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Interrupted Development and Bursts of Creation - (Part 2)

SERIES: Interupted Development and Bursts of Creation
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This paper considers Natural Selection in Evolution, and, starting with the usual model involving perfectly Random Damage to genetic material, shows that, by means of subsequent competition between individuals within species, and between actual species, can lead to the survival and proliferation of those with the best fitness to prevailing conditions, in preference to those less well endowed. But this model is usually a gradualist form, where small random changes, which endow some sort of advantage, build up into a consequent species change.

Now that model is contrasted with the phenomenon of Adaptive Radiation, where, as a result of a major crisis, (either externally caused, or internally precipitated) leads to a significant widening of changes into new areas with greater individual contributions.

Indeed, the evolution of Mankind is perhaps the clearest example of crucial changes occurring as a result of intrinsic crisis and resolutions in development, which involved important qualitative changes that were not merely incremental. But we shy away from these, as they are, by their very Emergentist nature, inexplicable, whereas major changes in response to external cataclysms are not! But the denial of the reality of Emergent Events is not based on an argument about Emergence, but about Mankind’s own self-enforced limitations in conception, due to the acceptance of Plurality (The Whole and its contributing Parts) as the basis for all Science. This assumption makes Events such as Emergences appear totally inexplicable: they certainly appear so when addressed by pluralist methods alone. Pluralist Science was, and still is, adequate to the study of phenomena within a Stable Level, but can never address the revolutionary overturns of an Emergence, which are anything but stable throughout their creative trajectory, and only finally settle into a new higher Stable Level on completion of the whole process.

What hides these crucial Events is their very brief duration compared with the enclosing stabilities, and the fact that Stability can indeed be addressed by our established pluralist methods. We don’t actually see the trees for the dominant woods!



1.The contributing roles of external conditions and internal developments cannot be simply and causally related. Though climate chage played a role in the development of hominids (pre-human apes), it did not cause their developments in gait and the use of the hands, and the consequent major changes in the brain.

2.Now one particular aspect of an Emergence IS indeed explicable in terms of precursor processes. That is the inevitable dissociative catastrophe, which is always that Event’s initial stage. Though the crucial Qualitative Changes which follow can never be explained in that way.

3.But, that is not to say that explanation will never be found – just that they will never be revealed by our current methodologies. For these are based upon the assumption of Plurality – the always-possible analysis of everything via its separable Parts.

4.This led to what can only be described as Pluralist Science, which could never explain Qualitative Changes as occur in Emergences. It was the methodology for ONLY within=Level Stabilities, and NOT for the revolutions of total transformation, which are Emergences.

5.What is needed to be addressed in Emergences, involves an entirely different approach, and this would have to be holistic, not pluralistic. A revolution in scientific methods was required.

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