World History And The Eonic Effect: A Study Guide

                         Introduction

 

The question of human origins remains as the great enigma of evolutionary biology. The findings of current Darwinism have obscured the issue with a reductionist dogmatism that has resulted in a truncated image of man and his history. The greatest obstacle to advance is the illusion that the problem has been solved. Biology has shown us the evolutionary emergence of man in deep time. But the onset of Darwinism produced its classic debate that has orphaned the meaning of evolution with the claims for Darwin's theory of natural selection. And yet this hypothesis, due to its reductionist character, has simply compounded the puzzle of man. All questions of consciousness, morality, and human freedom are dumbed down to a physicalism that is inadequate to the task of explanation. The debate has devolved to mostly futile discussions of the meaning of methodological naturalism, this challenged by equally futile claims for a spiritual dimension and the argument by design. The genetic definition of evolution is woefully incomplete, yet pressed into service as the key to a total explanation. Perhaps evolution transcends the genetic dimension. The failure to take into account the complexities of human culture is the fate of any positivistic attempt to oversimplify human nature in the successor sciences to classical physics. A stubbornness on this point has produced the pseudo-science of Darwinism. The result is the hopelessly inadequate recasting of human origins in terms of a Social Darwinist narrative of the survival of the fittest. This misperception of how man emerged in turn leads to a kind of blindness when confronted with the real questions of human nature. The problem lies in a confusion of horizontal and vertical evolution, and the collation of genetic microevolution with an unknown yet suspected macroevolution. The essence of the problem is one of scale. We take the visible aspects of natural selection on the short term as a Malthusian speculation applied to the long term. This is a kind of wish-fulfillment, since observing deep time is exceedingly difficult, with the result that the tangible and short term processes of natural selection and adaptation are taken to account for more than they able. If we examine Darwinism in practice we notice the failure to properly document the incidents taken by assumption to fall under the sway of natural selection. The limits of observation have been breached to produce an evolutionary myth. 

There is an ironic resolution to the problem of observation, the study of world history.  The question of the emergence of man is bound up in the question of civilization itself. And the facts of world history constitute a falsification of Darwinism, showing us processes which won't fit into the dogmatic framework created by Darwinian biology. We discover that until we can examine evolution at close range we are likely to be misled by the microevolutionary constant of genetic evolution in the same. World history shows us something very simple, and at the same time very complex: a process of non-random evolution. This process shows its hand in what we can call the 'eonic effect', a non-random pattern that simply won't reduce to the assumption of randomness. We are driven to infer or detect some mysterious macro aspect to world history itself. There is nothing complex about the eonic effect: 

The Eonic Effect: World history shows a striking sequential rhythm of fast and slow evolution in cycles of roughly 2400 years, taking the years -3000, -600, and +1800, as a rubric of periodization for this phenomenon. This pattern has been independently discovered under the tern 'Axial Age', which is actually the second phase of our pattern. 


It is significant, and unsettling, that this pattern becomes visible only with the invention of writing (in its first phase) and shows us the way in which an unsuspected macroevolution can interact with independently active populations, something we could never have guessed from the poorly sampled vistas of deep time. How can we apply the term 'evolution' to history? The answer is that we can and we can't, and that is the whole point. History emerges from evolution, and yet, speaking for man, the two overlap. It is finally a question of how we define evolution. The genetic definition (well documented for microevolution) posits a temporal/causal continuity to keep itself in tune with a methodology of classic science. But nature does not honor this oversimplification. And the eonic effect shows the remarkable way in which an independent higher level evolution moves beyond the moment of populations to direct evolution on a larger scale, with definite indications of evolutionary directionality. 

The revolution in archaeology has pushed back our perceptions of world history, in the process showing us a whole world of civilizations emerging from the Neolithic. This increase in our knowledge has suddenly crossed a threshold minimum allowing us to infer what has frequently been denied, a larger coherent pattern that is global, holistic, and directional, Darwinism turned upside down. This data has a further consequence of showing the emergence of modernity in its proper context of historical evolution and its dynamics. An issue condemned to Eurocentric ideology, retrograde Toynbean /Spenglerian speculations about civilization, and postmodern attacks on the Enlightenment, can be illuminated by resolving the complexities of globalization acting through transient localities, thus freeing the question of modernity from its many biases. In the process, the significance of the Old Testament comes to light in terms of its Axial context and we can review the issue of the evolution of religion in an intelligible fashion, one equally compatible with its secularist rendering. The relationship of 'evolution' to human history suddenly gels, and we have a two-aspect theoretical matrix for reconciling dynamics and human free activity. We find essentially two evolutions, a macro aspect visible in the eonic effect, and a micro aspect, as self-evolution, which we ordinarily called 'history', seen as an evolution of freedom in a formal sense. The final irony is to see that our attempts to posit human evolution in the past producing the complete species, homo sapiens, are misleading, and require revision to establish the reality of the case, that man's evolution, braided in the self-action of history, is moving towards its own completion in the evolutionary narrative of first and last apes, and last and first men. NEXT

 
 

    The Fourth Edition: Online Edition 

    An Outline of History

  The various editions of World History and The Eonic Effect have been a non-profit gesture with the text coming online. Anyone who writes a book on evolution in the mainstream, academic/scientific  press is under pressure to make a product that will sell. Books on evolution, even critiques, are forced to compromise. So a non-profit text also available via POD self-publishing is an important statement, as here. We are therefore happy to bring the text of this book to the public. We start with the first two chapters. 

Previous editions, however, have been difficult theoretical treatises. Now the fourth edition of World History And The Eonic Effect simplifies the considerable amount of historical theory present in earlier versions. This dose of theory made the eonic effect seem a speculative construct, when the object of the exercise is to approach the question of evolution empirically. This theory, the so-called 'eonic model', has been streamlined so that the main emphasis in the text is on a simple outline of world history. As we explore this outline the contours of the eonic effect stand out as an empirical given of historical evidence. The failure to grasp that world history itself shows us the solution to the evolution enigma is due to the ideological control exerted over the key incidents that show what is going on, such as the Axial Age. This evidence has been ignored or distorted and fails to register with students of standard histories. The dogma that world history follows some kind of Darwinian logic is hopelessly flawed, and the evidence points directly to a hidden process of macroevolution behind the sequence of events. In fact world history shows an elegant unity in diversity, and a logical dynamics that stands out once we apply a consistent strategy of periodization. 

Note: the online edition will reach the web in stages over a period of days: until the migration is complete some links will fail to work. Stick to the mainline indicated, and everything should work. 

 

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