History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Lamarck and the reason we always get evolution wrong

February 6th, 2014 · No Comments


Let me repeat the point here: we have seen three strands of evolution, or four, including the ‘Ken-Hamites’ or biblical literalistss, The Id-ists, and the standard view of evolution: darwinism which fails on natural selection. The design faction fails, although on some issues it suggests a new insight, but fails due to our inability to resolve the one question it makes crucial, design. The compromise, e.g. the Collins/Huffnpuff view is a kind of Frankenstein hybrid of religion and darwinism. This is bad news. Is there any way to get the question straight? Given the way social bodies form opinion, I would say, no, never. But that’s a bit pessimistic perhaps.

Strangely, the first theorist of the subject, Lamarck nearly got it, I suspect, because he wasn’t yet influenced by the demands of conformity to public paradigms. His view was confused by his take on adaptation, the giraffe’s neck, etc, (he may yet be vindicated). But his more general views seem about right, granting that I am refining them slightly: but his instinctive view was ‘right’ in the way it pointed to the obvious: evolution shows a drive toward complexity and a process of adaptation. There are thus two levels to evolution. The confusions of Darwinism arise because the two level view is unacceptable, and a ‘drive toward complexity’ (not Lamarck’s terms exactly) is anathema. So darwinists are forced by science ideology into getting it wrong. This is strange. It springs from the obsession with reductionism. And, it is true, a ‘drive toward complexity’ cannot be easily clarified or empirically completed, despite its toplevel obviousness. Darwinists reject the idea of evolutionary progress, drives, or complexification. They thus get everything wrong. The idea of progress confuses the issue, I admit. But the overall spectacle of evolution is out there in plain sight, and biologists fumble the ball. There are many traps in Lamarck’s type of explanation, but it is very obvious in a way, and within the broad sweep of observation.

Beat yourself on the head, and look at the record of deep time. It goes from no life… To life. To cells, to multicells, to Cambrian multicells become animals, to more animals, and presto, plants, to reptiles, to mammals, to primates, to hominids. There are a lot of ways to get this wrong, but the early thinkers like Lamarck simply stated what they saw as obvious: the record shows complexification. The levels achieved then interact with their environment, adaptation, and that resembles the theory of Darwin. We can see where Darwin goes wrong, instantly, the level of adaptation, or the ‘second’ level is made the whole game, to explain the progression of complexifiying forms. This is a rough observation, not a theory.
The model in WHEE (at history-and-evolution.com) is related to Lamarck’s idea. Does WHEE finally get evolution right? I don’t know. It doesn’t really try. Instead it explores world history. Darwinists say evolution is random. But world history shows a non-random pattern. And that makes us suspicious. Darwinists don’t observe properly. They make things up and simply jump to the conclusion that natural selection is the answer/ The strange pattern in world history throws doubt on Darwin’s false fantasies of random evolution. World history shows a developmental object, civilization(s), whose ‘complexification’ can by definition be called evolution. Does this ‘evolution’ throw any light on earlier evolution? The question is tricky, because the issue is ‘cultures’, or aggregates of organisms, not organisms. But this may be the secret. Darwinism has always had a problem with species. It can’t really explain how one organism in a series of random mutation could lead to a new species. That’s pretty big lacuna in the explanation field. It raises the obscure question almost totally absent in darwinism: how could a mutation survive in a field of organisms? It seems beyond understanding. (In fact there is a possible way here with genes, check out the citation of recessive genes in Descent of Man Revisited, at the end of the Introduction. But in general darwinists seem unaware of the problem, and simply go blank here). But in general the question arises: does evolution really occur via organisms? or with groups/species of organisms? If the latter we are in trouble. That’s a severe complication. We are hard pressed to say how the individual evolution of organisms leads to the transformations of species. But it may be inevitable. The study of history in WHEE pursues this angle by looking at highlevel ‘evolution’ in aggregates, i.e. civilizations from small to big.Lo and behold we actually see examples of this. But we can’t be sure this is how earlier evolution occurs. It is hard to see any genetic evolution built into the evolution of civilizations. But this may be misleading. It may be right under our noses. And we suspect all of a sudden that the evolution of man into homo sapiens, or for that matter, chimps to erecti, is a combined evolution of individuals and groups-to-species. And here we reconnect with Lamarck: it would seem that the high level ‘evolution’ of species or groups is related to Lamarck’s complexification. While the individual and his adaptation to environments might constitute the lower level. We don’t have to conclude anything here about Lamarck. Our new view roughly conforms to Lamarcks basic format. All well and good.

The top level evolution of groups of organisms, as in the evolution of civilization seen in WHEE, is a HARD question, it is no wonder biologists flounder forever in an oversimplification.It is hard in the way the step from algebra to calculus is hard. And it involves some strange new techniques, like differentials and integrals. The next step in evolution is very difficult, and hard to observe. But history may give us a hint. I would not confuse the issue with calculus here, save to note that the problem we have posed shows some hints of the ideas of calculus (but let’s not confuse the issue with calculus): we can see from the ‘lost mutation’ problem getting lost in the sprawl of a species over a terrain that evolution would have to integrate a differential group of organisms over a region. That’s such a nonsensical idea that we might fail to note that history shows just that. Look at the Axial Age: transformation occurs over differential regions which are large enough to survive and conserve innovations, and able then to change larger wholes, or civilizations. Look at the Axial Age: in Israel and Archaic Greece, a differential region, the Greek complex, and the ‘Israel/Judah’ complex undergo transformations and then induce their innovations into a larger environment. This trick is played over and over again the ‘evolution’ of civilizations, which strictly speaking don’t evolve, rather absorb diffusionist influences and innovations from a source and then integrate them over larger and larger regions. Look at the Hellenistic in the wake of the Greek Axial. Or the diffusionist spread (and secondary transformation, i.e. religion-creation) of the Israel/Judah phenomenon which created a stupendous diffusionist spread and civilization creation or integration. The historical study here is important because it shows us the stunning fact that integrated transformations over a region, top down, and not just genetics, bottom up, is a real process in nature, and right under our noses in visible history. Reflect on that: integrated transformations over a region occur in nature. (Despite the obvious resemblance, a bit distant, we should forget calculus, it will only confuse us). And the question of Israel is also too confusing. Reflect on the Axial Age in Greece. A differential region, i.e. the core Greek region, undergoes a transformation over a region in a timed interval, and then this advance diffuses into adjacent regions, regenerating a new civilization.
This is tantalizing, but it doesn’t directly solve the evolution question for species, yet. We simply don’t have the data. But there are some very good hints, at least. Note the way a small group of a new level of hominids exits Africa in the great diaspora (in two of them, apparently, erectus, and sapiens). We see a clear differential group element of some kind (some of the claims for the number involved are incredibly small, a few hundred) splitting from a larger whole. This differential group clearly shows genomic reduction compared with the larger African populations (no known to have very large and complex genomes). We can suspect, looking at the Axial Age style example, however remote as analogs, that the emergence of advancing hominids might occur in differential subgroups who undergo transformation in isolation and then diffuse into larger populations, with effects large enough to not be swamped. The problem here is that this isn’t random evolution. This would have to be directed macro induction, or some kind of the ‘macroevolution’ of the type we see in world history. It can’t happen in random bursts. The is will cause fainting spells in the Darwinists. Look at the transformations of man and culture in ten thousand years since the early Neolithic in the Fertile Crescent and Levant from 8000 BCE. In that short interval we see an almost incredible sequence of differential transformation zones (but a bit fuzzy in the earliest eras) that lead from the Paleolithic to Man in Space. Ten thousand years, in seven or eight transformation cycles does the whole job in historical time. WHEE shows one half of such a sequence in world history. It is not wild speculation.
It suddenly becomes believable that a ten thousand year sequence (or twice that, or times 3x, etc…?) of macro intervals on differential hominid groups could drive the reblending differential groups across a new level. This kind of explanation is completely rejected by Darwinists. But a theory of human evolution they do not have. This invites design arguments. But we haven’t used one. Not at all. We have suggested the phenomenological substrate of we know not what using a directional intermittent sequence of differential populations get ‘evolved’ by a larger unknown process. This is the same process of ‘complexification’ all over again, for the umpteenth time, and we have no idea what it is. But, as Lamarck sense, it is the higher level of ‘evolution’, probably in all its forms.
This gives us a clear reason to suspect the real format of evolution. We must inject the warning that the two level version in history is slightly different. but the two level model seems universal, but gets tricky.

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