History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
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18-03-2017, 03:52 AM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2017 06:53 AM by Fred Hampton.)
History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
First of all, evolution is neither linear nor cyclical: it goes in myriad "directions" based on natural selection/adaption in the material world. Nature creates, adapts impartially, and, through entropy, which is the overriding force, dis-integrates(de-creates). You could say that a simlilar set or collection of molecules and elements in our particular natural world "recycles" to form new "creations", but those are just the building blocks and said "creations" are not cyclical or linear: they merely adapt to the particular contextual environment at any given time in order to survive and reproduce, neither of which is guaranteed in the long term.

Recorded human history, for one, is never all inclusive No and actual human history also proceeds in myriad non linear, non cyclical "directions" also based on adaptation to the resources of the material world. This adaptation to the material world and mode of life sustaining production based on material resources combines with arbitrarily decided resultant human relationships and therefore forms the basis of human "historical movement" over any particular phase of time. To the extent that this historical, material movement, or "economic system" is able to reproduce and sustain itself gives the illusion of linear OR cyclical motion, but is, in fact, arbitrary and in no way necessarily permanent. Yes
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18-03-2017, 04:57 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
There are a lot of words I do not understand in your post but I like to think Evolution is like a tree, we all come from the same trunk but there are many branches.

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18-03-2017, 05:19 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 04:57 AM)JDog554 Wrote:  There are a lot of words I do not understand in your post but I like to think Evolution is like a tree, we all come from the same trunk but there are many branches.
Yeah, my brain starts to spin a bit while trying to put that stuff into words. Still trying to wrap my brain around it. But if I understand evolution/natural selection correctly, the manifestations of the natural/material world don't necessarily come from the "same tree", unless you call that "tree" H2O and light or "solar dust". It's more like myriad trees with myriad branches going in myriad "directions".

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18-03-2017, 05:39 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
"History may not repeat itself. But it rhymes." -- unknown

(18-03-2017 05:19 AM)Fred Hampton Wrote:  But if I understand evolution/natural selection correctly, the manifestations of the natural/material world don't necessarily come from the "same tree", unless you call that "tree" H2O and light or "solar dust". It's more like myriad trees with myriad branches going in myriad "directions".

As I understand it, everything alive on the planet today (with some possible exceptions at the single-cell level?) is related so we are all "twigs" on the same "tree". The branches have headed off in different directions but it is more than that they are made of the same stuff.

That is not to say that it is either linear or cyclical. It is an ever-changing pattern that often shows similar features.

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18-03-2017, 05:44 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
More like a bush than a tree. Lots of branches springing from a single source, and only the "outer surface" of the bush is alive right now, all the past is prologue.
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18-03-2017, 06:50 AM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2017 06:55 AM by Fred Hampton.)
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 05:39 AM)unfogged Wrote:  "History may not repeat itself. But it rhymes." -- unknown

(18-03-2017 05:19 AM)Fred Hampton Wrote:  But if I understand evolution/natural selection correctly, the manifestations of the natural/material world don't necessarily come from the "same tree", unless you call that "tree" H2O and light or "solar dust". It's more like myriad trees with myriad branches going in myriad "directions".

As I understand it, everything alive on the planet today (with some possible exceptions at the single-cell level?) is related so we are all "twigs" on the same "tree". The branches have headed off in different directions but it is more than that they are made of the same stuff.

That is not to say that it is either linear or cyclical. It is an ever-changing pattern that often shows similar features.
Yes, I can't recall if I was reading Dawkins or Krauss or somebody else on the subject, but if I understood correctly, not every species is directly related to, say, fish. Humans are supposedly related to fish, but not all species, like say insects, are related to fish(?) Humans are also not, supposedly, directly related to apes, but humans and apes both share a common ancestor.

I could be wrong. I'll have to go back and try and find the discussion. Maybe there is a state of the art evo biologist that can help us out here.
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18-03-2017, 07:27 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 06:50 AM)Fred Hampton Wrote:  Yes, I can't recall if I was reading Dawkins or Krauss or somebody else on the subject, but if I understood correctly, not every species is directly related to, say, fish. Humans are supposedly related to fish, but not all species, like say insects, are related to fish(?) Humans are also not, supposedly, directly related to apes, but humans and apes both share a common ancestor.

It depends on what you mean by "directly related". We did not descend from modern apes; we are "cousins" many times removed since share great-great-great....-great-grandprents. Somewhere in the ancestry of modern fish you will find something that is also the ancestor of modern insects but you may have to go back a long way.

As an example that I think I'm more familiar with, if you go back far enough you will find something that is the ancestor of both mammals and the dinosaurs. Birds evolved from the dinosaurs so they are directly descended from them. We evolved from those early mammals so we are not directly descended from dinosaurs. In that sense the birds are directly related to the dinosaurs and we are not but we are still indirectly related to dinosaurs and, through them, to birds.

Caveat: I'm not an evolutionary scientist so this is just my lay understanding from what I've read. Others here can confirm or correct me.

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18-03-2017, 07:37 AM
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 05:44 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  More like a bush than a tree. Lots of branches springing from a single source, and only the "outer surface" of the bush is alive right now, all the past is prologue.

Inter species horizontal transfer of genetic material and endosymbiosis makes it a lot messier than a bush. Separate branches have been coming together to form new species throughout the history of life.

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18-03-2017, 07:38 AM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2017 07:41 AM by Fred Hampton.)
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 07:27 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(18-03-2017 06:50 AM)Fred Hampton Wrote:  Yes, I can't recall if I was reading Dawkins or Krauss or somebody else on the subject, but if I understood correctly, not every species is directly related to, say, fish. Humans are supposedly related to fish, but not all species, like say insects, are related to fish(?) Humans are also not, supposedly, directly related to apes, but humans and apes both share a common ancestor.

It depends on what you mean by "directly related". We did not descend from modern apes; we are "cousins" many times removed since share great-great-great....-great-grandprents. Somewhere in the ancestry of modern fish you will find something that is also the ancestor of modern insects but you may have to go back a long way.

As an example that I think I'm more familiar with, if you go back far enough you will find something that is the ancestor of both mammals and the dinosaurs. Birds evolved from the dinosaurs so they are directly descended from them. We evolved from those early mammals so we are not directly descended from dinosaurs. In that sense the birds are directly related to the dinosaurs and we are not but we are still indirectly related to dinosaurs and, through them, to birds.

Caveat: I'm not an evolutionary scientist so this is just my lay understanding from what I've read. Others here can confirm or correct me.
That all sounds about right. Anyway, what is sort of the trust of this thread is to dispel the often misinformed cultural-centric repetition that human history is "cyclical" or "linear" or "always leading to progress". There're many different cultures in the world with different histories and entirely different approaches to life--and human activity isn't always progressive. You could say that industrial societies have invented electricity and computers and that is "progress", but they also invented the nuclear bomb and porn, etc.
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18-03-2017, 07:44 AM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2017 07:47 AM by Fred Hampton.)
RE: History Is Not Linear or Cyclical
(18-03-2017 07:37 AM)Popeyes Pappy Wrote:  
(18-03-2017 05:44 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  More like a bush than a tree. Lots of branches springing from a single source, and only the "outer surface" of the bush is alive right now, all the past is prologue.

Inter species horizontal transfer of genetic material and endosymbiosis makes it a lot messier than a bush. Separate branches have been coming together to form new species throughout the history of life.
Yes, this is more what I was thinking. What is endosymbiosis?
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