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 are we really evolving?

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michael1111

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Number of posts : 116
Registration date : 2007-06-22

PostSubject: are we really evolving?   Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:04 am

i posted about this at another forum. actually, let me just spam my post and then i'll add some more...

are tools evolutionary?

i'm beginning to think not...

a few cavemen were sitting around the fire, tired and disheartened after a long and failed hunt. one of their kin was killed in the chase, but nobody even had the energy to properly mourn his passing. instead, they just sat there wondering what to do next.

ug looked around and saw some sticks and stones laying about. two stones were fist sized and perfect for throwing. four of the sticks had pointed ends and looked sturdy enough to help with his burgeoning idea. ug had a few of the men practice wielding the sticks, while a few of the others practiced throwing the stones as hard and accurately as they could.

ug knew this meant the men wouldn't have to get so close to the killing of animals for meat. they could avoid being trampled or gored. predatory animals wouldn't have the advantage of proximity. the men set out and devised a plan to suit their tools. it wasn't long before they had meat on their table and enough energy to sing and dance in celebration of their full bellies.

man was removed from his environment and his tool shaped what he is. man evolved as the tool dictated, not the environment. he was inspired by the mystery of death and plain old laziness.

we only run faster now because we have a watch to prove it and machines that help make that happen. nobody was counting time when they chased their food...i wonder who really ran faster?

our evolution is based on the manipulation of objects that aren't evolving. sticks and stones don't grow...i guess dead things evolve toward what they are.

we like to think we are smarter, but i would wager that in a universe that is potentially infinite, the more you know....the more narrow your world. are we really smarter, or does that just make us feel better as we shape dead things into extensions of ourselves?
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: are we really evolving?   Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:45 pm

This is, essentially, what I was arguing in the Aztec thread.

Humans are story-telling culture-dwellers, we create stories to explain, define, and control our environment - the less control we have over it, the more powerful, and central, an element it is within our stories.

Either you own your stories, or they own you.

Ours have come to own us.


Civilization - technology - is, for all intents and purposes, a manner of storytelling. The cultural memes of Science and Civilization propagate themselves as methods of taking power over nature, of taking control (ostensibly, anyway) of our existence, and defining us a culture. It is how we perceive the universe and our place in it, it is the mythology of modernity.

We do like to think we are smarter, but the converse - we are more stupid - is not true either. We are simply robots who think we are in control, sheep who think we are wolves.
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: are we really evolving?   Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:29 pm

“Man is unique not because he does science, and he is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.” — Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: are we really evolving?   Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:28 pm

We have collectively shaped our environment through the process of reason. Through this process our environment has been transformed into an extension of our minds. This extension has then turned around and transformed the way we reason and so on and so forth. It's a process of dialectical co-evolution.

We as a society are smarter (even though it might not seem like it sometimes), as individuals, we are standing on the shoulders of giants.

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