3. Descent Of Man Revisited     

 
 
The Great Explosion

  

Section 3..3.1




 
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

   3.3.1 The Great Explosion

 

Man’s emergence from the Paleolithic is both his entrance into history and his attempt to discover the meaning of that transition. The search for the significance of history and the resolution of its enigma is the most existential commitment of man and his most ancient of legacies, the question of Gilgamesh  himself. The quest for some pattern in the surface incoherence of historical events takes form with the birth of civilization and the invention of writing , and inspires the traditions of sacred history, reborn in the secular philosophy of history , then challenged and recast by the idea of evolution.

The discovery of evolution  is the gateway to its greater significance, the great clue, yet in revealing the unknown the idea of evolution is still confronted by the mystery of the known, man in history. The idea of evolution seems destined to fulfill the ancient hope in its new form by its revolutionary transformation of our perspectives of deep time. Indeed it is a precondition and foundation for any enquiry into man’s origins And yet this ambition to claim man’s view of his nature by the very invocation of universal evolution at first merely compounds the enigma and demands the answer of one and the same riddle, as universal history, that has always accompanied the chronicle of kingdoms, states, and empires.

Even as evolution yields one part of the riddle of history, it is history, ironically, that yields us a further clue to evolution, and to the unobserved drama of man’s transition from the lost world of his evolutionary infancy. As we observe the eonic effect, we begin to see, or detect, an ‘evolutionary’ process in the ‘rolling out’ of emergent civilization. This effect is too massive, and too high-level to coexist with what is currently claimed as explanation, even if we grant the possibility of confusing cultural and biological evolution. In many ways, history is a crucial test for any theory of the descent of man, the only record at close range, at the level of centuries that man has of the evolution of anything. The reason lies in a subtle contradiction in our thinking concerning the relationship of history to evolution, with particular regard to our freedom and ideas of that. The eonic effect highlights a discrepancy. Although man at the beginning of history has a clear dimension of ‘freedom’, this is limited, and the overall development of civilization shows a clear ‘helper’ evolution. Can we suppose that much earlier men succeeded without this?

Current thinking on the subject of evolution derives, of course, from Darwin ’s Origin of Species  with its theory of natural selection , and this has become the source of many controversies. The basic Darwinian viewpoint was always open to severe challenge on this issue of natural selection. The problem is that the mechanism of natural selection  is pushed to extremes as a total explanation, unwittingly provoking a disguised metaphysics. In general, theories of evolution suffer the inherent limitation of insufficient evidence, and generalize inferentially about great eras in the past that are not the result of direct observation, our hurricane argument. This lack of evidence makes theory subject to unconscious derivation from prior assumptions about what constitutes naturalistic explanation. And these tacitly foreclose the range of mechanism discoverable.

One such assumption is that no rapid acceleration of change can occur in the intervals in the fossil record. Here the controversies over mechanism become acute, in the difficulty of resolving the great unknown, deep time, to a fine grain. What constitutes naturalistic explanation cannot be specified in advance, for we might expect to discover new extensions that were unforeseen in the basic assumptions. Let us note that the processes seen in the eonic effect  are easily seen to be present at earlier stages of evolution. We are to assume natural selection  is the key, but it doesn’t take much to find evidence resembling what we see in history. We can use the evidence for a ‘Great Explosion’ to provoke a stalemate with Darwinists.

The Great Explosion Evolutionary theorists have longed puzzled over the sudden advance complete by ca. 50000 (?) years ago at the point man seems to have crossed a threshold to become the recognizably human cultural being that he is in terms of language and culture. This is often pegged as high-level cultural evolution, with or without a mutation claim, visible in language, art, and technical achievement. At one and the same time this data is matched with claims for an earlier breakthrough for the ‘anatomically modern man’, e.g. ca. –150000 (?). The speculative misuse of such data understandably creates caution in (otherwise incautious) Darwinists, and clarifying the relation of slow to sudden evolution requires far more data that we have at present. But these two factors together suggest a quite tantalizing case of something like our relative transformations, which reconcile the chronic debate over slow versus sudden change. None of these claims has any data at the level of centuries, while we can see now that that is likely to be crucial. Our eonic pattern is probably double the size of its visible five thousand year range. This is a huge segment of history, but virtually nothing in the scale of deep time.

Our method shows us the dangers of speculation without data at the level of centuries for minimum five thousand year intervals. We are not going to speculate here, but since Darwin did speculate and thought natural selection (the issue of sexual selection apart) is the key, we can equally well wonder if earlier evolution resembled the eonic effect.

The eonic pattern shows the ability to focalize rapid evolutionary change in isolated geographical regions, and to stage distributed evolution from that source. Further this ‘evolution of some kind’ is primed to ‘evolve’ all the factors of culture comprehensively. This seeding process can, within several centuries, ratchet flagship populations to a new stage of culture on the spot. The nudging eras of fast change are followed up several millennia later with successor periods.

We should note the compressed timeframe for some very big advances. We can simply consider the data of the eonic effect beside this spontaneous claim for a ‘Great Explosion’, as a rival challenge seeking falsification , and can demand that Darwinists not assume therefore what they have not proven when their own data suggests something different.

Anyone who considers current literature suspects fudged timing here, quite apart from the near total absence of decent data. It is almost impossible to conclude anything from skeletal or genetic remains. In fifty thousand years since the putative Great Explosion man’s evolution by genetic drift is considerable, but in no sense fundamental. A mere doubling of this time period gets us back to the dawn of anatomically modern man. It is hard to assess these intervals, but one thing is sure, Darwinian thinking doesn’t add up. Everything in the data suggests we are missing a highly compressed period of rapid transformation, this not being contrary to slow change in the intervals in between. It is impossible to argue with Darwinian true believers. But let us at least not be browbeaten into their dogmatic thinking.

 

    Notes

   Web:  chap3_3_1.htm

 

 

 

 
 


 

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Last modified: 09/21/2010