Descent Of Man Revisited

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The Great Transition

December 28th, 2012 · No Comments

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_6_2.htmThe suspicion arises that the ‘evolution’ of civlization is really a later form of human speciation, at the species level. The Social Darwinist idea fails completely with its focus on the individual alone.

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Theoretical self-defense
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_6.htm
People can’t defend themselves against Darwinism buttressed by its establishment.
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_1.htm
The readership of WHEE jumped after the publication of Descent of Man Revisited (both online) and has remained high ever since. But understanding of the ‘eonic model’ can be difficult, in part because the ‘theory’ can get in the way of the raw data, which is overwhelming, once you grasp its overall structure.

This is one of the stranger sections of WHEE, but after the discussion of the ‘republic lost’ this week, its significance may be clearer: http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_4.htm
The philosophy of Kant exposes the trid of metaphysics issues that plague evolutionary theories

There is nothing mysterious about the Darwin debate or the limitations of Darwinian theory: value-free science must eliminate questions of the value domain. But is this legitimate for the question of evolution? Related to this is the attempt to produce purely causal explanations of ethical behavior and its evolution. The positivist methodology of scientific reductionism, by declaring the rigid separation of facts and values, leaves us to wonder if nature itself truly respects this division in all its processes, especially those of evolutionary emergence.

Is a science of evolution possible? This provocative question should stand as a warning that the question of evolution probably won’t reduce to the category of science in the usual sense. We should support the project of empirical research, as science, in the exploration of the facts of evolution in deep time, but mindful that the limits of observation and the intersection with the domain of values demands an extended definition of science (such as, indeed, was pioneered by the philosopher Kant.[i]

Sometimes the naturalistic fallacy is cited here. But how do we know that evolution doesn’t process values amidst facts, this in a naturalistic fashion? Reductionist science has, ironically, made itself blind to the high end of evolution. In general, a theory of ethical behavior must explicate the consciousness of an ethical agent, and produce a model of choice-based behavior. But theories of evolution cannot yet account for consciousness. To make ethical consciousness an epiphenomenon of natural selection, and to propose that it arises as an adaptation in the game of survival beggars the nature of the phenomenon itself. What’s more, this approach creates a de facto standard of ethics based on the evolutionary ‘value’ of pure selfishness.

The Axial Age and Values As we examine the historical dynamic behind the phenomenon of the Axial Age we see the explicit transformation of values in a complete and balanced spectrum of opposites. Religion, philosophy, science emerge together in a mysterious seeding process that occurs very rapidly, and over independent cultural regions. Remarkably, this seems to show a balanced spectrum of values.

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap2_1_3.htm
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Economies, designers, and the false analogy for biologyhttp://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap2_3_3.htm: one of the ironies of the ideological influence of economics on Darwinism is the fact that economies provide a false analogy to Darwinian random evolution: economies are created by a large number of designers, who ‘design’ economic situations at all stages…
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There is a deeper component to evolution, like software behind the ‘genetic’ hardware: http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap5_1_1.htm
The ‘eonic’ or epochal transformations of religion
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_6_1.htm
The recycling and tranformation of religions in the rhythm of the ‘eonic efffect’ explains a lot of the confusion in current religion debates…
The ‘end of history’ and its misinterpretations
Last and First Men: The attempt by Fukuyama to make the idea of the ‘end of history’ a foundation for capitalist hegemony was always a nervous attempt to cover over the reality that something like ‘communism’, not the bolshevik brand, was the logical, if not historical, better canditate.

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_1.htm:
Parodoxes of history/evolution
History and Evolution:
A Paradox Resolved
History and Evolution: a paradox resolved We have found the resolution of the paradox of history and evolution with which we began in our brief outline of world history in light of the eonic effect, and the result is an unexpected and spectacular sense of its coherence and greater unity. Beyond the clear pattern of data, we detect the evidence of an abstract dynamical system, a process of discrete-stepping evolution, operating behind the scenes. We need not speculate about such a system, instead replacing it with careful periodization to help us follow the ‘track of evolution in history’ along a time-line: the deeper dynamic is hidden from us, as with the Kantian noumenal behind the phenomenal.

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The debate over evolution is too focussed on genetics and biochemistry. But the high-level program, so to speak, behind evolutionary history has nothing to do witth the lower level of chemistry.

    The Meaning of Evolution We are so accustomed to Darwinian or reductionist definitions of genetic evolution that we forget the meaning of the term: evidence of developmental emergence by any process or dynamic. By that definition history shows a clear pattern of non-random evolution in the development of civilization (and the parallel development of human individuality).

    Limits of Observation Biologists often distinguish the ‘fact’ of evolution from the ‘theory’. The difference is crucial, for it is relatively easy to see from the fossil record that evolution occurs as a succession/progression of animal forms, but to confirm that this occurs by a process of natural selection is far more speculative, and probably false. Truly observing evolution is difficult, and we cannot easily infer the mechanism from generalizations about immense vistas of time. What if evolution is an active or intermittent process that occurs at high speed in short intervals that we never observe?

    History and Evolution A paradox confronts the distinction of evolution and history: when did evolution stop and history begin? This odd question is the clue to seeing that the relationship of history and evolution must show an interconnection. Further this braiding together is likely to show a series of transitions between the two. With this clue we can rapidly find the evidence for just this, which we call the ‘eonic effect’.

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/intro1_1_1.htm
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Darwinism, the failure of science, and the emergence of post-religious, post-scientific perspectives
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap2_1.htm
The failure of science with Darwinism is a decisive crisis for its future, and the resurgence of new post-religious world views, beyond scientism, has actually been underway for several generations, and, in fact, begin with the enlightenment itself.

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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_6_2.htm
We tend that that ‘man evolved’ and then constructed civilization, but the speciation of man is still underway, and the rise of civilization is a second great stage to the emergence of ‘homo sapiens’.
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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/intro1_1_1.htm

A dose of empiricism The revolution in our knowledge of world history has uncovered something that must challenge the Darwinian assumptions about random evolution and natural selection. As we extend the scale of history to the scale of five thousand or more years, the empirical given of the historical development of civilization in a remarkable portrait of spontaneous self-organization shows us something that Darwinism cannot explain, and, further, the result looks like a complex hybrid of history and evolution. Instead of botched theories that distort our thinking we can follow the empirical outlines of episodes of evolution using periodization and descriptive analysis.

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Reductionist Darwinism has ‘cheated’ on theory by eliminating the difficulty problems of will and moral action.
The result is a gross failure of science to really deal with the mystery of evolution.
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_2_2.htm

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The macro effect in a nutshell

The Meaning of Evolution We are so accustomed to Darwinian or reductionist definitions of genetic evolution that we forget the meaning of the term: evidence of developmental emergence by any process or dynamic. By that definition history shows a clear pattern of non-random evolution in the development of civilization (and the parallel development of human individuality).

Limits of Observation Biologists often distinguish the ‘fact’ of evolution from the ‘theory’. The difference is crucial, for it is relatively easy to see from the fossil record that evolution occurs as a succession/progression of animal forms, but to confirm that this occurs by a process of natural selection is far more speculative, and probably false. Truly observing evolution is difficult, and we cannot easily infer the mechanism from generalizations about immense vistas of time. What if evolution is an active or intermittent process that occurs at high speed in short intervals that we never observe?

History and Evolution A paradox confronts the distinction of evolution and history: when did evolution stop and history begin? This odd question is the clue to seeing that the relationship of history and evolution must show an interconnection. Further this braiding together is likely to show a series of transitions between the two. With this clue we can rapidly find the evidence for just this, which we call the ‘eonic effect’.

Theory Failsafe We are so beset by simplistic speculative theories that we fail to really observe or understand what evolution is. Simply tracking an evolutionary sequence over time is a useful discipline and a reminder of the real complexity of evolution. Tracking the evolutionary sequence detectable in world history is an immense task. We cannot easily produce theories about this.

An Evolution Formalism Darwinism is an oversimplification of what should be a standard formalism or model of evolution: this involves a kind of macro/micro distinction, and in the case of man takes the form of the idea of the ‘evolution of freedom’ as the passage from passive evolution to active free history through a macroevolutionary process or Transition (in this case a series of transitions) matched with a microevolutionary history of man’s self-realization of his emerging freedom. This overall framework (which is not a theory but a generalized descriptive device) fits human history perfectly, and the remarkable data of the eonic effect finds a useful clarification in terms of the evolution formalism. Students of evolution have already seen a distorted example of such an evolution formalism in theories of punctuated equilibrium, where the partition into macro and micro arises spontaneously. The point here is that ‘evolution’ is about some ‘macro’ ‘force or process’ that drives development.

http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/intro1_1_1.htm
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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_3.htm:
Will Democracy Survive? Toward A Postdarwinian Liberalism

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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap7_3_2.htm: Ecological Endgames: A Tyranny of Markets

Proclaimed in the propaganda of freedom, there is an ironic tyranny in the ‘alienation’ of market dynamics…
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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_2_2.htm
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a href=”http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5_1.htm”>http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5_1.htm: Last and First Men
This section has been praised as the clearest exppse/discussion of the Fukuyama propaganda piece on Hegel…

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http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5_2.htm: Theory and Ideology: Out of Revolution

The eonic effect illustrates beautifully the timing of the rising left in the wake of the French Revolution. But the way in which marxism took over the whole ideology in the period after 1848 is, and must remain, controversial, and, in any case, the whole set of questions requires a rewrite/rethink: the legacy of bolshevism has no future. Reading the previous post on the Occupy movement (vs. the Black Block) it is clear that the basis of a fresh vision is possible, but it is arguable that the current movement is still too inchoate to draw any conclusions.
We may be forced to something like the older movements with all their liabilities, but only if they start from scratch with a new formulation of the basics of marxism. It is not necessary to reject Marx, but that ideology has many problems, and a vulnerable theory.

The framework of the eonic effect is potentially a very useful one for a post-theoretical history: a time and motion study that shows the place of the left in the context of the modern transition. In any case historical materialism isn’t needed as a theory, set it aside and think in terms of constructivist communism as a form of social engineering.

Marxists will protest this, but the reality is that marxist ideology is a bit played out: state the same thing in simpler language, with theories which are easy targets, and constuct a definition of communism, and a strategy to reach it

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