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Tag: Evolution

Necessary Fictions, Their Sources and Utility

Necessary Fictions, Their Sources and Utility

Stumbled upon a fascinating TED talk this morning, by Yuval Noah Harari, entitled What explains the rise of humans? In a nutshell, his thesis is that we alone, among all the species on earth, are capable of flexible cooperation in large numbers, and that the chief galvanizing force behind this is our ability to create and believe in fictions.  His recent book is now on my must-read list: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. From the author’s website: Homo sapiens rules…

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Charles the Liberator

Charles the Liberator

Much has been made recently of the fact that Lincoln and Darwin share a birthday. Two hundred years ago, this past Thursday. A new book talks about another thing they share. Their hatred of slavery. It sounds like a great read. Here’s a short excerpt from the introduction:     Darwin’s Sacred Cause How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution By Adrian Desmond & James Moore Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 448 pp. $30 Feb. 15,…

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Happy Birthday, Darwin!

Happy Birthday, Darwin!

Just a tad late on this one. Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago, on February 12th. His revolutionary work lives on, despite opposition by the sadly misinformed, to put it gently. A great link to the study of evolution is here. I think it is incumbent upon anyone who criticizes the theory to actually understand it first, and not to create endless strawmen to knock down. We only hurt ourselves and our own future when we refuse to confront…

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The Children’s Idyll In All Of Us

The Children’s Idyll In All Of Us

Spurred on by a thought-provoking blog post by my good friend Tim Brownson, I thought again about what we lose when we grow up. The way we once looked at life. With fresh hope. With a ton of hope and delight. With great expectations and daily excitement. What is it, exactly, about the process of maturation that seems to take so much of that out of us? Is this chemical, biological, spiritual, or all of the above? Do we actually…

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Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain

Took a drive then a walk then a climb then more walking. The walk became a discussion with a park ranger about an accident and a bike. She blocked all cars. No one could pass except the ambulance. Bike hits car or car hits bike. Too fast. All too fast. The Blue Ridge Parkway should be to dwell, not die. To dwell inside the blue, to derive the flesh of the blue air from the sky as it is, as…

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Timeless Beauty, Changing Times

Timeless Beauty, Changing Times

There are things that should be protected and preserved. Nature. Lakes, rivers, oceans, mountain tops, valleys, blue skies. Protect and defend, preserve. Things that evolve in ways that preserve their timeless beauty, even in the midst of natural, organic change. Things to build foundations upon. Colors, shapes, organic, natural drama. We rest our minds there, within the natural change, seeking the core we can never find, joyfully. These are things to conserve. But ideologies? Systems? Political schools, artistic schools? If…

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Contemporary Reception, and the Last Laugh

Contemporary Reception, and the Last Laugh

There is always a battle between the new and the old, between the old and the young, between conservatives and progressives. There is always a faction frantic to hold onto power, established, stodgy, stubborn power, and those who rise to fight that power and make their own way in the world. Ross King’s The Judgment of Paris reminds me of that battle and the reception by the old guard of new techniques, subject matter, and new artists without establishment ties….

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Evolution, Contradiction, Continuity

Evolution, Contradiction, Continuity

  She youtubes in beauty like the night . . . The videos below speak volumes, compress volumes, compress centuries. The democratization of media brings us closer. Closer to each other, to the past, to a future in which we can and should and will question everything, question all authority, all gatekeepers, all modes of exclusivity, while we celebrate excellence. While we add to the march of that excellence and expand the base. On and on and on. It is…

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