posted on Mar, 10 2015 @ 08:42 PM
In philosophy, or in crafting a philosophy, people either consciously or unconsciously find a principle that they will live by.
For many, if not most of us, that principle can reduced to "adapt to survive", with a particular neo-darwinian emphasis on "to reproduce".
Now, for some people, this way of thinking can become the basis of their own ontology, in what they think and what they tell other people about what
they believe. For the longest time, this has disturbed me.
It's not that I disagree with the Darwinian framework for how biological life seems to develop, but I disagree with the homogenistic nature of its
thinking. For example, all of human reality could be reduced to "all people care about is sex", because the implication of "survive to reproduce"
is "all of human thinking and behavior revolves around the gravity of sexual attractions. Ergo, people are intrinsically selfish, sex-obsesessed
This is probably the worst way human beings can be thought of, but unfortunately some people are led down developmental paths that carve out a mindset
which seeks to affirm and defend this view, instead of questioning the framework supposed to be of "intrinsic relevance".
For me, reality is not simply a matter of evolutionary trends, but a transformation of trends, at one level, into something analogically akin at a
higher level. We can begin at the very beginning if were going to think along these lines. So far, science believes something called a "big bang"
happened. The astrophysical evidence strongly indicates this as being the probable reality.
What was before this bang? That is a matter of theoretical speculation, and so far nothing has come forth that harmonizes with existing physical
knowledge. So, at the beginning, we have "unity". In unity, and then, "bang", multiplicity unfolds. We can quantify these two events as Unity at
point temporal point 1), and then the ontological emergence of "multiplicity" (or more than one) as point 2).
From the get-go, reality is partitioned as a state of unity and state multiplicity.
Everything that emerged form that explosion, although separated into disparate particles, remained logically connected in a field-of-oneness with
other particles. This has to do with weights, and spins and all that other stuff from physics.
Ultimately, rocks took on spherical shapes and so became planets. Once you crack a certain gravitational threshold, a body compresses into a spheroid.
In one galaxy, in one solar system, the conditions existed for one planet, certainly situated, to develop a property that hitherto did not exist. This
body was chemical-based, as all things in the universe are 'chemical', or molecular. This thing, what we call life, developed connections with other
chemicals in such a way that continuity was established, subsisting as a "relational-whole", a state of harmony between external environmental
conditions (source of food) and internal activities with the molecular (and then cellular) body.
Why were these bodies reaching for each other? Think of how bizarre this is, to begin with: why would a part of the expanding universe become formed
in association with something else - a chemical attraction, ultimately becoming complex enough to produce a cell.
When you cast the question this way - with reference to what is known about our beginnings, to the current reality we exist within, what seems to be
most relevant to my existence in this world, is, My existence in this world!. While the neo-darwinian will emphasize survivability as
the overarching principle, I would posit "the conditions of my existence" as the overarching principle.
You can see the difference in epistemology. The bio-centered thinker can't "defocus" from his biological orientation, and, in doing ontology, take
in the known whole - that is, the time period before biology.
In the evolution of our universe, we can identify - as far as we know - that things have gone from a state of existing (from not existing) as physical
particles in logical relation, though volatile and chaotic at the edges. Out of this, life formed. Life emerged as a logical consequence of preceding
molecular-chemical events (as well as other known forces which affect these events, such as electromagnetism, strong-weak nuclear force (which works
through chemicals) and perhaps gravity) from the big bang.
Between life and the big bang we see a change in ontology. There is no "survival of the fittest" at the beginning of the universe. Bodies emanated
outwards, and none seemed to be in a particularly better position than any other. Then life emerges, and this thing we call life seems to operate on
the principle of "do what you need to to survive". Sex and reproduction ultimately becomes a principle, as when organisms grow they prefer to
multiply themselves. Competition between species is a consequence of this principle over time. Species fight for life; some grow to eat others, and
some grow to be eaten. In one line, humans emerge, and with them comes another ontological shift.
We can call state 1 as lifeless universe, stage 2 as life in universe and stage 3 as Self conscious Life In Universe. I think its
fairly clear what sort of 'shifts' are being described. Of course, these were gradual, and, within humans, one could be misled by physical objective
appearances that humans are "just like animals". But this would seem so only from an external, objectivist viewpoint. The phenomenology of
importance, with humans, is in the brain: that is, the human mind.
Animals clearly have minds, and even centers of volition, as subjects experiencing life according to the historical relations of its biology with a
particular environment. But animals do not have any elaborate awareness of themselves as actors in the world. This is partly a result of their
physical morphology: the shape of the human body logically coincides with the nature of our cognitive abilities. Dolphins, Chimps, and Elephants, big
brained also, are bring brained for a different environment, a different relational milieu, and so possess brains that function in radically different
ways from one another. There is also the matter of metabolism, so the difference between brain/body becomes an important and predictive metric.
Human thinking is built atop mammalian nervous systems, which themselves are physiological extensions of cellular activities distributed between
different cellular assemblies making up the "body" of the seen physical organism. These bodies, fundamentally, are attuned with the physical
environment around them - not merely in the relational sense of "adapted" - but in the sense of actually being chemically and physically adapted to
the conditions of existing in a nuclear-electromagnetic-gravitational universe.
The real confusing thing about this picture is the sense of direction. If all things in the universe have moved -----> this way, as a logical
consequence of what came before it - in human beings, have a creature who can think whenever it wants - that is, automaticity can be inhibited
and prevented from happening. And with value - a sense of whats important for the self existing in a world with other selves, each of which is aware
of its future death - the unit of importance is not the banal fact of "species survive to reproduce", but the existential
fact of human existence.