History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The eonic model is too elegant to be wrong!

May 31st, 2011 · 3 Comments

Repost on Luke link….

update: I think that this post on the genesis of the ‘eonic model’ might scare people off: actually, the real problem here is the rigidity of scientific thinking, and the refusal to study anything that isn’t total causal determinism applied to everything. Once you see the reality, as Kant put it, that ‘freedom’ is implied by the data of history, and ethics, the standard causal model collapses, and the approach used in the ‘eonic model’ will seem simple and very useful. And empirically based.
The eonic model is too elegant to be wrong!


Thanks again to Luke for links and discussion of some posts here on the ‘eonic effect’. The issue of freedom and free will are not quite the same.
We speak of causality in history, and the mechanics of history beyond causality. The old eonic model focussed on ‘system action’ and ‘free action’, and ‘free action scripts’, terms causing a problem with many readers up to third edition, the fouth putting them in the background. Strictly speaking the eonic effect/model makes no assumptions ‘free will’, only about ‘relative free action’ in relation to ‘system action’. That ‘free action’ represents choice, a branching of mechanical potential.
Think of an ocean liner and its passengers: the machine and the people are a hybrid system. We see ‘relative free action’ in relation to the system. Now apply that to history: it shows a systematics and relative to that human free action. The distinction is essential to understanding history. Look at the systematics of the Axial Age, and then Israelite history (barely known) and then the ‘free action’ that produced one people’s religious belief system.
In general we can for good Kantian reasons assume the existence of free will as the reality behind ‘free action’, but that the latter refers to ‘choice’, whether or not choice due to free will.
I don’t know why this set of distinctions creates so much trouble. The conditioning of science here has made discusions of free agents in history nearly taboo, what a muddle, something Kant pointed to two centuries ago.
The eonic model should be a five minute job to understand, but the evidence of mental impairment in science jocks is alarming in the extreme.

In general, I would say to Luke that not a single person has ever rightly understood the ‘eonic model’. It is an IQ Test and a half, and everyone flunks (don’t worry about it). I am exempt since I discovered the model, but indirectly over time. I would not have been smart enough to have understood it if I hadn’t discovered it and had to read my own explanations (!), an obscure statement to anyone but the discoverer.

That is why Darwinism appeals no doubt: a dumbed down ideology at the level of adolescent sports competition: Darwinism for dummies indeed.

That’s a pity, because the basics are a kind of Kantion 101 kindergarten based on Kant’s third antinomy, but here even Kant scholars couldn’t deal with it, in part because Kant studies can’t acknowledge in public that Kant couldn’t have been a Darwinist.
So the issues are not hard, not at all, but public understanding is grotesque here, bad science propaganda in action.
Again: consider a car and the driver, simplest case. The car represents a causal system, and the driver a ‘free agent’ (i.e. he has a steering wheel and a plan to go somewhere) inside that system.
That’s not hard. But somehow the issue is too much for people trained in science these days.

Still, it takes time. The eonic model came to me in one afternoon in 1995, but it took me ten years til the second edition of WHEE to grasp it for myself, despite already grasping it! Small wonder noone can understand it. Too bad, because it shows the real key to the evolution of man, and to the ‘evolution of freedom’, a concept requird when discussing man.

To put the issue in perspective: everyone already understands this, for the same reason that the distinction of car and driver is obvious to all, until you try and get theoretical.
And in the study of history we simply assume that man is a free agent who creates that history, not an automaton following the laws of physics. And that free agency is real whatever the status of free will But the contradiction has created total confusion (althugh students of history just slip away by ignoring it).

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