Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dangerous Idea # 1 : Everything is Pointless

We Humans can and do make up our own purposes, but ultimately the universe has none. All the wonderfully complex and beautifully designed things we see around us were built by the same purposeless process: evolution by natural selection. This includes everything from microbes and elephants to skyscrapers and computers and our own inner selves.
people have mostly got used to the idea that living things were designed by natural selection, but they have more trouble accepting the idea that Human creativity is exactly the same process operating on memes-the units of cultural information-instead of genes. It seems, they think, to take away uniqueness, individuality, and true creativity.
Of course it does nothing of the kind; each person is unique, even if that uniqueness is explained by the individual's particular combination of genes, memes and environment rather than the inner concious self who is the fount of creativity. So I think it is true(but is it dangerous?) to say this: You may think that I wrote this piece, but in fact it was written by my memes competing in this pointless universe.

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