3. Descent Of Man Revisited     

 
 
A Certain Strangeness: Beyond Space and Time?

  

Section 3.4.1




 
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

  

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 4. Idea For A Universal History

 
  
        

    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

   3.4.1 A Certain Strangeness: Beyond Space and Time?

 

Our pattern of data has suddenly shown its resemblance to something remarkable and classic, so-called ‘transcendental idealism’, a scheme tailor-made to rescue Newtonian confusions, but considered now to be an outmoded form of thought. Almost against our will our model forces this on us, due to the two levels it generates in its analysis, and the stunning match to the discrete freedom sequence. Remarkably we have an ‘off the shelf’ philosophic software for just this situation, the critical system of Kant. In the next chapter we will tie together all the loose threads of our discussion with a look at Kant’s essay on history. We can complete our model in the next chapter by showing how the eonic effect demonstrates the resolution of Kant’s Challenge.

Our data has, at first, a strangeness to it in the way it treats discontinuity, jumps between periods and regions, and operates on fuzzy intervals. In fact, it is a consequence of the data we are confronted with, no way around it, and is not indulgence in the fantastic. Examine the data of the Axial Age, for example. Fantastic or not, the data speaks for itself. There is no ‘flat history’ solution to the strange properties we discover there. One reason we are about to discover for this initial sense of oddity is that we may be detecting a system operating behind the scenes, and perhaps one that is beyond the matrix of space and time. Although we can’t establish this formally, we should launch a preemptive strike against the suddenly metaphysical speculations that will arise here, and that will provoke some metaphysical spree on the subject of history and eternity. The latter concept has no scientific foundation, and is speculative, period. That doesn’t mean it is wrong, only metaphysical. Transcendental idealism is the ony way to both embrace and yet discipline this kind of ‘ran off the meter’ once we attempt to include anti-causal thinking in our model.

However controversial that might be, and no such assumption is required to proceed (the assertion generates its own serious complications, and possible contradictions), we should persist in our new approach on the grounds, by Ockham’s razor, that it simply makes sense of the otherwise chaotic data, at a stroke, done.Without explaining anything, save why it can’t so explain. However, in the final analysis, our method and its justification are based on simple periodization and the construction of time lines. No more. If what that uncovers is strange, then so be it. We found explicitly good reasons to explore intermittent and hopscotch patterns, on the grounds that there are few post-Darwinian non-random patterns of evolution, but the eonic effect, remarkably, shows strong evidence of one of them. We allowed ourselves no statement about ghost forces or ‘forces of history’, save the detection of Mystery Force X. We simply construct a matrix of dates, and observe the sudden coherence of the result so taken. No objection can be raised against such an approach. It violates no canons of ‘right science’ and indulges only in the simplest elements and constructs. Like a tangent to curve the slight artificiality of the model can simply be taken into account as approximation. Thus the way we have set up our model is deliberate and we should proceed without apology since we can see that a dynamics of world history always eludes us if we try to impose a wrong approach. All of a sudden a recognizable situation emerges for anyone familiar with the philosophy of history. It’s like walking down the street and finding a hundred dollar bill.

We should have expected this all along from the moment we isolated an ‘evolution of freedom’ from our data. This evolutionary concept we must make our own for a scientific age, despite its innuendoes and controversies, and all it means is that we have to find empirical evidence for some ‘evolution’ at a bare minimum level of ‘self-consciousness’ of human freedom, volition, or autonomy, in any sense, short of the metaphysical, and avoiding free will questions. It applies to history, and must therefore apply to the Paleolithic.

We found this very easily in our data. The eonic sequence is itself a play on the degrees of freedom involved in discussing the evolution of civilization, and we reduced that to the simple question, and dilemma, Does Man make himself? We see the top-level answer very easily if we adopt our model. It is almost better left vague, since our more specific business is simply to map out the stages of emergent culture in world history.

Sometimes this kind of construct is challenged by postmodernists as a ‘metanarrative of freedom’. We looked at that criticism, but the fact of the matter is that the very denial of the existence of such things seems to put ideas in our head. Once you say there is no large-scale process in world history the existence of one becomes obvious. So we end up ‘deconstructing flat history’, there to find a metanarrative indeed.

As a further exploration of these issues we are going to veer briefly in the direction of the philosophy of history as a redundant approach to our data, for those who wish to pursue that angle. With this in mind this chapter will conclude with a section on Kant’s Challenge where the issues of freedom in history are given their most classic, if somewhat abstruse form. In reality, the problems of historical methodology were long ago challenged, if not resolved, by the hints given in a figure such as Kant. However, ironically, Kant injected a different solution to the problem into his thinking, and this we can critique on the way to a better Kantian interpretation than Kant himself could provide. The reason is that Kant is clearly inside our pattern, and still unable to fully observe it, although he came close. ‘Transcendental idealism’, a wretchedly named terminological label whose real meaning for us would be a ‘two domain model that can handle freedom and causality’ in some suitable fashion, is the key to many mysteries in the emergence of scientism.

We should point out that current science is itself a disguised cousin of all of this. If we look at the boundary of the speed of light, and the relationships of dynamics and measurement in Quantum Mechanics, or the light barrier in Relativity, we discover that physicists have long since entered this terrain, despite desperate denials, and recast the Kantian two domain approach for their own subject. To say that something transcends space and time sounds mystical until you realize that Einstein’s theory of relativity makes such a claim implicitly. We are not going to pursue physics speculations but we have seen enough to realize that our data is suggesting something quite extraordinary, and so far from indulging in wild speculation we have stepped backwards into something remarkably.

 

    Notes

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Last modified: 09/21/2010