Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Evolutionary Manifesto

I received this email today - not had time to look into it fully. Let me know what you think about "The Evolutionary Manifesto". Is it rubbish or brilliant? The lack of references makes me sceptical.

I read elsewhere that Prof. Steve Jones thinks that Human Evolution is over.

Hi Crabsallover,

Given that your blogs have dealt with evolution and its implications for humanity, I thought you might be interested in having a look at The Evolutionary Manifesto. It presents a new evolutionary worldview that has the potential to provide humanity with a science-based and rationalist understanding of where we have come from and what we should be doing with our lives.

I have set out the first page of the Manifesto below so that you can efficiently judge whether it interests you.

The complete 34 page Manifesto can be downloaded at .

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested in the Manifesto.

Kind regards,

John Stewart


Our role in the future evolution of life

John Stewart
Member of the Evolution, Complexity
and Cognition Research Group,
The Free University of Brussels,

6 June 2008


A completely new phase in the evolution of life on Earth has begun. It will change everything.

In this new phase evolution will be driven intentionally, by humanity. The evolutionary worldview that emerges from an understanding of our role in the new phase has the potential to transform the nature of human existence.

At present humanity is lost. We don't know what we are doing here. We are without a worldview that can point to our place and purpose in the universe and that can also withstand rational scrutiny.

Some evidence of this statement is required.

God has been dead for centuries.

Not for many people!

But this difficult period is coming to an end. The emergence of the new evolutionary worldview is beginning to lift us out of the abyss. The new worldview has a unique capacity to reveal who we are and what we should be doing with our lives. It relies solely on scientific knowledge and reason to identify our critical role in future evolution. The evolutionary worldview can unite us in a great common enterprise, and provide meaning and purpose for human existence.

At the heart of the evolutionary worldview is the fact that evolution has a trajectory-it heads in a particular direction.

Does evolution head in a particular or random direction?

However, evolution on Earth will not advance beyond a certain point unless it is driven consciously and intentionally.


If this transition to intentional evolution does not occur, evolution on this planet will stall, and humanity will not contribute positively to the future evolution of life in the universe-we will be a failed evolutionary experiment.

Will we?

It is as if evolution is a developmental process. Just as a human embryo is organized to develop through a number of stages to produce an adult, evolution tends to produce a particular sequence of outcomes of increasing complexity.

Does it?

Initially, evolution moves in this direction of its own accord. However, at a particular point evolution will continue to advance only if certain conditions are met: organisms must emerge that awaken to the possibility that they are living in the midst of a developmental process; they must realize that the continued success of the process depends on them; and they must commit to actively moving the process forward.

This theory sounds like Ouspensky fascinating but discredited theory in The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution.

Across the planet at the beginning of the twenty first century, individuals are beginning to realize the importance of the transition to intentional evolution. They know that they themselves have a significant role to play if the transition is to be completed successfully.

This role requires them to promote the new evolutionary worldview that will drive the transition. It also calls on them to begin to remake themselves and their societies in whatever ways are necessary to advance the evolutionary process.
Their efforts, powered by the capacity of the evolutionary worldview to invest their lives with direction and purpose, will bring forth a great wave of evolutionary activism that will change life on this planet forever.

Evolutionary activists use the trajectory of evolution to identify what they need to do to advance evolution.
Socially, the next great step in human evolution is the emergence of a unified and sustainable global society.
Psychologically, the next step is to free our behavior from the dictates of our biological and cultural past, so that we can do that which is necessary for future evolutionary success.

The organization of a cooperative global society is an urgent priority. With it, the threats of world war and global warming can be easily managed.

Without it, human civilization may end this century.

Does Martin Rees make a similar point in 'Our Final Century'

The Evolutionary Manifesto is an intentional attempt to promote the shift to conscious evolution and the evolutionary activism that will drive it. To read, discuss and circulate the Manifesto is to participate in a great evolutionary transition on this planet.

Part 1 of the Manifesto provides an overview of the shift to intentional evolution and of the worldview that is motivating individuals to actively promote the transition. Parts 2 and 3 begin by identifying the trajectory of evolution and showing that its directionality is produced by processes that are fully understandable within mainstream science, without resort to teleology or mysticism. They go on to use the trajectory of evolution to identify the agendas that guide evolutionary activists in their attempts to advance the evolutionary process. In particular, Part 2 deals with our future social evolution and Part 3 with the future evolution of our adaptability, intelligence and creativity.

Part 4 of the Manifesto explores the power of the evolutionary worldview to provide meaning and direction for human existence.
It demonstrates the capacity of the worldview to make evolutionary activism the most significant political force on the planet.
In particular, it shows that philosophical arguments such as the 'naturalistic fallacy' do not diminish the force of the evolutionary worldview presented by the Manifesto.

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