The debate over evolution is not over science and religion: the scale of evolution is so vast that we suspect it is really connected with theories of cosmology..
The question of evolution has become so confused that it is difficult now to sort out the conflict of paradigms.
We can help by compounding the confusion: the idea of the ‘evolution’ of freedom injects a kind of metaphysical curve ball into the discussion and forces the issue of the many kantian-style antinomies that haunt the whole subject.
In general the rise of science on the scale of natural entities arrives as the plateau of biochemistry and then seems to confront a barrier beyond which the physical sciences cannot seem to pass: the biochemistry of life is visible in the DNA realm, and yet the dramatic resolution seems cheated out of its victory in the way evolution fails to fall into place in progression of sciences. The idea of natural selection is the talisman of reductionist fantasy here and fulfills all the hopes of reductionist science, but falls short as the grand scheme crumbles and stops with a mystery as yet unsolved. Our idea of the ‘evolution’ of freedom, which needs to be more concrete, to be sure, shows the exact point at which science, metaphysics, and the evolution of creaturehood confront their peculiar dialectic and stall short of any kind of answer.
The reason is that ‘evolution’ is on the other side of a conceptual barrier, one that connects cosmology, next to issues of teleology, banished from science, and the suspicion of something far more complex than anything science can resolve.
The writings of Bennett are open to challenge but his basic point (as is ours here) is that evolution has a cosmological component that shows directionality and some kind of form factor that stands behind speciation…
Applying the term ‘evolution’ to world history seems counterintuitive to many, but in fact the influence of darwinian ideology has distorted perception and blinded historians, and everyone else to the hidden developmental driver behind civilization. It is the range of standard views that are at fault, including even the marxist crypto-teleological thinking matched with economic determination, etc…
This interpretation as ‘evolution’ is postdarwinian, and invokes a mystery we call the eonic effect of barely visible directionality in the successive progression of epochs and their dynamic cyclicity. Standard views of evolution try to invoke some causal view in a unity of physical interpretation at all levels. Such an approach to a science of history is obsolete even by the standards of current physics which has spawned quantum mechanics and its continuation up to string theory, which is hardly a conclusive subject, if it is a subject at all: we actually don’t yet have a physics to apply to the whole of reality: it is an unfinished subject about which we can hardly draw any conclusion to apply to history.
The eonic effect suggests the most natural model of ‘evolution’ of any kind, historical or biological: some higher level factor must operate on the life sphere and do this intermittently to overcome causal slump.
The interesting thing is that we catch a glimpse of this in world history and this beggars the views of standard historiography, darwinian evolutionism, and religious historicism.
Actually the ancient israelites sensed the eonic effect but spoiled that insight with a theistic invention that turned into a pernicious religious ideology which then entered into christianity. Whatever the case the biblical view of history is grossly aberrant yet contains the implication that a mysterious ‘something’ can interact with the continuous stream of history.
Despite its incomplete nature the model of the eonic effect points directly to something physics, to some scandalously, has already stumbled on: the mystery of fine-tuning in the display of cosmic evolution: we must suspect that some factor is pre-arranged to emerge in its own logic connected connected ultimately to the big bang. Fearfully for by the book physicists that sounds awfully like some form of teleology. But in any case the issue of evolution we begin to suspect is connected to cosmological emergence. That makes sense: we suspect where the unity of physics and biology really applies at the level of cosmology.
The question of evolution in general, and the related ‘evolution’ of civilization has been so totally muddled by science, biology, and everyone else that is almost impossible to conside…