It is world history itself that shows us the clue to
evolution. Darwinists, by distracting attention to times unseen, have confused
us completely. We are ready to examine the phenomenon of the eonic effect, the
evidence of a non-random pattern
in world history. The discovery of
that pattern uncovers something more, but the basic demonstration of
non-randomness in world history is conclusive, final, and almost devastating.
That’s enough. And that’s that.
But we see that this pattern is hiding something more in
plain sight, the ascent of
. And this will uncover evolution behind history, the real meaning of evolution
as a macro process, in an extended sense that is more than genetic, referring to
human evolution only. The one thing Darwinists don’t want to find is such a
non-random pattern, anywhere. 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. The conclusion is inescapable: this structure
demonstrates the existence of an evolutionary driver operating where least
expected. There is nothing complex in the method. Throw a sine curve at world
history. The results are direct, and show a degree of correlation we cannot
ascribe to chance. There were many hints on the way, e.g. the data of the Axial
Age. The results raise a host of other questions, and one may or may not wish to
pursue that, or disagree with interpretative lines of argument. Otherwise, the
basic demonstration of a non-random pattern is sufficient.
Darwinists claim that evolution is random, and that this
applies to history also. Has anyone bothered to check the data? Against this, we
discover, since the invention of writing, a rich patterning, a definite
derandomized structure. So Darwinized thinking is wrong about history. That’s
that. The eonic effect is a warning that the whole project of selectionist
theory fails with history.
In general, the eonic effect is an empirical pattern, free
of the ‘theory’ trap, and is a strong challenge to all views of history
and evolution applied to man. Any
law of history, theory of cultural evolution, religious teleology,
transcendental explanation, or political ideology
of universal history, or theory of
economic determination, ought to explain this pattern if it claims any degree of
authority. Any science of history must begin here and resolve the eonic effect.
Darwinism fares very badly here. Spiritual or design arguments are not
proposed as an alternative. We can adopt a neutral idea of a system. You can use
this data as a theoretical self-defense against being led into the reductionist
scenario that reduces man in the name of hard science to something he is not.
Darwinian selectionism is pseudo-science.
Darwinism is said to
claim that evolution is non-progressive and without purpose. This is one of the
most defended assertions of Darwinists. The eonic effect throws such assertions
under a cloud, notwithstanding the dangers here of ideology.
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.
’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
’s stock plummets.
Evolutionary theory is
beset with the difficulty that large-scale directionality, perhaps as evidence
, 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
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
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.
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 Darwinina claims about the
descent of man.
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.
To proceed we must also confront the issue of a science of
history, the orphan twin of evolutionary science, for this category, in search
of laws of history, is in principle a valid one in the legacy of reductionism.
There is no such science, and all the efforts to decree one into existence have
failed. Now a species of vulgar Darwinism in the form of sociobiology is
starting to get foisted on data where it won’t fit, producing a hopeless
muddle in the dangerous mechanization of ethics. The eonic effect provides the
perfect test, as an empirical study, of the hopes for such a science. In fact,
the eonic effect shows how a modified discourse for such might be constructed.
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
’s theory to history. But we can easily show that to be the wrong approach.
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.
evolves? The discrete freedom sequence
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. [i]
Daniel Dennett, Freedom Evolves (
: Viking, 2003).