The Age of Man

Vitruvian Man
Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

The self-reflective mind, myths, paradigms, world-views, symbolic self-expression.

The adolescent Noosphere

Sociocultural Evolution


Paleolithic (Pleistocene) Old Stone Age - Development of Language, discovery of fire, tool-making (wood and stone), hunter-gathering, tribal society, shamanism, animism, culture, folklore, art, memes. religion, mythology, occultism, "paganism"/kahenotheism, Stone Age Overkill, Sensitive Chaos (nomadic-tribal) society

Neolithic (Early Holocene) Recent Stone Age - Settled communities, Agrigulture, domestication of animals, Pottery,  the Great Round type civilisation (early agricultural - megalithic, etc)

Bronze Age (early Historical) - the City, Civilisation, Monarchic dynasties, State-Organised Religion, the Wheel, Writing, the Standing Army, the Four Quarters type civilisation (patriarchal warrior culture), the Pyramidal type civilisation (theocracy)

Iron Age - the rise of Classic civilisations, literature, history, advanced culture; navigation and exploration, philosophy, proto-science, mysticism, Conquest and Empire-building, Monotheistic religions, proslytising and persecution, the Radiant Axis type civilisation (rule by the Sun-King).

Gunpowder and Steam Age - the age of Colonialism, the West triumphant, the printed book, scientific method and the understanding of nature, classical music, the novel, the rise of Capitalism, Democracy in a few countries, the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of the Technocrat type civilisation.

Steel Age - the internal combustion engine; technology and science revolutionise the world, the emancipation of women (at least in the West), the car, the aeroplane, the machinegun, world wars I and II, the Cold War, terrorism, nuclear weapons, radio, television, the paperback novel, the comic book, cinema, pop music, the decline of monarchy and of Colonialism, trade unions, the welfare state, the independent but impoverished Third World, the Space Race, experimental art and literature, media monopolies (Marshall MacLuhen.- "the media is the message"), the environmental crisis, the Counterculture revolution, SETI initiated

Information Age - cultural pluralism, the decline of Christianity and Western domination; the rise of Asia (Japan and China).  Multinationals and global capitalism, the recession, permament unemployment, increasing environmental awareness along with increasing environmental destruction, Cultural imperialism (McDonalds etc all over the world), the Personal Computer, the Internet and the Web, the Electronic Frontier, Genetic Engineering, the Human Genome Project, Grunge, Raves, Designer Drugs, Techno music


plain pageThe Human Purpose: Releasing Carbon  - from the external linkGAIA-L mail list


The Present
The end of nature

Precambrian Eon
Phanerozoic Eon
The Human Age
The Future

 Stages in the Evolution of Gaia

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page history

page uploaded 28 October 1998
modified 2 December
and again 18 May 1999
and 31 March 2000