The Start: A Replacement For Ontology (superstition) By Science
Ontology is the branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature of being (Oxford)
The Brain Explosion
1) A dispassionate observer from a more advanced planet who could take in human history at a single glance would no doubt come to the conclusion that our race is in some respects admirable, in the main, however, a very sick biological product.
2) The most persistent sound reverberating through men’s history is the beating of war drums. Tribal wars, religious wars, civil wars, dynastic wars, national wars, revolutionary wars, colonial wars, wars of conquest and of liberation, wars to prevent and to end all wars, follow one another in a chain of compulsive repetitiveness as far as men can remember his past.
3) The most striking indication of the pathology of our species is the contrast between its unique technological achievements and its equally unique incompetence in the conduct of its social affairs. We can control the motions of satellites orbiting distant planets, but cannot control the situation in Northern Ireland. Man can leave the Earth and land on the Moon, but could not cross from East to West Berlin.
4) Since the dropping of the first atomic bomb in 1945, man has carried a time-bomb fastened around his neck, and will have to listen to its ticking – now louder, now softer, now louder again – until it either blows up, or he succeeds in diffusing it. But this operation will require a more radical approach than UN resolutions, disarmament conferences and appeals to sweet reasonableness. Such appeals have always fallen on deaf ears, for the simple reason that humankind is not a reasonable being – for if he were, he would not have made such a bloody mess of his history; nor are there any indications that he is in the process of becoming one.
5) The first step towards a possible therapy is a correct diagnosis of what went wrong with our species. There have been countless attempts at such a diagnosis, but none of them carried much conviction, because none started from the hypothesis that humankind (homo sapiens) may be, an evolutionary misfit.
6) Evolution has made many mistakes. For every existing species hundreds have perished in the past; the fossil record is a waste-basket of discarded models. The evidence from man’s past record from contemporary brain-research both strongly suggest that at some point during during the last explosive stages of the evolution of homo sapiens something went wrong; that there is a flaw built into our nervous system that would account for the streak of paranoia running through our history.
7) Here is a list of some of the outstanding pathological symptoms reflected in the disastrous history of our species.
1. The ubiquitous rites of human sacrifice persisting from the prehistoric dawn to the beginning of the last century.
2. The persistent pursuit of intraspecific warfare.
3. The paranoid split between rational thinking and irrational emotion-based beliefs.
4. The contrast betweens humankinds genius in conquering nature and its ineptitude in managing its own affairs – symbolised by the new frontier in space and the minefields along the borders of Europe.
8) So far we have moved in the realm of facts. As we turn from symptoms to causes, we must recourse to hypotheses, which pertain to neurophysiology, anthropology, and psychology.
Next note to come – 6 – for some answers to the biggest predicament, which humankind finds himself having to deal with!