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   World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, and Theories of Evolution

At a time when theories of evolution are under renewed controversy, discussion is hampered by the remoteness of the phenomenon of evolution, and the use of indirect inference to speculate about deep time. Adherents of Darwinism often defend dogmatic versions of the theory that have been questioned since the first reviewers of Origin of Species. 

Now Darwinism is under siege from the Intelligent Design movement, threatening the school system. The attempt to hijack the debate using long discredited arguments by design tends to make Darwinists close ranks around their flawed science. The debate is deadlocked by the rigidity of both parties, evidence of fixed agendas, and metaphysical presumptions. A new approach is needed. The study of history itself holds the clue if we can find it.

We live in the first generations with enough historical data to detect a pattern of Universal History. The discovery of this pattern, the Eonic Effect, uncovers the evidence for a deep structure resembling punctuated equilibrium in world history itself. The study of history and evolution together shows us something we had missed and allows us to infer the existence of non-random evolution in the emergence of man. Darwinian theory suffers from low evidence density. The Eonic Effect is the only data we have at high evidence density of evolution as a process in real time, and this transforms our views completely.

Combining the methods of complex systems and the philosophy of history, we can create a novel type of historical model, using nothing more than periodization to clock a macroevolutionary dynamic of transitions, in the process throwing new light on the descent of man, and the limits of current evolutionary theories such as the Darwinian theory of natural selection.

This elegant and simple model operating on two levels can help to sort out the frequent confusion of biological and cultural evolution, along with the contradictions of historicism and historical inevitability. This account of the ‘evolution of freedom’ without metaphysics gives us the key to the evolution of consciousness. We see the real evolution of man as the Great Transition, the human passage from evolution to history, in the chronicle of the once and future Origin of the Species, Man.   The Book


Online Resources 
 
The eonic effect is a discovery arrived at with nothing more than careful periodization and a special type of systems model. The result is spectacular, but subtle. This discovery can also help us to see the limits of Darwinian theory, and resolve the confusion over history and evolution. We are so conditioned to ideas of random evolution and flat history that the sudden perception of a non-random pattern in our own back yard comes as a surprise, but the evidence speaks powerfully for itself. The result is to find a deep coherence to the emergence of civilization, and throws light on the confusions of the science of history, in the process giving us a clue to the evolution of man. We must revise our thinking on the issues of historical directionality, teleology and evolutionary progress. 

Toward A Secular Postdarwinism

Once we have laid the foundations of our eonic model we have a set of powerful tools to examine and study both world history and contemporary culture in a new way. The full text of World History and the Eonic Effect explores a host of issues beyond this introduction, from Greek Tragedy to the evolution of religion, the emergence of freedom and the nature of modernity, the confusion of modern and postmodern ideologies, and much else. 

 The Fallacy of Random Evolution

Darwin's theory is really about random evolution. There has always been an  implausibility about the potential of randomness to generate complexity. Nothing ever changes in the Darwin debate, and the claims for random evolution have never been properly documented. Looking at history we see something else. If we can detect non-random evolution in any form, that is a powerful challenge to Darwinian thinking. Falsifying random evolution

A New Model of History

Detecting the macro-structure of world history requires careful detective work. Current theories of evolution throw us off the scent. Real evolution is almost visible to the naked eye but requires that we look at history in a new way to see what it is showing us. A new way to model history is needed to elicit the deep structure of historical dynamics. The result allows us to deal with questions of ideology and theory, directionality and teleology, and the evolution of consciousness.  Notes Toward An Eonic Model

The Enigma of the Axial Age

One of the most significant discoveries of the revolution of modern historical knowledge has been that of the Axial Age. This data, an aspect of the eonic effect, is the smoking gun for non-random evolution. Is evolution a global process able to produce synchronous effects over large regions? As we close in our the eonic effect we discover the evidence of both a sequential and a parallel dynamic. This evolutionary  parallelism demonstrates clearly the existence of a global evolution  and in the process illuminates the confusions of the so-called Axial Age as described by the philosopher Karl Jaspers.  Some essays on the Axial Age

Kant's Challenge
Is there a pattern of universal history
? What is the relation of evolution and  history?

The challenge to find the resolution of historical evolution as  Universal History  finds a  classic realization  in the essay of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, in  his  Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View. The pattern of the eonic effect closes in on this challenge and uncovers the hidden significance of this classic work of modernity's greatest philosopher. Kant's formulation allows us to adopt a critical stance toward the pitfalls of both metaphysical history and narrow empiricism.  Kant's Challenge

The Darwin Debate

The debate over evolution is one of the most persistent features of modern culture. This debate has persisted since the first reviewers of Darwin's Origin, and before. Now the lists are joined by the so-called Intelligent Design movement attempting to revive the world of Paley and natural theology. Debriefing Darwinism

Evolution blog
 Darwiniana  The current Darwin debate and the Intelligent Design movement is tracked and subject to commentary and analysis. 


 

 
     

 Enigma Of The Axial Age

 
     
 

The study of the eonic effect provides a solution to the enigma of the Axial Age. This website contains extensive resources on this question, with a short tutorial on the Axial Age itself. The recent work of Karen Armstrong is the object of considerable commentary both at this site and at the blog Darwiniana.
Tutorial/notes on Axial Age
Here are two older essays on the Axial period:
The Axial Age and the Eonic Effect

Was There an Axial Age?
The work of Karen Armstrong is analyzed here:
The Great Transformation
Bloglinks to commentary on Armstrong's book

 

 

 
     

   

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