That human consciousness has changed throughout history, and before history, is an assumption I make; having been persuaded of this by Owen Barfield and his mentor Rudolf Steiner.
Most obviously, the world of a young child is different from the world of an adult; the world of a hunter gatherer different from the world of a modern urbanite - we need to understand these differences in terms of a process of developmental-unfolding towards divinity.
I am therefore using the word 'evolution' in its older and more general sense of 'developmental unfolding' according to a plan. And in this instance, the developmental plan is a destiny; because it refers to a divine-plan.
So, one big question is: Why should God want human consciousness to unfold through various phases across the course of human existence?
The answer is: To provide a range of experiences to different men at different points in history; each experience tailored to the specific needs of each specific Man - so that by learning from these life-experiences, men may grow in divinity (the process called theosis).
Behind this lies the assumption that each human being has a pre-mortal spirit life, before he or she is incarnated on the earth - and in this life we have reached a point of development that would benefit from different kind of experience in mortal life.
(This is therefore an explanation for extended mortal life; that is extended beyond the simple fact of being incarnated and then very soon dying - which has been the experience of most humans through history: i.e. dying in the womb, during birth or as an infant. I am here trying to explain why some people, including you and I, live a more extended lifespan.)
So, our pre-mortal selves are 'placed' (by God) into a 'tailored' time, place and situation where it is most likely we will encounter and learn-from the experiences we most need. The evolution of consciousness through human history is part of the 'tailoring' of earthly, mortal situations to provide the most useful experiences for our individual theosis.
(Of course, there is no guarantee we will each and all choose to learn from the experiences, we may - as it turns-out - reject the 'lessons' experience teaches us, and draw false conclusions. Nonetheless, the lessons are provided.)
And this is the reason why there is an equivalence between the changes of human consciousness through human history; and the changes in human consciousness during biological development from child, through adolescence, to adult-parent-hood. The changes through human history provide (in individually-tailored fashion) the full range of experiences that are relevant to pre-mortal spirits that need to develop-through particular phases.
Thus, the modern Western experience provides a quality of human experience never before seen in human history; and our era and situation therefore has a special value for those of us who have been placed-into it.