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Ten Pulses of Evolution & the Logarithmic Nature of Evolutionary Time

Ten Pulses of Evolution & the Logarithmic Nature of Evolutionary Time

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Ten Pulses of Evolution & the Logarithmic Nature of Evolutionary Time

Lunghezza:
121 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
May 4, 2020
ISBN:
9781393536505
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

This work uses a novel way to map ten major pulses of evolution between 4 billion years and 7.8 million years ago, from the start of life to the emergence of early humans. Rather than a traditional, linear scale in which events bunch up toward the end, a logarithmic scale is utilized which  expands our resolution as we come to the present. Thus, events can be spaced out evenly and seen more clearly, as well as revealing the logarithmic pacing of evolutionary events. The use of the concept of logarithm should not deter us, as being too complex to use or understand. In this case, it means that we will simple halve units to mark the pulses or nodes of change as we go from the deep past to more recent times. Thus, if we begin with the start of life at around four billion years ago, we next go to two billion years ago with the eucaryotic cell, then one billion, to 500 million, all the way to 7.5 million and the start of humanity. Come journey with us and see how the patterning of time reveals the pulses of consciousness that seem to have no end.

Pubblicato:
May 4, 2020
ISBN:
9781393536505
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Having grown up in the deep South with woods behind his home, the author enjoys the wilderness. He has a special interest in spirituality and landscape photography and how the two merge. In his travels, the beauty of Yosemite stands out for him and becomes the basis for a vision quest.

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Ten Pulses of Evolution & the Logarithmic Nature of Evolutionary Time - Michael A. Susko

beings.

INTRODUCTION

TEN PULSES OF EVOLUTION

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A Brief Summary

­­This work explores a novel way to map major pulses of evolutionary change from the start of life at 4 billion years ago, to the advent of humans about 7.8 million years ago. Rather than using the traditional, linear scale in which events bunch up toward the end, we employ a logarithmic scale which expands our resolution as we come to the present. Thus, events will be spaced out evenly, and we can see more clearly the regular pacing of evolutionary events.

The use of the concept of logarithm should not deter us, as being too complex to understand. Basically, it means we simply half units to mark pulses or nodes of change, as we go from past to the present. Thus, if the start of life is around four billion years ago, we go next to two billion years ago, then to 1 bya (billion years ago) and so on until the 10th node when we come to the hypothesized start of humanity, circa 7.8 mya (million years ago).

If this mapping holds true, it means that significant evolutionary change is accelerating as we come to the present. Remarkably too, we will see that major pulses of evolutionary change occur at regular halving or log intervals.

Importantly too and confirming for our hypothesis is that the evidence for change presents itself in logarithmic fashion around these nodes. That is, each node has a precursor period in which fossil finds increasingly approximate grade-level change, followed by an explicit period which confirms the change. In true logarithmic fashion, 25% before a point in this halving scale is actually a greater (linear) time interval than 25% after the log node.

In the middle of these two sets of events—the precursor and explicit phases—we place the Major Node itself, a point in time, in which grade-level change is hypothesized to have occurred. This node not only marks the general region of major change, but at this point we hypothesize the suite of changes have become sufficient to establish a grade-level change. As to why this logarithmic march towards greater consciousness has occurred with mathematical regularity in evolution, we will reserve for our conclusion. But our main goal will be to examine the evidence that confirms such patterning.

Before elaborating on these ten pulses of evolution, it bears repeating that the log scale used here, will basically halve units over time. Thus our path, which we briefly label, is from life’s start at 4 billion years ago, to the nucleated cell at 2 billion years ago, to multicellular/ proto-metazoans at 1 billion years, to vertebrates at 500 million years, then two layers of mammalian evolution at 250 and 125 million years ago, proceeding through three layers of primate evolution at 66 mya, 33 mya and 16 mya, until the emergence of humans, about 7.8 million years ago. A total of ten nodes encompass this evolutionary period, in which each node makes for a qualitative leap in consciousness, paired with a greater capacity for mobility and social engagement of the world.

It is important to recap and articulate the advantages in using this model to orient ourselves in evolutionary time.

(1) A logarithmic scale provides a way to view all the information simply, with the easy mnemonic device of halving, leaving us with only a few key dates to remember. It provides a quick grasp of where we are in the temporal scheme of things. If we throw out a date like 260 million years ago, we know that we are near the node at 250 mya, when we expect to find early mammals.

(2) The model offers an expanding visual scale, in which we can easily view all the information. The events do not all bunch up toward the end as with a linear scale, leaving us with a chart we can little use. At the same time, it provides precision. Thus if we consider a specific find, say at 230 mya, we can also say it’s 10% log distance after the Major Node for mammals.

(3) The model, with its precursor period, embraces uncertainty and allows that uncertainty to give us information. We are not yet sure mammals have arrived at say 300 mya during the precursor period, but that dispute tells us something. The model also embraces certainty, providing a bandwidth in which we expect such finds. Thus by 200 million years we expect confirmation for mammals.

(4) This, this model is broadly predictive. The log chart provides an immediate frame of reference for our finds, so that if gaps present, we have a sense of what should be present. The scale also directs us to pay attention to stretches of time that we might be easily glossed over.

Thus, in many ways, a logarithmic frame of reference provides us a powerful tool to advance our evolutionary understanding.

A Note on the Mathematics Used in the Log Scale

To measure the placement of Major Nodes and the precise distance before and after each node, we will need to use some math. To calculate distances we will use powers of 2, which we are most familiar with, such as 2² = 4 or 4² = 16. For the much larger figure of 4 billion (for the start of life), we can use 2 to the 32nd power (or 2³²) which gives as 4.3 bya. As this over shoots our 4 billion marker, we will drop a tenth of a power to 2³¹.⁹, a calculation that puts us precisely at 4 billion or 4.0007 bya. For the next node we will mark down the exponential by one, to 2³⁰.⁹, which puts us at 2 billion, and so on.

The reason for using this method is not to find a complicated way to halve numbers. Rather, in terms of the nuts and bolts of a log chart, we can now mark events precisely on a log scale. For example, some fossils from life occur at 3.77 bya ago, which can then be matched to near 10% log distance after the Major Node at 3.73 bya. To calculate this distance, we simply subtracted another .1 from the exponential. This takes us down to 2³¹.⁸, a tenth log distance later, which gives us 3.77 bya. If we explore the other side of the Major Node, going back in time for precursor events, we can add 1 /10 log distance, or .1 to the exponential. This gives us gives us 2 ³²which comes to 4.3 bya. At around this point we find some light carbon from Canada at 3.25 bya, which might have been produced by life.

Importantly, we note that an equivalent log distance of 1/10 is a different number  depending on which direction you go. In this case 1/10 prior to the node is 300 million years ago, while the 1/10 log distance after the Major node is 270 mya. This means that our scale is expanding in resolution as we come to the present, or that the pace of events is accelerating in time.

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Major Nodes, Precursor Events and Explicit Events

In our presentation of ten pulses of evolution, we will start with the time of the Major Node and a brief description of the accompanying grade-level change. Next, precursor points in time will show finds that are increasingly approximating grade-level change, as the

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