“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, February 28, 2011

Natural Selection Will Destroy Us

This is in fact a truism, and in a certain sense, who cares? There is no “us” from a Darwinian point of view, only unicities that I call strange strangers. Remember, The Origin of Species has a punchline: there are no species, and they have no origin!

Nevertheless, this piece in New Scientist is worth thinking with. It's an interview with
Christian de Duve, professor emeritus at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium and Rockefeller University, New York. Of course, this means that he's a teleologist and that for him, our genetic traits are “original sin.” Lamenting or celebrating our eventual or imminent doom is also a form of teleological thinking (sorry transhumanists).

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