The Universal Breakthroughs of Big History: Developing a Unified Theory


Author: Gilbert, K
Almanac: Evolution:Evolution and Big History: Dimensions, Trends, and Forecasts

Abstract

The currently unfolding panoramic view of the eons, which the modern scien-tific and historical disciplines present, reveals an outstanding series of critical and transformative universal breakthroughs running throughout the history of the cosmos, life, and man. This paper begins to explore and develop an orderly framework for Big History based on this remarkable overall pattern of similarly sudden and rapid outbursts of expansive creative power marking the entire course of evolutionary manifestation. On this basis I consider and propose: (1) ‘A Great Story of Origins’ with sixteen ‘Origin Events’, each of which in turn dramatically establishes and defines a new ‘Regime’ and subsequent ‘Evolutionary Era’ with emergent qualities; (2) a reconsideration of current issues at the cutting edge of evolutionary theory including ‘punctuated equilibrium’; (3) a recognition of the essential ‘twofold’ or ‘biphasic’ nature of developmental change in time; (4) an expansion of evolutionary thought in the context of Big History; and (5) approaches towards developing a Unified Theory.

Keywords: thresholds, punctuated equilibrium.