By Carl P. Swanson
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Additional resources for Ever-expanding horizons: the dual informational sources of human evolution
Evolution, on the other hand, cannot be thought of as an engineer. Although there are constraints beyond which change cannot go and be viable, there are no blueprints of future models. Nor are there tools and materials to be set up in advance for the attainment of a given and predetermined end. Man may do this by invention and artificial selection, but organic evolution can be interpreted only in terms of survival in the present, not in terms of a future of uncertain character. For man to intrude into the evolutionary scene requires a well-developed sense of self and social awareness, a heightened degree of anticipation, and the ability to see one's images projected forward in time to the point of realization.
Such encouragement is essential for one like myself who does not comfortably and lightly enter Page xii a field of endeavor where one's knowledge may well be shallow and one's judgment suspect. The bibliography at the end of this volume is a reflection of my reading and my biases, and an acknowledgment of my further debt to others who have published earlier: for information, ideas, points of view, even disagreements, the latter necessary for the better honing of my own thoughts. Whatever errors of fact, interpretation, and speculation might remainand I have no illusions on this scorethey are my responsibility.
No predetermined direction of the evolutionary process is assumed since the basic events that underlie evolution are unique and unpredictable. Evolution can and does occur at many levels of organization, and it can affect many things and events, from the trivial to the profound, from the micro- to the macrocosmos. Every level has its own peculiarities of variable elements, rates, constraints, accidents, and responses to impinging forces. Since evolution operates within the parameters of time, however long or short the intervals, it is a historical process, and as with any other kind of history, a reasonable understanding of it depends upon the availability of information and ideas ordered into time sequences that link the past with the present.
Ever-expanding horizons: the dual informational sources of human evolution by Carl P. Swanson