3. Descent Of Man Revisited     

 
 
History and Evolution: 
A Paradox

  

Section 3 .2




 
World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, And Theories of Evolution
4th Edition
The Book
By  John Landon

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 CHAPTERS:
 

 

 
 

 
3. Descent Of Man Revisited 
     3.1 Climbing Mt. Improbable: The Eonic Effect  
        3.1.1 An Evolution Formalism and The Eonic Model 
     3.2 History and Evolution: A Paradox  
        3.2.1 Huxley's Contradiction and Evolution #1 and #2 
        3.2.2 Deconstructing Flat History  
        3.2.3 Conflict Theories: Incredulity Toward 'Infranarratives' 
     3.3 An Unexpected Challenge to Darwinism  
        3.3.1 The Great Explosion   
        3.3.2 Measures of Evidence Density  
        3.3.3 A Photo Finish Test 
     3.4 From Fisher's Lament to Kant's Challenge 
        3.4.1 A Certain Strangeness: Beyond Space and Time? 

NOTES 
     3.5 A New Model of History: Eonic Evolution  
        3.5.1 A Gaian Matrix: Detecting A Global System  
        3.5.2 Stream and Sequence, Transition and Oikoumene
        3.5.3 An (Eonic) Outline of History
        3.5.4 World Line of The Eonic Observer

  

Next: 
 4. Idea For A Universal History

 
  
        

    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

   3.2 History and Evolution: A Paradox 

 

We have discovered a pattern of universal history, and almost without trying, as a sequence of three transitions or ‘axial’ intervals. In the process we have seen a discrepancy with what the standard views of evolution are telling us. Darwinism posits random evolution, but here we see a dramatically non-random process emerge. We see a coherent sequence of developmental transitions, among them the so-called Axial Age. It is hard to avoid the use of the term ‘evolution’ for this. Something on this scale confronts us with with a paradox and must collide with our accounts of evolution, human evolution at least. What is the relationship between our history and evolution? We are left to wonder if it is not world history itself that will show us the clue to evolution. Ordinary accounts of evolution, by distracting attention to times unseen, have confused us completely, ignoring times seen, history itself. The crucial issue here is the Darwinian claim of random evolution. A careful look at world history shows us a non-random pattern of the most direct kind. What are we to conclude?

Discovery of this pattern has only recently become possible, as the record of history has filled out, showing us the source of civilization for the first time. Standard accounts of evolution along the lines of Darwinism have insisted that such patterns don’t exist, they don’t want to find such a non-random pattern, anywhere. But clearly they do exist, and the data for seeing such a pattern has reached critical mass only in our own times, and can be highlighted by simple inspection using careful periodization. Darwinists claim that evolution is random, and that this applies to history also. The facts of world history suggest otherwise. We discover, since the invention of writing, a rich patterning, a definite derandomized structure. So Darwinized thinking is wrong about history. That’s that. This data is a warning that the whole project of Darwinian theory fails with history. More, the meaning of ‘evolution’ is wrongly taken by Darwinists, as purely genetic. We can see that a much broader definition is necessary.

Darwinism is said to claim that evolution is non-progressive and without purpose. This is one of the most defended assertions of Darwinists. Our data throws such assertions under a cloud, notwithstanding the dangers here of ideology. Darwin made life easy for the critic. Granting that the idea of progress  has many dimensions, we can nonetheless detect ‘evolutionary progress , or progression’ like clockwork in world history. Darwin ’s theory of natural selection makes a very extreme and ambitious claim, a kind of universal generalization about evolution and about ‘reality’, as seen in its assumption that no purposive evolution can be found anywhere. That makes it an easy target. We don’t even have to produce a substitute theory. We can simply show that there exists at least one non-random non-genetic evolutionary sequence showing directionality related to purpose somewhere in the universe, in this case in visible history, and Darwin ’s stock plummets.

Evolutionary theory is beset with the difficulty that large-scale directionality, perhaps as evidence of teleology , is hard to observe. It is easy to pretend it doesn’t exist. Even in history the question is not intuitive. Scientists are adamant on this point, because any such evidence shows that current scientific thought is incomplete, somewhere. And yet we must suspect that teleology is a factor. The pattern of the eonic effect  can be of great help as the only real evidence, however tenuous, that humanity has at close range of such ‘evolution in action’ in this sense. We will however restrict ourselves to empirically demonstrable directionality.

It seems paradoxical at first to bring evolutionary thinking into history, and yet this recalibration of our thinking, and terminology, can help in resolving the concealed contradiction latent in current Darwinian  forms of theory. The point can be easily grasped by asking at what point evolution stopped, for history to begin? That this could not happen at a single instant, that the question generates a paradox, is almost a deduction in the abstract, after the fact, of the eonic effect itself. The human chronicle is one of free activity. And there is no easy separation of this chronicle from that of ancient man, the emerging species homo sapiens of the Paleolithic. This chronicle of free activity is one of the evolution  of freedom, in some very general sense, as we observe in the large the transition from hominid passivity to the relatively active self-consciousness, if not free will, in the becoming of man as man. We then ask, What causes this emergence of freedom? The eonic effect shows us that, in the last phase of this transition, there is a distinct macroevolutionary process at work. Hard to detect, yet clearly visible if we have sufficient data, and use careful periodization.

Falsifying  Darwinism Once we see that history and evolution are braided together and that the descent of man is ‘all of a piece’, we can use the data of history to assess the earlier stages of human evolution. Armed with the eonic effect we see at once that something is missing in standard accounts. In the process we can see that natural selection is not what is driving historical macroevolution.

Our conclusion then is that if the human chronicle is one, and if a macroevolutionary process, non-random evolution, exists in one part of this partially observed sequence, then our prior assumptions about the earlier unobserved intervals of deep time are as good as falsified. We see the discrepancy in the Darwinian speculative assumptions, and as well the fact that the contrary evidence was always already there in the intimations of the so-called Great Explosion . Thus we can proceed by legitimate reasoning to use the record of history to falsify the Darwinian claims about the descent of man.

 Thus, history and evolution are like two overlapping processes, the one the chronicle of man’s emergent free activity, the other the greater process of an evolutionary driver behind this emergence. The two stand in a reciprocal relationship, one clearly visible, still, in history itself. Indeed, we must ask if man’s evolution is, in fact, complete. His evolution and his emergent freedom are braided together, and the question remains as to the ‘end of evolution’ and the completion of man’s epic self-evolution. The speciation of man as homo sapiens is thus still underway, preempting easy definitions of its significance and meaning.

 We must ask what we mean by a science of history. There is no such science, and yet we will find a way to proceed by looking at the ‘evolution of freedom’, as a formal category. We should wonder why the standard criticisms of a science of history are not applied to a theory of human evolution. Why are historical theories metaphysics and Darwinism hard science? The first have a wealth of data, the second very little. Where then is the division? Darwinists would like to claim there is none, and apply Darwin ’s theory to history. But we can easily show that to be the wrong approach. Natural selection  applied to history creates a disastrous misunderstanding. Any such theory of evolution that leads up to human history needs a close look, since there is likely to be a contradiction lurking there. We soon discover the classic limit of conventional scientific method in the philosophy of history , and embrace a broader ‘idea for a universal history ’, to invoke a classic essay of the philosopher Kant, using the idea of a qualitative systems model adapted to the antinomy of causality and freedom.

Freedom evolves? The evolution of freedom One of the striking features of Darwinian thinking lies in the rote application of selectionist and adaptational thinking to all circumstances and situations, the series of ‘Just So Stories’ that purport, without direct observation, to explain complex features of organisms seen in nature. With human evolution this becomes an increasingly strained activity, amounting to little more than the fiat of methodological naturalism. A good example is the inevitable conclusion, as in Dennett’s Freedom Evolves , that free will evolves by natural selection, as an adaptation! Not a shred of evidence is offered for this incoherent deduction from speculative selectionism. As we close in on the eonic effect we can actually produce a counter-example, the so-called discrete freedom sequence, showing a macroevolutionary component to the emergence of freedom, in the process defining human evolution in terms of the idea of freedom taken together with causality as a chord of two opposites.

 

    Notes

   Web:  chap3_2.htm

 
 

 
 


 

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Last modified: 09/21/2010