Three Phases

Cosmic, Biotic, and Social Evolution

Journalist and writer Rush W. Dozier suggests in his book Codes of Evolution, that the entire universe is constructed from the fundamental codes of matter, life, and thought.  He defimnes these as follows:

"Quantum Combines quantum fields into forms of matter, life, and Code thought. There are two basic kinds of fields: boson fields that convey the forces of gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force, and the weak force; and fermion fields that create the elementary quanta of matter - that is, quarks and leptons. Bosons are the glue that binds fermions into nuclei, atoms, and molecules. Unified selection is the mechanism of evolution and centers on the collapse of the wave function.

Genetic Combines four kinds of nucleotides in double-stranded Code chains forming the double-helix DNA molecule that can reproduce itself exactly with only a rare mutation or error. Specific sequences of three nucleotides (codons) on the chains are arbitrarily linked to one of twenty types of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.  Using another type of nucleic acid (RNA) as an intermediary, the information coded by genes, which are sequences of codons, is translated into proteins that interact to produce entire life forms.

Synaptic Combines synapse - that is, electrochemical Code connections among brain cells (neurons) - so that the pattern and strength of these synaptic connections create networks of circuits that form the basis of learning, memory, and behavior. Through association, these synaptic networks coalesce into models that allow humans to remember the past, interpret the present, and predict the future. Models of the modeling process itself are the source of consciousness. The NMDA receptor, a protein switch on the neuron, is in part responsible for establishing associative connections by selectively allowing calcium ions to enter neurons."

Rush W. Dozier, Codes of Evolution - the Synaptic language Language revealing the Secrets of Matter, Life, and Thought, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1992, p.6

All of which can be explained in terms of a hierarchical diagram.

diagram from Rush W. Dozier, Codes of Evolution - the Synaptic language Language revealing the Secrets of Matter, Life, and Thought, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, 1992, p.18

Each code is the pre-requisite for the next, and each generates the next one out of itself.  The result is a process of holistic emergent evolution.

Erich Jantsch said basically the same thing a decade earlier in his masterful book The Self-organizing Universe, except from a more elaborate autopoietic perspective, emphasising not so much the structure of the codes themselves as the way in which they unfold as stages of holistic self-organisation, and the three stages of cosmic, biological, and sociocultural evolution, as indicated and illustrated in the following diagram.

What is described here in terms of science was elaborated upon in the earlier part of the 20th century by two great visionary teachers, the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin and the Indian yogi poet Sri Aurobindo, working in isolation from each other and from very different cultural and religious starting points, yet astonishingly coming up with a very similiar philosophy.   Both saw evolution as a collective and teleological progression through particular levels: Matter, Life and Mind, or Inorganic Earth, Biosphere, and Noosphere, and progressing further to a culmination of the divinisation of collective consciousness on Earth (the Omega Point or Supramentalisation)

It is one thing to say this conception was "in the air" at the time, and doubtless it was.  But it is also an insight that has remained valid, and which serves as a powerful paradigm for the unification not only of different fields of science, but of science as a whole and metaphysics and spirituality.

And of course a real wildcard is thrown into the equation with the concept (formulated by mathematician) Vernor Vinge of a technological singularity.  Is the inexoriable force of evolution heading to a divinisation or a god-like technologisation?  Or both?  And will the human race have any role to play in this future evolution?  These are questions that cannot yet be answered for certain.  But perhaps the answer will be apparent in the very near future.

Cosmic Evolution
Evolution of the Earth
Socio-cultural Evolution
The Singularity

on-line document/bookInvestigations - the nature of autonomous agents and the worlds they mutually create - Stuart A. Kauffman - a rather technical thesis on emergent evolution

Emergent Evolution main page

Evolution main page

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page modified 31 December 1999
and 8 Feb 2000
and again 24 May 2000

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