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INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".
Jóse Díez Faixat is an architect, non-violent conscientious objector, ecologist, rural community member.From 1979 he has focused on research into basic reality, of form both as experienced (mystical, non-dualistic) and as theoretical (study of spiritual traditions and the sciences of the New Paradigm). In 1993, he published his hypothesis in the journal of general evolution World Futures, edited by Ervin Laszlo, and later, in 1996, develops this work in the book Between Evolution and Eternity (Editorial Kairos). He later published Being nothing, I am All (Editorial Dilema).
A Response to Faixat's Musicological Musings on Evolution
The Hidden Rhythm of Evolution
Addendum: coincident research
JOSÉ DÍEZ FAIXAT
It seems evident that we have unexpectedly discovered a very precise evolutionary pattern within the apparently random dynamics of the universe.
Some readers of the present article have raised doubts as to whether the sequence of evolutionary and historical cycles we have presented here may not have been somewhat forced to make it coincide with the forecasts of our hypothesis. On our part, we think that the series of selected milestones, grouped together in the form of blocks (Palaeontology Kingdom: animal, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammals, Order: Primates, Superfamily: Hominoids, Family: Hominids, and Genus: Homo, Palaeoanthropology H. habilis, H. erectus, Archaic H. sapiens, H. sapiens and H. sapiens sapiens and History Neolithic, Ancient Age, Middle Ages, Modern Age and Postmodern Age), is solid and coherent enough for there to be no kind of trick or manipulation involved. Nonetheless, in order to clarify any doubts, we shall now attempt to confirm our proposal by presenting some key points in the work of three researchers who have analyzed the phenomenon of evolutionary acceleration independently and from different perspectives Russian astrophysicist Alexander D. Panov, French palaeontologist Jean Chaline and American computer scientist Carter V. Smith, whose proposals are fully in tune with the pattern of rhythms we have outlined in this article. Let us see.
Alexander D. Panov
Alexander D. Panov repeatedly treats the subject in a number of studies. The information we shall contribute here is specifically taken from a couple of articles of his that can be consulted on the Internet. One is entitled: “¿Punto de bifurcación evolutivo?” (Evolutionary Bifurcation Point?) (published in Spanish by LeonAlado.org), and the other: “Scaling Law of the Biological Evolution and the Hypothesis of the Self-Consistent Galaxy Origin of Life”.
Panov holds that the evolution of the Earth's biosphere has passed through a series of stages with phase transitions between them, which he calls biosphere revolutions. He lists a sequence of 19 such revolutions, indicating their approximate dates and their main features. (At each stage, we in turn will indicate the correspondence of each one of these with our pattern of cycles). Let us see the complete list:
0. 3,800 million years ago. Emergence of life on Earth / Prokaryotes. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-1]
1. 1,500 million years ago. Oxygen crisis / Aerobic lifeforms / Eukaryotes / Neoproterozoic revolution. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-1]
2. 590/510 million years ago. Palaeozoic Era begins / Cambrian explosion / Vertebrates. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-2]
3. 235 million years ago. Mesozoic begins / Revolution of reptiles. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-3]
4. 66 million years ago. Cenozoic Era begins / Revolution of mammals and birds. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-4]
5. 25/20 million years ago. The Neogene period begins / Hominoid revolution. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-5]
6. 5/4 million years ago. The Anthropogene period begins / Quaternary era / First hominids appear. [Around the 2nd node of cycle A-6]
7. 2/1.6 million years ago. Olduvai / Homo habilis / Palaeolithic revolution. [Around the 2nd node of cycle A-7]
8. 0.7/0.6 million years ago. Shell / Homo erectus / Settlement of Europe and Asia. [Around the 2nd node of cycle B-1]
9. 0.4/0.22 million years ago. Achel / Archaic Homo sapiens. [Stage between the nodes of cycle B-2]
10. 150/100 thousand years ago. Mustie / Homo sapiens / Cultural revolution of the Neanderthals. [Stage between the nodes of cycle B-3]
11. 40 thousand years ago. Revolution of the Upper Palaeolithic / Homo sapiens sapiens / Cultural revolution of the Cro-Magnons. [Stage between the nodes of cycle B-4]
12. 12/9 thousand years ago. Neolithic revolution. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle B-5]
13. 4000/3000 BC. Revolution of cities / Ancient Age begins. [Around the 1st node of cycle B-6]
14. 800/500 BC. Revolution of the axial era / Iron Age / Age of Empires. [Around the 2nd node of cycle B-6]
15. 400/600 AD. The Middle Ages begin. [Around the 1st node of cycle B-7]
16. 1450/1550 AD. First Industrial Revolution / Modern Age begins. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle C-1]
17. 1830/1840 AD. Second Industrial Revolution / Steam engine and electricity. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle C-1]
18. 1950 AD. Computer science revolution / Post-Industrial Age begins. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle C-2]
We thus see that of the 19 biosphere and historical revolutions posited by Panov, 13 coincide fully with the rhythm of the cycles of our hypothesis, while the remaining 6 revolutions fully fit in with the pairs of nodes of 3 of our other cycles [“prokaryotic - eukaryotic” in cycle A-1, “urban revolution - axial revolution” (Ancient Age) in cycle B-6 and “first industrial revolution - second industrial revolution” (Modern Age) in cycle C -1], which Panov considered separately. We can therefore say that the coincidence is almost complete and, therefore, given that the research was carried out completely independently, we believe the circumstance to be truly significant and decisive.
Jean Chaline, in the paper entitled “L'arbre de la vie a-t-il une structure fractale?” (jointly authored by Laurent Nottale and Pierre Grou and also freely available on the Internet), studies the time sequences of the great evolutionary leaps in the global tree of life. In Table I (and Figure 1), he summarizes the list of dates and features of these leaps up until the appearance of primates, while, in Table IV (and Figure 6), he goes on to list the major transformations that have occurred throughout the process of humanization of primates. The combined series would thus be something like as follows:
1. 3,500 ± 400 million years ago. Emergence of life / First prokaryotic cells. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-1]
2. 1,750 ± 250 million years ago. First eukaryotic cells. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-1]
3. 1000 ± 100 million years ago. Multicellularity. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-2]
4. 570 ± 30 million years ago. Exo-skeletons. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-2]
5. 380 ± 30 million years ago. Tetrapods / First tetrapod with lungs. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-3]
6. 220 ± 20 million years ago. Homeothermy / First mammals. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-3]
7. 120 ± 20 million years ago. Viviparity / First marsupials and placentals. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-4]
8. 65 ± 5 million years ago. First primate / Prosimians. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-4]
9. 40 ± 5 million years ago. First anthropoid ancestor / Simians. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle A-5]
10. 20 ± 2 million years ago. Proconsul / Apes. [Period leading up to the 2nd node of cycle A-5]
11. 10 ± 1.5 million years ago. Common ancestor P/G/H. [Around the 1st node of cycle A-6]
12. 5 ± 1 million years ago. Australopithecus. [Around the 2nd node of cycle A-6 or around the 1st node of cycle A-7]
13. 2 ± 0.3 million years ago. First Homo. [Around the 2nd node of cycle A-7]
14. 0.18 ± 0.02 million years ago. Modern man / Homo sapiens. [Period leading up to the 1st node of cycle B-3]
We thus see that the first 13 evolutionary leaps that appear in this list correspond accurately, one by one, with all the nodes in our series A, except for number 12, which includes the 2nd node of cycle A-6 and the 1st node of cycle A-7. We can therefore affirm that the coincidence is once again practically complete. It is therefore not surprising that when the Chaline calculates the ratio between the durations of successive stages, he obtains an average value which, as he himself states in his article “La relativité d'echelle dans la morphogenèse du vivant: fractal, déterminisme et hasard”, seems to be, both generally and comprehensively, near to the square root of 3 (1.736 ± 0.013), which is completely in tune with our proposal, since, given that each one of our cycles has two nodes, applying this number (v3) twice, we obtain: v3 x v3 = 3, which, as we recall, is precisely and exactly the ratio between the durations of the successive cycles in our hypothesis! Can anyone believe that all this is coincidence?
Carter V. Smith
Carter V. Smith has comprehensively studied the phenomenon of evolutionary acceleration on his two web pages: “Twelve Stage Vision” and “Acceleration Evolution”. From an integral perspective, he outlines a model of 12 grouped stages, three by three, in four eras Body, Emotion, Mind and Spirit, which reveals the exponential acceleration of human evolutionary development. We shall now summarize the entire series, which includes the approximate duration of each stage, in powers of 10, its main feature and the respective correlation with the cycles of our hypothesis:
S1. Since the origin of the universe to 5,000 million years ago. Matter / Big Bang → organic matter. [From the Big Bang to the origin of cycle A-1]
S2. From 5,000 to 500 million years ago. Cells / Organic matter → vertebrates. [From the origin of cycle A-1 to the origin of cycle A-3]
S3. From 500 to 50 million years ago. Animals / Vertebrates → simians. [From the origin of cycle A-3 to the origin of cycle A-5]
S4. From 50 to 5 million years ago. Mammals / Prosimians → Australopithecus. [From the origin of cycle A-5 to around the origin of cycle A-7]
S5. From 5 to 0.5 million years ago. Hominids / Australopithecus → Homo erectus. [From around the origin of cycle A-7 to around the 1st node of cycle B-2]
S6. From 500,000 to 50,000 years ago. Archaic man / Homo erectus → Homo sapiens sapiens. [From around the 1st node of cycle B-2 to around the 1st node of cycle B-4]
S7. From 50.000 to 5.000 years ago. Magic / Homo sapiens sapiens → Ancient Age. [From around the 1st node of cycle B-4 to around the 1st node of cycle B-6]
S8. From 5.000 to 500 years ago. Mythical / Middle Ages → Modern Age. [From around the 1st node of cycle B-6 to around the 1st node of cycle C-1]
S9a. From 500 years ago. Rational-individualistic.
S9b. Currently emerging. Rational-pluralistic.
S9c. In the near future. Rational-integral.
S10. Integral-spiritual, S11. Subtle-spiritual and S12. Causal-spiritual will unfold in an accelerated way during the next century and a half.
We thus see that each of the stages that Smith proposes includes, time and time again and in all cases, two complete cycles of our pattern of time. For that reason, as the duration of each cycle in our hypothesis is exactly one third of that of the previous one, if we consider stages that comprise a couple of these cycles as Smith does, the ratio between their durations will be: 3 x 3 = 9, which is obviously very close to 10, the value this American researcher uses in an approximate way, in his evolutionary scheme. Once again, therefore, there is practically complete coincidence between the evolutionary path outlined in “Twelve Stage Vision” and our hypothesis, and it is no wonder Smith situates the end stop Omega of the evolutionary spiral around the year 2150, not very far from our 2217.
In conclusion, given the enormous coincidences between the investigations of Panov, Chaline, Smith and my own, all carried out independently and from very different approaches, it seems evident that we have unexpectedly discovered a very precise evolutionary pattern within the apparently random dynamics of the universe. It is obvious, therefore, that, given the scope and profound implications of this discovery, a host of novel perspectives now open up. So from here, as we stated in the Introduction, all readers are invited to investigate the suggestive paths that are beginning to appear. We may thus possibly discover that the reality is much more fascinating than we could ever have imagined.