Basic Profile

Name:

Lowell Gustafson

City:

Bryn Mawr

State/Province:

Pennsylvania

Zip/Postal Code:

19010

Country:

United States

Extended Profile

What do you (or organization) hope for in connection with a deep time perspective?

An increasingly complex, sustained, creative, structured set of relationships that is nurtured in part through an understanding of a common past with everything and everyone.

Short description of your (or organization's) current interest/work in an deep time perspective:

I teach a course at Villanova University called “Our Social Nature.” In it, I argue that since the Big Bang (or the Big Bounce if you accept Paul Steinhardt’s theory), we have seen in our universe an irregular but overall consistent increase in the complexity of relationships. We cover the strong force creatively structuring extraordinarily long relationships between quarks within protons and neutrons. 300,000 years later, the electromagnatic force structured relations between one or two protons and electrons, and thereby creating atoms. The equilibrium between gravity drawing clouds of hydrogen and helium into greater density and then eventually the release of energy from fusion formed stars, which were related to others within galaxies. From there, we have increasingly complex relations among increasingly larger atoms within chemicals, the accretion of a multi-layered earth 4.5 billion years ago, new relationships of chemicals integrating membranes, metabolism, and reproduction with variation in response to the environment. From there, we see increasingly complex body plans, with more parts. Relationships between ganglia and brain cells lead to brains with a hundred billion cells, with perhaps a trillion synapses, and multiple alternative pathways for electro-chemical communication. Relationships between living creatures become more complex, eventually with humans forming kinship groups, villages, multi-kinship cities, nations, empires, and global / human social structures that understand and seek to nurture the embeddedness of nature within us and our relationship with our environment.

Background: Your bio if an individual, or description if an organization (Let us know who you are!):

My vita includes:
Education
• PhD, Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, 1984.
• MA, Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, 1981.
• BA, History, Philosophy, North Park College, 1977.

Teaching Experience
• 2001-present, Professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova University.
• 1992-2001, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova
University.
• 1986-1992, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Villanova
University.
• 1984-1986, Lecturer, Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of
Virginia.

Year became interested in a deep time evolutionary perspective:

About 2005.

Originally inspired to do this work by:

Robert Hazen, Simon Singh, David Christian, Fred Spier, Eric Chaisson

Also inspired to do this work by:

Cynthia Brown, Craig Benjamin, Richard Dawkins

Call this work:

Big History, Journey of the Universe, Cosmic Evolution, Story of the Universe

If you call it something else, what do you call it?

Deep Time

Organizations involved with that have a Deep Time evolutionary perspective:

Internation Big History Association http://www.ibhanet.org/

Applying a Deep Time evolutionary perspective to what fields/issues:

Art, Education, Government, Religion/Spirituality

Favorite Quote Having to do With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into us (Harrison, 1981).

Offer programs with a deep time evolutionary perspective:

Yes

If Yes, Programs Offered With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

I teach a course at Villanova University on "Our Social Nature, " which has a Deep Time perspective.

Published Books/Movies/Other With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

http://www.metanexus.net/essay/big-history-and-big-politics

Your other websites:

http://ibhanet.org/