August 19, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Category: Play

Evolution manifests in at least four scales or levels:  biological, societal, ontological and personal.  A central theme of these entries is that there are powerful connections between the different scales that evolution uses to unfold.  One connection is that the different scales share the same processes, one of them being neoteny, which is part of heterochrony, or the principle of waves.

This work explores various conditions characterized by maturational delay, such as autism, Asperger’s and stuttering, with a focus on what I’ve called left spectrum.  I believe that the theory or theories of evolution we consider inform our understanding of several medical conditions.  In other words, understanding exactly how we got to where we are can be very useful when addressing medical and psychological anomalies.

Another theme that carries through these entries is that science and spirituality are closely tied, particularly when exploring issues revolving around the unconscious and consciousness.  This work follows those connections to where they manifest in evolutionary theory, particularly where they link to discussions of art, play and creativity.

The study of neoteny in humans is also the study of creativity.  Studying how evolution is informed by creativity links to a number of areas, including story and myth, language, metaphor, art and childhood.

My professional training was as an artist/illustrator.  My profession is managing a web development firm specializing in two different areas.  We serve commercial firms, almost 400 clients, making it possible for small businesses to gain new customers with simple, small websites.  At the same time, we build highly sophisticated social change network-building web applications specializing in empowering local peace, justice and environmental organizations and the members of those organizations.  This work shows how evolutionary principles inform our understanding of how business relates to society.  In addition, these blogs show how an understanding of evolution offers guidance on the building of online tools to encourage social change.

Another connection among the different scales that evolution uses to unfold is that we can notice that the specifics of the evolutionary theory we believe in influences how society is managed, and vice versa.  Specifically, by allying ourselves exclusively with Darwin’s theory of natural selection, we encourage the manifestation of Social Darwinism in its present iteration as free market philosophy.  With corporations controlling our access to ideas, it is more difficult to observe the many places that natural selection fails to offer satisfaction as an explanatory principle, particularly when interconnection and cooperation emerge in ways that could explain the world we’re in.

To me, this stuff all feels so closely connected as to be all the same thing, viewed from a number of different directions with lots of different names.  Expressing the experience that everything is connected can involve communicating a spiritual perspective while manifesting an understanding of evolution.  I explore the biological, societal, ontological and personal, showing interconnections.  At the same time, my vocation, interests, family, friends, political activism and spiritual point of view become interconnected as I experience (sometimes more, sometimes less) a personal integration.

It’s all connected.  We’re all connected.  Indeed, evolution can be fun.


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