History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Bennett on (human) evolution

April 4th, 2010 · No Comments

TAG for Bennett’s The Dramatic Universe selections scanned for The Gurdjieff Con

Although I won’t allow the material on this blog due to its slightly outrageous New Age evolutionism character, I nevertheless think it is worth reviewing J. G. Bennett’s postdarwinian construct, now more than a generation old, and based on a cogent critique of Darwinism and an outlandish, but interesting, exploration of a new view of evolution.
Bennett could be accused of promoting a not-very-good design argument, but with a significant twist: his designer is not a divinity, but a ‘demiurgic power’, a concept totally absent in current secular thought, but one that will give you a run for your money if you are either a conventional designist or conventional atheist.

Whatever the case, Bennett’s thinking contains the seeds of an important critique of current evolutionism: he actually tackles the impossible question of the evolution of consciousness, and the result is a strange kind of philosophic science fiction, and a reminder that current science can’t even explain consciousness (most scientists waffle at the mere mention of Buddhism) let alone explain its evolution.
Bennett would have denied it, but he was a closet atheist, a remarkable state of mind for someone who proposes such an extravagant system of spiritual worlds.
To be more exact, as a student of Samkhya he can point to the unknown ‘one’ beyond the three gunas in their primordial sourcing. That is, something unknowable, unfathomable, and never known.
Bennett disguises his (probable) non-theism (if not actually conventional atheism) behind a tricky redefinition of ‘god’ as the third reconciling force in all triads of the samkhya cascade. Ok, but that is not a being or a divinity, but a mathematical abstraction. That’s a sly way of deflecting the attention of theists.
And yet Bennett is an avowed designist, and sees the action of demiurgic powers at work in the unfolding of evolution.
Your move. I don’t advocate beliefs here! But is it interesting to follow one of the classic New Age constructions of a generation ago complete with General Relativity frameworks, by one of the smartest men of the twentieth century, who went off the deep end in a way that challenges any ‘Darwin dummy’ view of reductionist evoutionism.

Tags: Evolution · New Age

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