The Great Adventure – Toward a Fully Human Theory of Evolution


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



Mann, C.J.H. (2004), "The Great Adventure – Toward a Fully Human Theory of Evolution", Kybernetes, Vol. 33 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The Great Adventure – Toward a Fully Human Theory of Evolution

The Great Adventure – Toward a Fully Human Theory of Evolution

David Loye (Ed.)State University of New York (SUNY) PressNew York2004xiii + 346 pp.ISBN: 0-7914-5923-3 (Alk. paper)ISBN: 0-7914-5924-1 (pbk: alk. paper)Hard copy: $71.50; paperback: $23.95

This is a book published in the SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology which has Richard D. Mann as the editor. The book's editor is the co-founder of the General Evolution Research Group and Vice-President of the Center for Partnership Studies.

Many readers of this journal will have noted that several chapters in this book are updated revisions of articles that appeared earlier in a special issue of World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution (Vol. 58 Nos 2/3, 2002). It had the title “The Third Venture: Toward a Humanistic Theory of Evolution” and was also edited by David Loye who compiled this book.

In his Forward to this text Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi writes that:

... the themes introduced by the authors (of this book) are likely to be among the central ones of any world-view.

First of all, David Loye's central insight, which motivates this book, is in my opinion right on the money. The organising principle of the new faith – a faith of human beings about human beings – is evolution itself. Not the traditionally taught evolutionary scenario dominated by composition and selfishness but an understanding closer to the original Darwinian one that sees cooperation and transcendence of the self as the most exciting parts of the story.

He poses the question of whether or not the “fully human theory of evolution” will become a central concept in academic thought and the reader has nine contributed chapters to help in their assessment. David Loye's introduction of some 17 pages puts it all in perspective and introduces the four Parts and Appendices.

In brief these covered: Part I was concerned with the evolutionary base in physics and biology; Part II covered the cultural base in the brain and systems of love vs domination; In Part III, the Higher Reaches of Creativity and Consciousness was considered; Whilst finally in Part IV, “The Darwin End Game” was the title of a summary of the earlier Parts and was written by David Loye who asked the two questions: What should it look like? and How should we build it? The first one examined the foundations and guidelines for building the “Fully Human” theory and the second question was about systems science, psychology, students, teachers and the destruction of liberation or humanity. A number of useful appendices were also included, together with indices.

An interesting comment on the book by the author Duane Elgin, who wrote “Awaking Earth: Exploring the Evolution of Human Culture and Consciousness” offered by the publishers tells us succinctly his view of the text. He wrote:

Loye brings new themes and dimensions into the exploitation of evolution at the human level – from role of gender relations to the coevolution of cultures and consciousness.

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