Evolutionary Mythology – Motion Notion Festival 2010

by Michael Garfield

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At the 11th annual Motion Notion Festival, in the wilderness outside of Edmonton AB, I gave the latest iteration of my informal talk, "Does Evolution Have A Direction?"

In it, I raised the question of whether the methods we have at our disposal can really solve the mystery of life's origin and destiny - and if it makes sense to argue that life has a destiny at all.

Over the hour-long discussion, I mentioned a few blind spots in the way we've constructed evolutionary narratives (including how myths of evolutionary directionality rely on a finite universe, for which we have no evidence), and addressed topics including the emergence of a telepathic world community, fractal self-similarity in the evolution of ideas and cultures, gods in a rational age, and how esoteric wisdom can inform our scientific process.

Overall, this was a delightful ramble through the winding trails of our evolving human mythos - poised at the awe-filled brink between majesty and humility, science and storytelling - where discovery and creativity are indistinguishable.


released July 17, 2010

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"The Engine of Development: Integral Theory & Post-Metaphysical Entelechy," by Michael Garfield
...in which I explain how evolutionary pressures create conditions for "strongly convergent" emergent sociality and intelligence and allow us to discuss, in a limited way, how evolution does actually favor the transcendence and inclusion of its junior levels of organization.

"Integral Time & Causality," by Michael Garfield
...a preliminary survey of multiple perspectives on the nature of time, leading to the re-imagination of how we understand cause and effect. Since evolution is defined as change through time, any change in our understanding of causation dramatically alters how we conceive of the evolutionary process.

"The Next Evolution of the Web: On Immediacy & Authority," by Venessa Miemis
...in which the author explores the emergence of Web 3.0 and the consequences of mature electronic media for our construction of expertise and authority.

"An Open Letter To The Scientific Community," signed by a huge and growing number of physicists
...originally published in New Scientist, in which the scientific community's opposition to Big Bang is called into question as unscientific and dangerous to the credibility of cosmology. A great place to start for those who got hung up on my Big Bang denial.

"Evolutionary Biology Symposium @ Entheon Village 2009"
...an earlier panel conversation between myself and three other evolutionary biologists about the fringier aspects of evolutionary science - including the effect of thought on genetic expression over generations, the so-called "hundredth monkey effect," and the issue of spandrels.

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.  But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
- Niels Bohr

"Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong.  They are conflicts between two rights."
- Georg Hegel

"We used to think that if we knew one, we knew two, because one and one are two.  We are finding that we must learn a great deal more about 'and.'"
- Arthur Stanley Eddington




Michael Garfield Austin, Texas

Free-roaming talks on evolution, mind, technology, and soul that show the islands of experience to be the underwater continent they are – reminding us that everything is equally art, science, and spiritual practice.

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