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View Diary: Book Review: The Evolution of Everything (159 comments)

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  •  I wish more scientists would say so (0+ / 0-)

    This "humans are relevant" metaphor is expanding and getting dangerous. Devil's Tower seems to think it's the egalitarian counter to social darwinism, but what it does is make everyone equally meaningless.

    We need more science metaphors that encourage us to build civilization and value our lives.

    •  should be "humans are irrelevant" lol - n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  For me it only means... (2+ / 0-)

      That we have to determine our own relevance, and not look for it to either be written in the stars or painted on the rocks.  I find that pretty liberating.

      •  that's how you interpret it (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is the media does look to science for social commentary. You recognized that as the problem for social Darwinism. But I think the message that people are irrelevant could lead to even greater horrors.

        •  then . . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cdreid, breakingranks

          The problem is the media does look to science for social commentary.

          The media is wrong.

          And you'd do far more good by correcting their error than by pandering to it.

          Science is not a philosophy, not a religion, not a way of life.  It is a method for learning about the natural world.  Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.

          Those who turn to science for "social commentary" or "political ideology" or "the meaning of life", are abusing and mis-using science every bit as much as the creationists and climate-change-deniers do.

          It's not what science is for.

          But I think the message that people are irrelevant could lead to even greater horrors.

          I'm not seeing anybody say any such thing.  We utterly dominate life on this planet, and are powerful enough to change the global climate all by ourselves.  How on earth could anyone classify us as "irrelevant"?

          What we are is no more important than any other part of the universe. The universe doesn't exist for our benefit, any more than it does for banana slugs or bacteria or space comets.

          The universe simply doesn't revolve around us. Sorry if that bruises our human ego.  (shrug)

          •  The human ego (0+ / 0-)

            Human ego and overweening self-centeredness usually becomes a concern right when people have reason to worry they will be filtered out all together. Young people are now supposed to be more "selfish" and "less empathetic" than previous generations. But here they are being tumbled into an extremely competitive job market where all the efficiencies are going to the employers, they are saddled with immense student loans, and many may be facing the pressure of overcoming the failures of their parents as well.

            If people didn't have to worry about being filtered out of their ability to obtain a livelihood, keep a roof over their head, etc. then I think all the ego would subside in favor of community-wide and even world-wide goals.

      •  very Zen of you ;) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        breakingranks

        I've never really understood why anyone would feel a need to have "science" tell them what the meaning of life is. I always figured it must be a relic of that inherent need to be told what to think that too many people seem to have--and for some, science must look like sort of the Ultimate Authority. After all, if TV commercials declare that "science proves my tablets cure heartburn better than my competitor's!!!!", then it's probably not too big a leap to demand that science act as the Ultimate Authority to tell us all what the Meaning of Life is.

        Silly.

        But then, far more people who search for the Meaning of Life are ANTI-science----everyone from the fundamentalist Christians to the New Agers.

        Just as silly.

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