Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 'Spirit of Evolution' Reconsidered

Just to let you guys know I have summarized my concern's about Ken Wilber's view of evolution in a paper which was presented at the 2nd Integral Theory Conference. The paper "The 'Spirit of Evolution' Reconsidered" won an honorary mention in the category Constructive Criticism.
However, the audience of that conference did not seem to know much about the subject of evolution, nor care about knowing more. Currently, integral discourse is very much focused on AQAL theory and it's applications. (Nicely captured by Hugh Martin in his recent Integral World posting "The Tyranny of AQAL").
Still, evolutionary theory forms the interface between integral and science. Is integral willing to "give" this field to science, as Wilber once suggested (tired of all the criticism his opinions on evolution have generated)? Or is there still a case to be made for "spiritual evolution", that does not misinterpret science from the start?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been a student of Ken Wilber's work for over two decades. Wilber has commented that off the record many evolutionary biologists will admit to major problems with evolutionary theory. This has to do primarily with how random mutations combined with natural selection leads to major leaps in changes in structure and species. Certainly, because strict Darwinain evolution are regarded with religious like reverence in the Academy, any reservations biologists might have regarding any aspect of evolutionary theory would never be spoken about outside a small group of friends, much less find their way into print. I'm inclined to accept Wilber's statements on these matters.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Keith McCaughin said...

It seems to me that Wilber is saying that there is more to evolution than natural selection. There is more to Newtonian physics too; quantum mechanics. Scientists can say it is "out of scope" but "out of scope" shouldn't mean "out of sight." Scientists will see it when the believe it. There may well be a "quantum mechanics" of evolution but we will still be faced with the child's question; "Why?"

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever the broader landscape, Namaste Publishing's successful new book THE COMING INTERSPIRITUAL AGE (Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord) has brought the integral/ evolutionary/ cosmic christ vision to a wide multifaith audience, including this Initiative by progressive Christians:

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Jivatman said...

Norman's critics I quote: If Eros was really behind it all, pushing intelligence to emerge in all species, why wouldn’t elephants have evolved the same (or greater) cognitive capacities as humans have? Why would It have pushed our particular species harder, to develop a more complex (but smaller) brain? If the Goal of the Kosmos was to express Di- vine Intelligence, why wouldn’t elephants have evolved to be literal Ganeshes? What was stopping them, particularly since “Every or- ganism alive today has had the same amount of time to evolve since the origin of life”

All his stated questions can be reversed with the question " why not? For example to obtain and maintain diversity.. Thats why à elephant is and stays à elephant. The diversity is a building block for more complex organisms. It is not critics to "kw" it is just searching for the only truth Norman knows. Namely The flatland truth.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Jivatman said...

Again flatland critics from Norman, i quote: In 1997, Steve Larson, a University of Oregon music profes- sor, arranged a musical variation of the Turing Test by hav- ing an audience attempt to determine which of three pieces of music had been written by a computer and which one of the three had been written two centuries ago by a human named Johann Sebastian Bach.... [T]he audience selected the piece written by a computer program named EMI (Experi- ments in Musical Intelligence) to be the authentic Bach com- position (Kurzweil, 2000).

With THE above Norman is saying nothing. The fact the EMI is able to fool the audience says something About EMI and THE audience. It doen't say anything regarding the fact of where this conscious talent came from. It could be pushed by Eros or not. One thing is sure it is pushed by man in THE EMI machine. So man was able to fool man by using technolgy. This is nothing news.

2:05 AM  

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