Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea

Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea

by Carter Phipps


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“Carter Phipps brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution by showing us that a new science is emerging—one that will holistically integrate our understanding of consciousness, cosmology, and evolution.” —Deepak Chopra

Blending cutting-edge ideas with incisive spiritual insights, Evolutionaries is the first popular presentation of an emerging school of thought called “evolutionary spirituality.” Carter Phipps, the former executive editor of EnlightenNext magazine, asserts that evolution is not only a scientific but also a spiritual idea in a book whose message has the power to bring new meaning and purpose to life as we know it. Readers will be fascinated and enlightened by Evolutionaries, a book which Deepak Chopra, the world-renowned author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes, Jesus, and Buddha, says “is going to help create a worldview that will influence our vision of the future direction of evolution and also our role in consciously participating in it.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061916137
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.86(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Carter Phipps is a writer and speaker and the former executive editor of Enlighten-Next magazine. He lives in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part I Reexamining Evolution

Prologue: An Evolutionary Vision 3

1 Evolution: A New Worldview 7

2 Breaking the Spell of Solidity 21

3 What Is an Evolutionary? 31

Part II Reinterpreting Science

4 Cooperation: A Sociable Cosmos 49

5 Directionality: The Road to Somewhere 71

6 Novelty: The God Problem 101

7 Transhumanism: An Exponential Runway 125

Part III Rscontextualizing Culture

8 The Internal Universe 155

9 Evolving Consciousness: The Inside Story 181

10 Spiral Dynamics: The Invisible Scaffolding of Culture 211

11 An Integral Vision 233

Part IV Reenvisioning Spirit

12 Evolutionary Spirituality: A New Orientation 263

13 Conscious Evolution: Our Moment of Choice 285

14 The Evolution of Enlightenment 317

15 An Evolving God 339

16 Pilgrims of the Future 365

Acknowledgments 373

Notes 375

Index 391

What People are Saying About This

Deepak Chopra

“Brilliantly expands our understanding of evolution. Evolutionaries is going to help create a worldview that will influence our understanding of the future direction of evolution and also our role in consciously participating in it.”

John F. Haught

“This beautifully written book is not only a splendid survey of evolutionary thought and its spiritual implications. It is also a significant contribution to the increasingly important conversation between the natural sciences and our spiritual traditions. Enthusiastically recommended.”

Andrew Cohen

Evolutionaries is a tour-de-force where science, poetic prose, philosophical thinking, and authentic spiritual depth come together to deliver a powerful message of hope, optimism, and inspiration.”

Ken Wilber

“A profound and profoundly important new work. With clarity and deep understanding, Carter Phipps walks us through the great evolutionary pioneers and their ideas in this extraordinary philosophy, making the book absolutely indispensable for lay and professional alike. The very highest recommendation!”

Elizabeth Debold

“A rare book, equally delightful and deep, Phipps explores how our growing knowledge about the evolutionary process catalyzes nothing less than a revolutionary understanding of our selves.”

Brian Swimme

“We live in one of those rare historical moments when the deepest metaphysical questions are being turned over and examined as we search for a new orientation for the next millennium. It would be hard to find a better guide into this fascinating conversation than Carter Phipps’s Evolutionaries.”

Barbara Marx Hubbard

“Essential reading for anyone who cares about humanity’s future and our role in creating a better one. Evolutionaries, is a brilliant, accessibly written, and eye-opening book”

Michael Dowd

“No one has their head and heart around the full range of evolutionary worldviews like Carter Phipps.”

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Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
*A full executive-style summary of this book will be available at the website newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday, July 16, 2012. The main argument of the book: Up until the scientific revolution, some half a century ago, religion reigned supreme in the realm of belief and understanding. Since that time, though--and especially since the introduction of the theory of evolution in 1859--science has increasingly challenged religion as the chief source of how we understand the world and our place in it. Science's increasing influence can be seen in the growing trend towards secularism in the past 200 years, and particularly in the last century, as church and state have been increasingly separated, and a growing percentage of the population has moved away from the world's religions. Still, though, religion is not going down without a fight. What's more, even many who have turned away from religion question science's ability to provide the kinds of understandings that truly satisfy the human psyche. The problem, many believe, is that science, with its materialist explanations, fails to accommodate our deeper spiritual and moral nature. According to the author Carter Phipps, though, while science and spirituality may seem diametrically opposed, the latest developments in evolutionary theory are actually upsetting this notion. This is the case because the theory of evolution, which was once confined to the realm of biology, has now spread to envelop every other domain of human inquiry, such that it has become the key paradigm in understanding the natural (and meta-natural) world, from biology to psychology to morality to culture to spirit to god to the unfolding of the universe. The result is that evolution can now be turned to in order to answer virtually all of our deepest and most profound existential questions, and in a unified and coherent way that does in fact satisfy our deepest spiritual longings. When I say that this is Phipps' argument, it is true that the author is very much a proponent of the evolutionary worldview. However, rather than focusing on his own particular views in the book, Phipps centers his attention on the theories that the leading thinkers have advanced in the field. This includes not only current theorists, but all of the major theorists that have been involved with the worldview since its inception some 200 years ago (beginning with Georg Hegel--whom Phipps identifies as the first explicitly evolutionary philosopher). Phipps does well to show how evolutionary views have spilled out of science and into more meta-natural domains, such as spirituality and conceptions of god (theology). While this is no doubt interesting, it presents a problem. The approach of scientific evolutionism to spirituality and god is entirely different from an evolutionarily-informed spirituality and theology. Given that this is the case, as evolutionary theory is pushed beyond the boundaries of science, it necessarily splits into opposing sects. This is a major problem for any supposedly whole and coherent evolutionary worldview. And Phipps does not fully address this challenge in the book. A full and comprehensive summary of the main argument of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, on or before Monday, July 16, 2012.