Against the backdrop of world history the rise of the modern must constitute one of the most explosive turning points since the beginning of higher civilization, or even the onset of the Neolithic. In the three centuries after 1500 beginning with the Protestant Reformation and the parallel Scientific Revolution an entirely new form of civilization has arisen, set to transform the entire planet via globalization. Such a massive transformation demands an explanation on the scale of evolution itself, and shows a remarkable discontinuity against the backdrop of medievalism. But this issue has been confused by debates over traditionalism or medievalism. It requires a larger context for a solution to the riddle.
Continue reading “1.2.1 Decoding Modernity: In Search of Evolution”
As we enter on the artificially created moment of the new Millennium set by the Christian calendar, an observer skeptical of the eschatological visions of doomsday apocalyptics might yet consider that mankind is passing through a crisis in human history as a whole, the end of a long beginning since the passing of the last Ice Age. Globalization and economic interpenetration, the onrush of technology, political cyclone, ecological and demographic alarm, coexist with futurist expectation, and the hopes of temporal salvation rendered over to providential certainties. Ideas of progress and decline seem finally to blend in the antique hope of ‘end-time’ redemption, to pass as the ultimate ‘quick fix’ uttered in slogans. Some see the end of the ‘modern age’, and in a postmodernist mood, survey twentieth century as the close of an era. At least, the expectation of millennial completion seems a desperate impatience in a vault of centuries and a progression of epochs barely underway, barely able to begin. The nature of futurist beliefs, themselves the source of endless confusion, generate historical misperception in the traffic between archetypal ‘crisis’ and the console red-warning lights of real issues.
Continue reading “1.2 Universal Histories: The Old Testament Enigma”
The debate over evolution has continued since the time of Darwin without resolution, in part because it is a metaphysical contest that is conducted beyond the limits of observation. The claims for natural selection have turned into an ideology short of real science, a kind of metaphysical reductionism. The result has thrown the study of history into confusion, and handed an ideological pseudo-science to many with Social Darwinist agendas. History should instead be the antidote to this kind of speculative excess, for it enforces the discipline of observation at short range, a century or less, something entirely absent in the study of deep time where generalizations about immense intervals of time are taken for granted without direct empirical observation.
Continue reading “1.1.1 In Search of History: Using the Text”
1.1 A Glimpse of Evolution
The legacy of modern historical research is an ambiguous one: the conductor’s baton of the Universal Historian taps the podium, in a concert of art, science and philosophy, the theme of evolution rising aggressively to the fore, soon becoming the basis of all further secular generalization about human origins. Although evolutionary research has proved a success as a project of empirical discovery, beside its cousin, the archaeological uncovering of man’s entry into civilization, the claims of evolutionary theory are much less certain than we might expect. Critics of Darwinism often point to the fossil record, upon which Darwin issued a claim of evidence to come, in favor of his thesis. This evidence would now seem less than clear.
But it is important to consider the ambiguity at the heart of evolutionary theory itself, where this pursues the timeless ‘laws of nature’ onto nature’s stage of life where time is of the essence, and the timely arrival of an abundance of creatures finds no reckoning in the orbits of mass and force. As if by a new law, the era of life finds refuge in a global moment, hideaway to beasts of a small planet, making engines of machines to consume mass and force. At last we find man whose claim is to cut history from evolution, graduate from all laws into a domain of freedom, as a law unto himself, in the court of small kingdoms and the self-realization of his individuality. In this ambiguity of chance and necessity we might search for the deeper meaning behind our use of the term ‘evolution’.
In parallel with the nineteenth century emergence of evolutionary research, the rise of archaeology has wrought a similar transformation of man’s record of his past. This chronicle has often seemed a disparate sequence of cultures and civilizations without overall meaning or coherence. And the enigma of this history has always been the misplaced origin, in classical times, of so much that we see as the content of man’s higher culture. This middle clustering of several civilizations in parallel is an entire mystery in itself, and it is no accident the heritage of the western field preserves its riddle in the haunting echoes of the Hebraic epic. One of the consequences of the archaeological revolution has been to suggest why this intermediate phasing is the case, for we had missed a similar generative period in the earlier interval. It is a phenomenon in sequence.
Now Gilgamesh speaks to us from the land of Ur and the chieftains of Upper and Lower Egypt are seen before their crowns are made one as the first Pharaohs. An age in itself has come and gone, glimpsed at its passing by the Prophets of Israel, witnesses to the vanishing Assyrians. A significant piece of a greater puzzle is joined to the form of perceived history, and the indirect signs of macrohistorical context suddenly show their presence. The elegant, yet fearsome, evolutionary unfolding of higher civilization in a cycling cone of ratchet progression all at once comes into view. As this veil is drawn, we get a glimpse, only that, of ‘evolution in action’, as if seen for the first time.
This is the fourth revised edition of World History and the Eonic Effect, the underground/online theoretical self-defense kit and exposé of the Darwinian paradigm. The web response to the various editions and associated blog at Darwiniana.com has been consistently large, a sign that students of evolution are searching for answers. We can begin to see that the issue of evolution is beginning to undergo a paradigm shift, despite the confusing distractions of the Intelligent Design groups which have made their crypto-theological perspective seem like the only alternative to the failure of Darwinism. It is important to be wary of a new false synthesis. The Darwin debate is really a propaganda war, now with its two dominant factions, Darwinism and Intelligent Design, manipulating opinion in which seems at times a fake debate. The public is ill-served by the false alternatives offered, and a real insight into evolution is needed, one that is independent of this clever brand of dialectical propaganda. The reader has here a different perspective on the subject of human evolution, a second, or third, opinion. The perception of the eonic effect shows the way to a new understanding of evolution and universal history beyond the Social Darwinist ideology and the reductionist scientism now current that has put secularism at risk. The study of the eonic effect has all the pieces of the evolution puzzle in one place, and can preempt false oversimplifications. The eonic effect gives us in many ways the bottom line on evolution.
Continue reading “WHEE: Preface to Fourth Edition”
World History and the Eonic Effect: Civilization, Darwinism and Theories of Evolution (WHEE): this work also has multiple versions in hardback and Kindle available at Amazon.com
We will use this accessory site to explore the eonic effect, its model and its relation to the question of evolution. The subject arose with the publication of World History and the Eonic Effect, first published in 1999, but now following roughly the fourth edition. The material is on its way to a seventh and last edition, but this will follow the fourth very closely.
There is a large related literature which we will cite here but the key issues can be explored in relatively short versions, subject to the need to study world history in detail and in a balanced way. One key idea is the relationship of ‘history’ and ‘evolution’ and the way we can deduce the ‘eonic effect’ from a consideration of the way history emerges from evolution, speaking in formal terms.
New blog for ‘history-and-evolution.com’….will have stuff on WHEE, etc…