Monday, July 28, 2008

The retronarrative of (r)evolution(/evilution)

We don't seem to be able to shake the idea that we live like we read (I blame sacred texts). Debates about evolution are prey to this idolus tribus (human illusion):

"Evolution doesn't, in fact, tend to perfection: it goes with what works and tinkers with it later. [Hence the foibles of] the [human] mind: our meagre reasoning capacity is an afterthought, spatchcocked on to the ancestral systems that have the reins where practical decision-making is concerned. If only our higher mental functions could dominate; alas, the lizard-brain parts have seniority" (Review of Kluge by Gary Marcus and The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow).

Umm. Evolution = accident and no value, i.e. no narrative except in hindsight, thus ≠ design and/or providence/progress, i.e. there is no god in the machine, no font of sacred or secular values, even if it fits our retro narrative.

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