Evolutionary Life

Voices of the Emerging Movement for Conscious Evolution

June 2007

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Estimates of how much the oceans will rise and how long it will take vary... With most of our huge urban complexes located in coastal areas, even the most conservative scientific predictions for the end of this century imply that the necessary relocation of hundreds of millions of people must happen. The good news is that people are at their best, their most peacefully cooperative behavior, in natural crises, and a crisis of this unprecedented proportion will command all our resources.

We have some time to work on the international cooperation required to get those great cities uphill and to deal with climate extremes, but we cannot waste time getting this process underway... Global warming will ... provide us the opportunity to start over on a higher plane—literally and figuratively.

I hope humanity at this century’s end will see global warming as the crisis that brought us together in peace at last. I imagine that the new housing, health-care, and education policies, economic activity, arts and entertainment, and ecosystem restoration will be sustainable and awesome examples of our artistic genius for elegant simplicity.

Elisabet Sahtouris, evolutionary biologist


Acutely aware of our beings' limitations and acknowledging the infinite mystery of the a priori universe into which we are born, but nevertheless searching for a conscious means of hopefully competent participation by humanity in its own evolutionary trending...

Buckminster Fuller's one sentence description of himself


The recent sciences of complexity give the lie to determinism; they insist on creativity at every level of nature. The future is not given.

The world is a construction, in the building of which we can all participate.

We are in a period of fluctuations in which individual action remains essential.

Ilya Prigogine, physicist and Nobel Laureate chemist


Once, on a walk by a river, his daughter quoted to him an opening verse by her favorite poet, Philip Larkin: ‘If I were called in/To construct a religion/I should make use of water.’

She said she liked that laconic ‘called in’—as if he would be, as if anyone ever is.

They stopped to drink coffee from a flask, and Perowne, tracing a line of lichen with a finger, said if he ever got the call, he’d make use of evolution. What better creation myth? An unimaginable sweep of time, numberless generations spawning by infinitesimal steps complex living beauty out of inert matter, driven on by blind furies of random mutation, natural selection and environmental change, with the tragedy of forms continually dying, and lately the wonder of minds emerging and with them morality, love, art, cities—and the unprecedented bonus of this story happening to be demonstrably true.

At the end of this not entirely facetious recitation, Daisy laughed and put down her cup to applaud. ‘Now that’s genuine old-time religion, when you say it happens to be demonstrably true.’

Ian McEwan, from Saturday