A contemporaneous accepted theory of evolution mirrors the evolutionary stage of that society.
How do we get a clearer, truer, fuller view of the nature of evolution?
The Story of the Story
To refine the story of evolution requires knowledge and evaluation of the past. The first step in refining evolutionary theory is to understand something of the history of evolutionary theory itself and how, through its development, veils to the past are pulled down.
The Mists of Avalon
I have had personal experiences of some of these veils—in Tintagel in Cornwall; at Tonina, Mexico, one of the last outposts of Classic Maya civilization; and through past life journeys to Egypt and Atlantis. My sense of these veils is that they are psychic mists that emerged from collective consciousness and through deliberate intervention from overseers.
Agreements create walls of thought, literal structures that inhibit perception.
As agreements are made to what is considered ‘proof’ and what has been ‘proven’, filters of perception are put in place.
If we want a clearer view of the past, the archaic, the origins of Humanity, we need to unlock the doors we locked behind us.
Table Lifting, Ectoplasmic, ‘Spirit Knocking on His Door’ Scientist Alfred Wallace
So today I will offer just one indicator of the veil, albeit an important turning point that is directly related to the evolutionary debate and social structure of today.
The Darwinian Lock Down
The idea of Natural Selection did not exclusively belong to Charles Darwin.
The idea of Natural Selection was also that of Alfred Russell Wallace.
If anything, Wallace was slightly ahead of Darwin in presenting his ideas to the public. Wallace is not talked about in much depth, mostly because of his scientific research into spiritualism. His serious and detailed research is labelled ‘an interest’, as if it was a mere hobby. He found that there was a genuine phenomena occurring in Victorian England—the hucksters and fraudsters were not as prevalent as is supposed. Wallace demonstrated genuine cases of physical mediumship to other scientists, who would admit in private that what they witnessed was authentic, but had to deny it publically.
The forward momentum of science at that time could not be stopped and any doubts about the absolute truth of materialism had to be dispelled if science was to survive the onslaught of religion. All theism needed to be fought, for it lay dangerously close to religious ideas.
Thomas Huxley was the first bulldog to defend the territory of what is called Darwinism; others then dug deeper and got more certain. This process was understandable; it created an evolutionary valve to stop us regressing as a society to one which was dominated by fundamental religion.
It was wholly appropriate to emphasize the competitive element of evolution in the 19th century so that civilization could develop, but now we need a new story that is appropriate to the next big leap. With the abundance of evidence and innovative understandings within our society, our story can now be far more comprehensive.
For the Gods’ Sakes Stop Taking the Gene Out of the Earth System
Historians of science have noted that, while Darwin considered the ideas in Wallace's paper to be essentially the same as his own, there were differences. Darwin emphasized competition between individuals of the same species to survive and reproduce, whereas Wallace emphasized environmental pressures on varieties and species forcing them to become adapted to their local environment.
Others have noted that another difference was that Wallace appeared to have envisioned natural selection as a kind of feedback mechanism keeping species and varieties adapted to their environment. They point to a largely overlooked passage of Wallace's famous 1858 paper:
The action of this principle is exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident; and in like manner no unbalanced deficiency in the animal kingdom can ever reach any conspicuous magnitude, because it would make itself felt at the very first step, by rendering existence difficult and extinction almost sure soon to follow.
The cybernetician and anthropologist Gregory Bateson would observe in the 1970s that, though writing it only as an example, Wallace had "probably said the most powerful thing that’d been said in the 19th Century". Bateson revisited the topic in his 1979 book Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, and other scholars have continued to explore the connection between natural selection and systems theory.
Andy Wah, Andy Wahols... Andy was Whole -- Not Just a Collection of Cells and Organs that somehow Managed to Paint
The seed of an idea that Wallace presents was too far ahead of its time, more relevant to today’s burgeoning era of systems and chaos theory.
Once we open the door to systems theory, we eventually have to acknowledge that the sum is not only more than the parts, but the sum total is of a different order and the relationships between the parts are an essential part of the whole. This is true whether we are talking physics, biology, psychology, humanity or the whole planetary environment— which includes human beings.
Daddy of Systems Thinking, Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Bertalanffy, according to Weckowicz (1989), "occupies an important position in the intellectual history of the twentieth century. His contributions went beyond biology, and extended to cybernetics, education, history, philosophy, psychiatry, psychology and sociology. Some of his admirers even believe that von Bertalanffy's general systems theory could provide a conceptual framework for all these disciplines". He is seen as founder of the interdisciplinary school of thought known as general systems theory. Yet he spent his life in semi-obscurity, and he survives mostly in footnotes. Ludwig von Bertalanffy may well be the least known intellectual titan of the twentieth century.
Bertalanffy argued for open systems, not closed systems, as each whole is a holon, both complete unto itself and yet part of something else. What is more, the whole and the parts are dynamic and creative and in relationship both vertically and horizontally.
A Bigger Whole
“Both subjects and objects co-create, all the way up, all the way down.”
"The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. At each level of complexity entirely new properties appear. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. We can now see that the whole becomes not merely more, but very different from the sum of its parts."(Anderson 1972)
Systems theory, once developed, will lead on to a revolution in scientific method where we recognize we need to see the whole before we see the parts.
The Challenge of Today
The decision was made early on to deem certain evidence inadmissible; to say “No, it cannot exist, for we have a theory that fits this evidence. Look at this evidence that we have here in front of us. We do not need a different theory to explain life from the evidence we have in front of us. So don’t show us any other evidence … okay?”!
Before reality can be renegotiated, the agreements have to be acknowledged. Unless you see the assumptions and contract made in the first place, you cannot see through the veil into the space of possibilities that exists on the other side.
Social structures are walls of thoughts, literal structures that although subtle in terms of density—in comparison to what we consider matter—are in fact more powerful shapers of reality than so-called physical evidence that we can touch with our hands.
Evolution it is a hot potato.
This leads on to the next evolution blog, where we will go much further with this investigation.
Tomorrow is the new moon that starts the Year of the Tiger, so I will write a piece for that, because it is going to roar!