woensdag 18 juni 2008

Obama and Human Evolution

by David Loye

Contrary to the prevailing obsession, Obama versus McCain is not just a matter of the supposedly old Darwinian survival of the fittest, nastiest, and wealthiest winner versus loser American politics.

It’s an incomparably larger—and, through the tracking power of a new Darwinian measure, globally measurable—matter of whether we are going to move ahead, be checked in place, or actually, measurably, be driven backward in human evolution.

Further contrary to some who question whether or not who becomes president matters (e.g., Danny Schechter in May 13 Common Dreams), it does matter. Tremendously.

This is the message that a new measure of global health and wellbeing—which constitute rather obvious basic benchmarks for human evolution—underlines in a special report to the The Darwin Project Council of over 50 leading American, European, and Asian scientists and educators, which I’ve expanded into a new book.

I write not just as a scientist concerned for the future of my children, my nation, and our planet. I am a World War II veteran married to a holocaust survivor.

In other words, I see this presidential and congressional election not just out of what I know from history books, or social science research, but out of searing personal experience. I’m 83, I was there. And what I see behind the McCain candidacy is more of the kind of Bush years sheep’s clothing for the wolves of regression that earlier took over Germany, Italy, Japan, and countless other deluded and snookered nations prior to and since then.

But science can make a big difference by cutting through lunacy to provide backup for sanity. Based on the past two decades of advanced research into the dynamics of evolution, the Darwin Project development of the new Global Sounding measure of worldwide health and wellbeing provides a way of gaugeing the degree to which we are moving forward, being checked in place, or are being shoved backward on fifteen basic indicators of evolution.

Because of the enormous impact of U.S. policies and actions on the rest of the world, we decided to use prevailing presidential and congressional majority policies for the Bush years for a pilot study of the new measure. We’d expected backward movement on such obvious indicators as those bearing on political corruption and environmental devastation. But the pilot test showed a backward thrust for prevailing policies for the Bush years not on three, four, or five, but on all fifteen basic indicators of human evolution.

For an idea of the spread here, these basic indicators range beyond biological evolution, to potential pro or con impact on psychological, social, economic, political, educational, technological, and moral and spiritual evolution.

To further explore the horror story emerging from our relatively simple two page matrix for Global Sounding results we translated the fifteen indicators into equivalents for a Global Sounding Moral Code—in effect an experimental scientific Global Ethic. And got the same wholesale negative reading for the Bush years.

In other words, behind the incredibly successful seven year long masquerade for the Bush years, I found bedrock scientific substantiation of a degree of social, political, economic, and moral pathology unparalleled in American history.

Considering evidence of the degree to which the same regressive forces that put Bush in place are behind McCain, this puts the case squarely before doubters. Unless one happens to be an entrenched Flat Earth believer, again we have the sounding of the ancient tocsin to swarm to the ramparts. Again, with the power of the full range for progressive science behind it, the time has come for an all-out, even march in the streets if necessary push for the potential sanity of an Obama presidency.

Behind the Darwin Project study lie fifty years of global measurement development and the past two decades of evolutionary systems scientific research by members of the multinational General Evolution Research Group, of which I am a co-founder. Composed of scientists from fields bearing on all fifteen indicators for the new measure, members of the General Evolution Research Group are from the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia, China, and Australia.

The Darwin Project was formed in 2004 to try to shift the focus in science, education, and the media from the misguided old Darwinian fixation on “survival of the fittest” to the emphasis on moral evolution that a new six book Darwin Anniversary Cycle shows was actually the primary concern of Darwin’s lesser known, pre- and post-Origin of Species work. The Darwin Project includes members of the multinational General Evolution Research Group, the International Society of Systems Scientists, and many other international scientific and educational organizations.

Keying to the global jolt and warning of the Bush years, my expansion of the original Darwin Project report into Bankrolling Evolution: A Program for a President proposes using the new Global Sounding measure of global health and well-being not just short term for an Obama presidency. Long range, yet with increasing urgency, the goal is to guide the development of a new psychiatry and investment and management science of evolution.

I first proposed this new field for science in my earlier award-winning book The Healing of a Nation in 1971; then straight as an arrow saw Nixon lead to Reagan, lead to Bush I, lead to Bush II. The goal for this new field of science is to provide preventive medicine and healing therapy for outbreaks of what the pivotal studies cited in Bankrolling Evolution show, in the prior 20th century cases of Germany, Italy, and Japan, is a historically recurring, invariably disastrous regressive syndrome seizing not just individuals and groups but even whole nations.

The groundswell for an Obama presidency is one sign of the global hope for evolutionary health out of sickness. The other, closely related, is the widening perception that no longer can our species afford this situation where the questions of environmental disaster or nuclear annihilation rest on whether we are going to be free to reject the masquerade and elect progressive leadership—or once again be cozened and coerced into more of the pathology entrenched in “I am the decider” presidential or “I was just following orders” congressional leadership.

The Obama presidency seems to at last offer the chance for progressive science to help advance and form a healing partnership with progressive political leadership in a global healing of the nations.

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A co-founder of two international research groups for advanced evolution studies and former Princeton faculty member, David Loye is the former Research Director for the Program on Psychosocial Adaptation and the Future, Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA School of Medicine, and award-winning author of The Healing of a Nation. An updated election year edition of Bankrolling Evolution and a companion Measuring Evolution will this week become available on online book sellers worldwide and on order through book stores. The Bush policies pilot study and other key chapters are available for review on the website for the publisher, Benjamin Franklin Press.
Dr.Loye can be contacted at: loye [at] thedarwinproject.com.

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