Historians will look back upon the 21st century as a time when the theory of evolution, confined largely to the biological sciences during the 20th century, expanded to include all human-related knowledge. As we approach the 1/6th mark of the 21st century, this intellectual revolution is already in full swing. A sizeable community of scientists, scholars, journalists, and their readers has become fully comfortable with the statement “Nothing about X makes sense except in the light of evolution”, where X can equal anthropology, art, culture, economics, history, politics, psychology, religion, and sociology, in addition to biology.
Still, it might well take the rest of the century for the rest of the world to see the light and many Americans will be left behind. The Evolution Institute exists to make that day come sooner rather than later with its projects and communication outlets: This View of Life, the Social Evolution Forum, and Evonomics. Now, with the help of Eric Michael Johnson, we have taken a giant step forward by making the Social Evolution Forum a single location for some of the brightest evolutionary thinkers on the internet.
Eric is himself a star of the evolutionary blogosphere with his Primate Diaries column at Scientific American and award-winning articles in Wired, Seed, Discover, and many other outlets. He joined the Evolution Institute as TVOL’s content development editor last year and led the effort to assemble a group of today’s most active bloggers whose writing is informed by modern evolutionary theory. They represent a melting pot in every way—disciplinary training, age, gender, and ethnicity. Some will maintain their current blog sites, others will make SEF their main site, but all of them can be sampled and followed on SEF.
I believe that rates of cultural change can be catalyzed in the same way as rates of chemical change. A chemical catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a reaction, sometimes by orders of magnitude, without being used up in the process. It works by binding to other molecules and holding them in an orientation that binds them to each other, whereupon it is released to repeat the operation. A blog post can act as a cultural catalyst by making a connection between the reader and a given subject that might not have occurred otherwise. A site where over 20 different voices are blogging from a unified theoretical perspective can have an even greater catalytic effect. Welcome to the SEF’s Evolutionary Blogosphere. It could make the 21st Century synthesis come sooner rather than later.
Good luck sparking the reaction! I noticed you left philosophy off the list of subjects inspired by evolutionary thinking–what a shame you are largely right to do so. Would you consider adding voices from that field though if merited?
There’s an argument that many people make: that the natural world, and humanity’s existence in the Universe, point towards a divine creator that brought forth all of this into existence. To the best of our knowledge, Earth exists with a plethora of conditions that allowed for our existence, and does so in a way that no other world can match. WOW!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A AWESOME GOD WE HAVE, to have created such a awesome ECO system, from the recycling of the polluted waters, by humans back into freshwater with the Oceans ECO System, to now recently discovered, a ECO System that recycles the polluted lands itself that has been polluted by humans. Science continually disproves Evolution itself, Scientist have now learned that the Earths crust is completely recycled over ????????? many years,and at a rate of about eight inches a year, four inches in one direction, and four inches in the other. There are fractures in the earth crust, two are major fractures, one is in the bottom of the Pacific, called the Pacific Realm, the other one is in the Atlantic Ocean, called Mid-Alantic Ridge, at these major cracks in the Earths crust, one continental plate is being pushed down below the other, where they meet, the one being pushed downward is melting into liquid from the heat of the Earths core, therefore being recycled. This is why we have earthquakes, volcano’s, and we have had great city’s like Atlantis, or Alexandra, etc… sink into the ocean, California will be joining them one day, with its seashores with high cliffs, and this is why you can go up into some of our highest mountains, and find seashells, because this part of the the Earths crust use to be at the bottom of the ocean. The cool ocean waters keep this process of recycling the earth crust at a slow pass, but with Global Warming???????? And if we didn’t have our oceans this process would speed up dramatically. My point is, Evolution needs a lot of time to take place, million and million of years , and if there was any proof or evidence of Intermediates, where one Species evolves into another, it would all be melted down by now, by the Earths crust being recycled, which means there is no proof or evidence of Evolution . Also no matter how much the human race pollutes the Earth, the Earth will be set back right by this ECO System that God has put into place, good luck trying to find another planet out there like the Earth, anywhere in the Universe, with this ECO System that is intelligently designed.
Hi Evolution Institute,
I hope things are going well for all of you.
I contact you with a contrary position. I think it is easy to fundamentally question the scientific/materialist understanding of life, and with the associated understanding of evolution (and thus further the derivative stuff).
I wrote two papers that introduce these points. Last summer’s Religions’ paper can be found here,
I got the ball rolling with some remarkable behavioral phenomena, phenomena which should have limited the certitude associated with materialism.
Then the recent contribution of philosophy’s OJPP,
This paper succinctly introduces the challenge to materialist’s evolution.
As a related note you can get a little insight into the limitations/priorities of contemporary philosophy by checking the downloads of OJPP papers. Mine addressing inherently significant issues has drawn 8 downloads, whilst a paper entitled “Processes of Science and Art Modeled as a Holoflux of Information Using Toroidal Geometry” has 28 downloads.
Dear evolution institute,
I wonder if you can help me.
I have been unable to find a rational scientific explanation of how the minimum requirements for evolution to occur could have presented themselves These include ( inter alia) : an object/ entity that is discrete from its environment ie possessing something analogous to a cell membrane; an object/ entity that is animate ( alive) as evolutionary development appears to be an active process; an entity that is able to make accurate copies of itself so that any beneficial mutation can produce an actual competitive advantage.
This has been puzzling me for some time.