Speciation occurs through a process of reproductive isolation. As various crises force creatures to adapt — to move to new environments, to eat new food, etc. — they evolve apart. Sometimes their adaptations become so strange that they are no longer attracted to each other; they are still of the same species, but they don’t mate. Sometimes they become so estranged that they can’t mate — they have become separate species.
Cultures, too, seem innately to favor separating one people from another. Other cultures are different, and even incomprehensible; the history of civilization is a record of “chosen” peoples bad-mouthing their barbarian neighbors. Perhaps, though, we have turned a corner. The world is getting smaller all the time, and it is only individuals, or groups of individuals (for instance, white trash, or environmentalists) who consider other groups of individuals to be barbarians.
Indeed, many of our ideas move us toward isolation. We are experiencing, on a global level, qualiadelic speciation. As always, though, in times of crisis the successful species can adapt to a variety of settings (are not just one-trick ponies). Conscious ritualers can move through qualiascapes the way a poet moves through metaphors.