is said not to apply to history, but applied implicitly and covertly). The macro aspect of this process (the eonic sequence), stretching over millennia, the overall coordination of the successive steps, and many other clues force us to wonder if the emergence of civilization (and the associated earlier stages of human evolution) are not part of a global, indeed Gaian, matrix. In fact the issues of the biosphere, and ecology, have suffered from being forced into a Darwinian framework, where the regime of natural selection influences economics, and economics taken as a hard science of markets prevents us from seeing that it is we who are imposing ideas on the environment and we who have made what is a destructive ideology seem inevitability because of the false claims of science.
In fact, ecological domains show a global aspect in and off themselves, as wholes. Our one-dimensional crude theories which we mistakenly think intelligent precipitate environmental destruction in the name of biological laws. Witness the Amazon basin destruction. The market process and the Darwinian background thinking set up a situation that is within our powers to terminate, and it would help if we realize that Darwinian and economic theories in their incestuous cohabitation are driving us into an artificially unnatural set of situations.

World History And The Eonic Effect
2.4.1 A Gaian Matrix: The Need For A Global Model
Unexpectedly we have connected the two ideas of evolution and history, seen the problems with laws of history, and we can proceed to develop this relationship in a simple model, which can double as a simple time-line approach. We have stumbled on a truly global process operating beyond the scale of individuals civilizations, and the result is a remarkable realization of a Gaian theme of planetary evolution.
We will call this a discrete-continuous model because we see a discrete series of punctuations or transitions overlaid on a continuous pattern of world history. In our attempt to consider a science of history, using our model, we see how such a science becomes contradictory. We have already wistfully summoned up the idea of a ‘science of freedom’, that has to be our line of attack, at this point. Even such a simple model is quite powerful, and will uncover some hidden properties behind our data.
The data of the eonic effect has an elegant simplicity that matches this type of model, in its stepping progressions: our punctuations become transitions, three centuries in length (a guesstimate), that switch on an off, in the alternation of a system action and then free activity, or what we have called ‘macro-action’ (instead of causality) and ‘micro-action’ (free activity, which may or may not show ‘free will’). As an example, among dozens, of a ‘discrete-continuous’ process (our original example was that of a computer and its user), a thermostat interrupts a continuous time stream with a discrete series of discontinuous actions. Note that thermostats are not supernatural devices because they exhibit ‘discontinuity’. A more subtle example, if we listen to a concert, we hear the continuous music. But if we listen carefully we will detect a discrete tempo (counting numbers are ‘discrete’), or beat. That’s nice, the absolute minimum example, where the dynamic has been replaced with esthetic productions, leaving only tempo as a mechanical process. So with our ‘eonic’ effect, our drumbeat suggests a tempo. This tempo is a clue to some hidden order, quite invisible in the sequence. This order may be unknowable, but it must show its hand if it has any relation to our world at all. Thus we detect its signature. Tempo is the only property left to analysis after everything else disappears into hypercomplexity. Standard theories won’t work because theories are output of the system.

    Aesthetic judgments
    Our model is designed to bring the idea of a possible science into a context where measurement ceases to be an option and ‘taking the measure of the data’ requires ethical or aesthetic judgments.
    Art and evolution Note the way our eonic sequence is studded with episodes of great art. To assess this data as part of our evidence we must be able to ‘judge’ between qualitative aspects of a given piece of art. The data requires ‘aesthetic judgement’, which has no measurable parameters (that we know of).

You can bypass the abstractions of the model and simply follow the general periodization which will spring to life without these abstractions.
The model is designed to never get in the way of the data of history. But, whatever its limits, the model will help clarify the causality problem involved in any attempt at a science of history, and this approach is an order of magnitude superior to the confusions of flat history. However, the question of ‘theory’ creates a problem. The issue is simple. What is a theory? And what is our status as observers of this system? Theories are output of our system and can’t qualify as objective instruments! We need a model that carefully defines ‘theory’, ours at least, in the present, and which preempts the Oedipus effect by switching off after the close of our pattern, so that ‘theory’ applies only to the past, looking backwards. It helps us to deal with a system ‘black box’ about which we know nothing, attempting to assess its traces in history. It also allows us to consider teleology as directionality, without the metaphysical presumptions that would otherwise arise. Teleology is a proposal about the future, Big Trouble. It allows us to separate two levels interleaved: if there is a high correlation of the data with the model, then we probably detect a hidden dynamic. Our model will unexpectedly blunder into the realm of the Kantian philosophy of history with a surprising way to define an ‘evolution of freedom’.
A frequency pattern This model makes explicit a frequency hypothesis based on 2400 year intervals and simply takes our three turning points and turns them into discrete transitions three centuries in length in an eonic sequence overlaid on a stream universal history:

    T1: Transition 1: –3300 to –3000, relative rise of civilization
    T2: Transition 2: –900 to –600, relative ‘Axial’ interval
    T3: Transition 3: 1500 to 1800, relative rise of the modern

We see these transitions as relative transforms packed with eonic emergents.
Note that this third transition switches off in our recent past. And our current action may or may not express the aggregate directionality shown, which is highly complex in any case, comprising multiple parallel streams. Thus the teleology, if any, inferable from the continuation of TP3, may be quite different from that of the overall sequence. We have said that TP3 is a major turning point. We didn’t say that what happened in its wake was, or was not, a bungled continuation. We must define our relationship in the present to this set of observations about the past, and invent, not a postmodern, but ‘post-eonic’, ‘strategy of historical freedom’. Our eonic system is a ‘macroevolution’, but our present behavior must be a ‘microevolution’. Scrambling these two modes is the bane of Darwinism with its nasty Oedipus Paradox.
This seems strange, but will soon make sense. In practice, this model, taken as a timeline using periodization can simply help us to visualize the eonic effect, and map out its structure, as a ‘tracker-approximator’, the same thing physicists use with an intractable system (like the three body problem), and economists with economic cycles (where they can see effects, but not necessarily causes). Economists produce theories about cycles in the past, looking backwards, and their model switches off in the present, and they have ‘free action’ in this present (i.e. the ability to modify the cycles, maybe). Predictions may still be possible, but free action can change any such prediction, at least theoretically. This is a Hopelessly Non-linear Pattern, and the most we can do methodologically speaking is map it out, using a tracker-approximator. Since that tracker is suggested by greater nature itself in the eonic pattern, we are left to wonder if nature is not forced to reset direction on its own sprawl.

Tags: Critique of Evolutionary Economy · Evolution · selections · World History and The Eonic Effect

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