The prevailing narrative juxtaposes science and religion—but this approach erases the root influences of social inequality and racism.

The post What We Get Wrong About the Evolution Debate appeared first on ORBITER.

The theory of evolution: another reason to be an existentialist?

Some philosophers have tried to base morality on human nature, but what does biology say about that?

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In his 1945 public lecture 'Existentialism is a Humanism'  Jean-Paul Sartre made a bold claim: for human beings, existence precedes essence.  We exist, then we choose how to be. This is as opposed to a chair, for example, which is designed to fit a particular purpose and then brought into existence to fulfill that purpose. The chair has an essence that precedes it; it has a "chair nature" that it is created to conform to.

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The 21st Century's Most Important Idea... & Older Natural Algorithmic Forces

Evolution exists and exerts itself in a different way than gravity does... because natural selection is an "algorithmic force." 

Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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Memes 101: How Cultural Evolution Works

We are what we are because of genes; we are who we are because of memes. Philosopher Daniel Dennett muses on an idea put forward by Richard Dawkins in 1976.

Ever wondered where the word ‘meme’ comes from? Philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett explains the term, coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, and its effects on our lives and history. How did we, as a species, become what we are – or more relevantly who we are? Natural selection and genetic evolution have made our physical bodies, but we are so much more than a collection of cells. We are also a conscious community, with language, music, cooking, art, poetry, dance, rituals, and humor. Dennett explains how these behaviors are the product of our cultural evolution. Memes are cultural replicators that spread like viruses, and only the most advantageous – or "the fittest" – of them survive. Daniel Dennett's most recent book is From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds.

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The Science of Popularity Shows Why Hit-Making Is So Hit-and-Miss

The causes of hit products are themselves uncausable. 'Hit Makers' by Derek Thompson explains why we know how to make songs, but not hits.

 

Illustration by Julia Suits, The New Yorker cartoonist & author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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