This is a quite impressive – yes, I would call it an excellent – blog post about the evolutionary origin of our own species, Homo Sapiens.
The blogger, Charles Rogers, ponders, above all, the question: Who are we? But he is also interested in this question: Why are we like we are?
Related to that second question is this one: Why are we constantly striving to trying to find the “Holy Grail”, i.e. the meaning of our lives? (The answers can probably be found inside ourselves, in our brains, how they are wired. And that wiring is, in turn, best explained by looking back at our evolutionary origin/history.)
Charles Rogers is constantly looking for the answers of such questions by reading a lot of books, both fiction and non-fiction ones. He is obviously eager to come across what others have found in their quest of explanations.
Among his references can be found – just to mention only a few of them – a philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche), a neurologist and psychiatrist/psychologist (Viktor Frankl), a professor of chemistry (Addy Pross), and, above all, the world famous neuroendocrinologist, professor of biology, neuroscience, and neurosurgery, Robert Sapolsky.
So it should go without saying that this blog post is very interesting to read and mull. It’s not only concerned with the question: From where do we, Homo Sapiens, originate?
Another important question is this one: What is the meaning of our lives?
Charles Rogers’ own take on this seems to be: “It is clear to me that the basic ‘Why’ is our family and our tribe.”
That is, we are strongly connected/related to each other. (That’s why Mr. Rogers himself, a professor emeritus, uses his own blog in order to build (symbolic) bridges thereby trying to make it easier for people all over the world to connect with each other.
So I’m not at all surprised to find this quote among his “mantras”: “We think we are separate, but we are one.”
Unfortunately I miss at least ONE important aspect of the human evolutionary history in this blog post. I want more facts and opinions of the evolution of religion, man’s perpetual companion.
But maybe Mr. Rogers will discuss that matter in another blog post later on? Let’s hope that will be the case.
Suffice it to say, in this comment of mine, that evolution seemingly has wired the human brain to look for, and easily find, a more or less strong correlation between teleological thinking and preference for religious motives.
In short, our human brains intuitively perceive purpose-driven design in the world around us.
The stronger this quest for (finding a) purpose is, the stronger our pro-theist preferences become.
If we can’t see whose purpose/intention it is that/when something happens, we are extremely prone to invent Hidden Causal Agents (HCAs) to find the reason behind all that happens to us and in our environments.
If you are interested, you can read more about these ideas here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_thinking . And/Or here: https://bbnewsblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/the-two-information-processing-systems-ipss-in-your-brain-one-is-woo-ish-the-other-is-rational/ .
“We think we are separate, but we are one.”
“He who has a Why to live can bear almost any How” (1)
It is clear to me that the basic “Why” is our family and our tribe.
I. Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go“ (2) : You can live without someone who says: you are mine; You can not live without someone who says: ‘I am yours” May you be blessed with at least one such person in life!” The family and tribe is at its best when several individuals feel this ownership to one another. Ishiguro on platonic love is reviewed in the two links:
II. Addy Pross, What is Life, (3) How Chemistry Becomes Biology.
In the beginning, non-living carbon-based chemicals joined to become “living” nucleic acids (DNA) manifesting a new force.This effect is characterized by an irrepressible self-replication…
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