Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The indelible stamp of our lowly origin

30 comments:

arbroath said...

Most of my friends and I believe in a sort of duality - there is a Creator, he made everything a crazy long time ago and then he just said, "Okay, set it to auto and let it run as it will." Evolution and creationism in one tidy package!

arbroath said...

thats hell of a religion, if I might say dude. It's funny though, how "believers" see evolution as a threat to religion. I mean, it definitetly is, but so is spherical world, age of earth, evolution of language, sexual behaviour and so on. But maybe those things are not very important to them, they just dont give a fuck

arbroath said...

Amen to that.

arbroath said...

To deny evolution is to deny our very being. Save for that common ancestor and the factors that allowed our species to evolve and develop, we would not be here. We could have faced extinction as so many other species did. I believe we should celebrate our origins, they should give us hope, that perhaps life can evolve on other planets across the universe.

arbroath said...

Lots of humans have grown up with a concept of position and somehow a form of class.

Lots of religions put humans in a class between the Deity on the higher side and the animal and plant kingdom on the lower side- Under humans / Humans above nature.

This image gives humans a status- importance. They can say they are not only Sons and Daughters of their Deity, but also they are the most important creatures of their Deity, standing above the whole Vastness of the rest of Creation.

To say that humans could very much so be just 1 or 2 chromosomes or less than 1% of DNA-different from other animals in that view is degrading- sacrilege toward the explanation and work of their Deity and their appointed place in the universe.  

Evolution more and more goes toward an explanation of our universe where humans are very much so just as part of nature als the whole rest of it. So humans get kicked off their by their Creation-Stories appointed special important pedestal. No place between Deity and Nature, just side by side with earthworms, mildews, apes or ... seawheeds as anything else.

And that makes lots of humans very unsure and -coming from the assurance they were special- even humiliated. And so they do not want to accept such explanations.

They don't see the possible extra responsability coming with just being equal part -but equipped with brains to think and reason-  of the whole universe.

arbroath said...

If we evolved from apes... Why are there still apes now?

arbroath said...

I found this edit to be profound and it brought tears to my eyes. The depravity of our own species that revels in the savagery and yet doesn't take responsibility for those base fears and joys which are parallel. It's not giving apes anthropomorphicism to see those same traits and draw connections.

arbroath said...

Because evolution does not automatically imply "becoming a better version". Just becoming different from the others in such a way that somehow suits survivability.  

arbroath said...

If the Australians came from the British, why are there still British people?

arbroath said...

You said it. Sometimes the natural world just manages to take my breath away. The absolute interconnectedness of it all. Watching those other apes do everything we do reminded me once again how similar we are, essentially the same. And then I became aware of the house plant in the corner of my room and the thought "We share genes" hit me. There are many identical biochemical pathways running right this moment in both of us, and if you just look close enough, you can't tell us apart. It is humbling and exhilarating.

arbroath said...

I don't think that's such an uncommon belief. I, as well as others I know believe more or less the same thing.

arbroath said...

A beautiful feature - enthralling and fascinating.
Whilst we are unarguably more evolutionarily advanced than apes, to assume that we are somehow 'above' all other forms of life because we use guns and bombs instead of teeth and claws is an unbelievable arrogance. The sooner we come to terms with the less desirable aspects of our nature, the sooner we can work on improving them, and as a consequence, the world around us.

arbroath said...

"<span>Whilst we are unarguably more evolutionarily advanced than apes..."</span>

No we are not. Humans and other apes have exactly equal amounts of evolution behind us. We are smarter, gorillas are stronger and chimps better at climbing. There's no goal or direction in evolution, only adaptation. End of nitpicking.

I do understand what you're saying, carry on.

arbroath said...

There's anotehr way to get evolution and creationism in one package -- worship nature. Instead of a bearded white guy with a long beard, big stick and a bad attitude.

As an aside, has anyone noticed that this whole debate makes no sense to Buddhists and Hindus and Sikhs and Jains and native Americans and other non-Abrahamic religions?

arbroath said...

Yep- That's exactly why it fascinates me.

And thank you Insolitus.

arbroath said...

For what?

arbroath said...

For you telling Els just my thoughts on that.

arbroath said...

Oh, ok. This must be another case of that great minds thing.

arbroath said...

Just a question to ponder, 
If they are aspects of our nature, how are we to change them?

arbroath said...

We can't change our nature (at our current technological level, at least), but we can try to concentrate on those aspects of it we consider good and desirable and avoid those we think are not so good. We are social animals, but also tribal, potentially violently so. Our freakishly large brains make it possible for us to consciously try to not follow the latter instinct.

arbroath said...

Perhaps my views would have been better communicated if I had said "<span>Whilst we are unarguably more evolutionarily advanced than apes in certain aspects". <span>Apologies for any misunderstanding! </span></span>

arbroath said...

Even then, Els.

In what aspect would you say we are more evolved? Brains? They seem not to do us all that good if you look at what mess we're making...

We humans are newcomers on the planetary stage. As a species we can trace back our lineage only ...what- about 2 million years? if you include all the other forms of Homo. As Homo Sapiens we only became an independant species only about 200.000 years or so. And in that short time we are well under way to destroy our planet and if we're "lucky"- ourselves. That -congrat's to ourselves!- is a feat that other more long-existing species never achieved before us. Sofar- we do far less well than most dino's, worms, fish, crocodiles, horses or some apes.
So much for evolutional advance in certain aspects....

arbroath said...

I think some confusion comes from the way evolution is taught (or not) in school, and the "spin" that's put on evolution by those who don't believe in it -- these things lead to the mistaken idea that our ancestors were essentially the same as modern-day primates ("if you believe that you came from a monkey..."). What's missed is that we're both evolved from a common ancestor which was neither ape nor human. It's like how French did not descend from Spanish; French and Spanish both descended from Latin. So neither is "more evolved" than the other; we've travelled the same distance along divergent paths.

arbroath said...

Els, humans have bigger brains than chimps, but that doesn't mean humans are more "evolutionarily advanced" when it comes to brains. Chimps have the brain size that has the best cost-benefit ratio for surviving and reproducing in their environment, just like humans do (or did when our species emerged). If the environment changed so that chimps with smaller brains fared better, that would be the course the chimp evolution would take. You wouldn't call the future dumber chimps less evolved or evolutionarily less advanced than their ancestors in present day, now would you?

arbroath said...

And what does it mean to be good?

arbroath said...

Treating others like they would want me to treat them.

arbroath said...

why?

arbroath said...

Why do I think that is good? Or why would I want to do that?

arbroath said...

<span><span>Insolitus</span> 
<span>'Treating others like they would want me to treat them.'</span></span>
Why does this argument or have any more meaning or authority then any other, if we are just matter, plus time, plus chance.

arbroath said...

I told you what I consider to be the rule of thumb of being a good person. That's why it's meaningful to me. I don't understand what us being material has to do with this.