Journal of Futures Studies

Evolution and Enlightenment: The Conceivable Convergence

by Walter Truett Anderson

Abstract

A “macro-technological analysis” is presented for better understanding that rather mysterious process by which life evolved into diverse biological species, produced humankind, founded civilization, and is now creating a knowledge-based, global society entering space. We first examine how each stage of civilization is distinguished by a unique “technical base,” and how a “chain of causality” drives this evolutionary process. Then we show that seven waves of technological innovation cause the rise and fall of ever more powerful stages, forming a “Life Cycle of Evolution” roughly comparable to the life cycles of all organisms. I conclude by summarizing what has been learned from this analysis into three principles comprising a general model of evolution. A striking implication of this model is that social progress is today moving beyond knowledge toward “technologies of consciousness” for the same reason previous eras have emerged – out of the sheer necessity to cope with still greater challenges.

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
Fax: 886 2-2629-6440

ISSN 1027-6084