The Acceleration of Evolutionary Change

An excerpt from the Passionate Earth: The Evolution of Our Relationship with the Natural World by John Del Signore. I will be posting new articles to this site on a regular basis.

Since the beginning of the cosmos, everything has continued to evolve but the pace of evolutionary change has speeded up and has continued to do so at an exponential rate. Although the universe has existed for 13.73 billion years, modern humanity has only inhabited the planet for about 2000 years; yet, the rate of change that has occurred related to human endeavors is mind-boggling. It appears as though the peculiar aspects of human beings: having a well-developed brain, the capacity to reason, make decisions and act upon them, the ability to communicate with each other and the possession of consciousness have, over time, propelled the evolutionary development of humanity forward towards full throttle.

The reason for this rapid increase in change lies in the principle that as systems become more advanced and accumulate knowledge, that added knowledge allows for more change to occur and at an accelerated rate. This process will continue theoretically until there is no actual time-lapse between change events and will ultimately result in a change towards infinity called a singularity. In other words, events may eventually happen so close together that time may break down and have no practical meaning. We don’t know if this will actually ever happen or how it would manifest itself but the implications are clear. Things are going to continue to accelerate and we need to embrace this aspect of evolution and learn how to adapt to it. The adaptation part is the bigger problem. How will humanity cope with this, and will we be able to develop the intellectual and emotional tools necessary to succeed?  Does the human organism need to undergo other dramatic changes of consciousness that we are yet unaware of? As it has been predicted that this infinite change condition will occur within the next century or less, these questions are becoming critically relevant to ponder and engage in.

Reference:

Waking up in Time, Peter Russell, Origin Press Inc., 1122 Grant Ave., Suite C, Novato, CA,  94945 Copyright, 1992 by Peter Russell, Acceleration: The Quickening Pace, pp. 3-10.

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