History and Social Darwinist ideology
The Darwinization of history and culture constitutes a dangerous legacy. Eugenic calamity in the wake of Darwinism is already historical fact. As we will see, the study of history, a clear record out in the open, provides a clear falsification of selectionist claims, made sight unseen about the whole of deep time. History does not proceed in Darwinian fashion. But the ideological pseudo-science of natural selection persists as a dogma applied to all forms of cultural study. Another side effect has been the delusion of eugenic ‘man-made’ evolution, and the danger of misapplied evolutionary concepts doing damage to human populations. And the indirect propaganda in the name of science for the debunking of altruism and thence the promotion of selfishness as the basic cast of evolutionary situations is clear evidence of the promotion of capitalist economic ideology in the background.
Researchers have found what they believe is the key to understanding why the
human brain is larger and more complex than that of other animals.
The human brain, with its unequaled cognitive capacity, evolved rapidly
and dramatically. [QUOTE]
University of Colorado(Aug. 16, 2012)
Evolutionary Increase in Size of the Human Brain Explained
“The protein domain at issue is DUF1220. Humans have more than 270 copies
of DUF1220 encoded in the genome, far more than other species. The closer
a species is to humans, the more copies of DUF1220 show up. Chimpanzees
have the next highest number, 125. Gorillas have 99, marmosets 30 and mice
just one. “The one over-riding theme that we saw repeatedly was that the
more copies of DUF1220 in the genome, the bigger the brain. And this
held true whether we looked at different species or within
the human population.” [QUOTE]
Richmond’s view deserves consideration, no doubt, with leads toward further research, but surely the issue is simpler for most than this ornate embroidery of something Gautama probably never knew about. The issue is: the path of enlightenment attracts demonic oppositions. And these are intangible. Spirits, devils, unconscious projections? People who get close to a result often disconbobulate without warning. It is this issue that seems to many a demonic reality in action. Jumping to the conclusion can be problematical.
It is not enough to say these issues are a matter of one’s own projections, but the issue is not clear, and don’t believe those who are doing buddhist PR in a ‘secular’ age.
This is said in the context of a rapidly ‘naturalizing’ buddhism, which is going to be a nice job for those demonic oppositions, easy pickings. The result will be a disaster. Don’t listen to Mahayanists here: they have already conceded the game. They have their own defense here, as to this.
Consider Milarepa’s desperation: preaching the dharma to these devils, that sounds right: through the land of Whacko and onto the beyond, maybe.
It is hard to evaluate the buddhist tradition here: where this material comes from is not clear, but probably it has nothing to do with Gautama.
In an age of science, skepticism attends such statements, skepticism is the starting point: but here’s the point, a strong path of meditation is an empirical gesture, and experiment, among other things in reality of ‘devils’, in the discovery of any sense to such terms. So beware of prejudging the experiment.
Meditation, most ironically, is one of the few ways to conduct spiritual experiments. It is its own brand of science.
update: IE languages originated in Anatolia, Research Suggests
ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2012) — The Indo-European languages belong to one of the widest spread language families of the world. For the last two millenia, many of these languages have been written, and their history is relatively clear. But controversy remains about the time and place of the origins of the family. A large international team, including MPI researcher Michael Dunn, reports the results of an innovative Bayesian phylogeographic analysis of Indo-European linguistic and spatial data.
New research links the origins of Indo-European with the spread of
farming from Anatolia 8000-9500 years ago. (Credit: Image courtesy of
Radboud University Nijmegen)
Their paper appears this week in Science.
The majority view in historical linguistics is that the homeland of Indo-European is located in the Pontic steppes (present day Ukraine) around 6,000 years ago. The evidence for this comes from linguistic paleontology: in particular, certain words to do with the technology of wheeled vehicles are arguably present across all the branches of the Indo-European family; and archaeology tells us that wheeled vehicles arose no earlier than this date. The minority view links the origins of Indo-European with the spread of farming from Anatolia 8,000 to 9,500 years ago.
Lexicons combined with dispersal of speakers
The minority view is decisively supported by the present analysis in this week’s Science. This analysis combines a model of the evolution of the lexicons of individual languages with an explicit spatial model of the dispersal of the speakers of those languages. Known events in the past (the date of attestation dead languages, as well as events which can be fixed from archaeology or the historical record) are used to calibrate the inferred family tree against time.
Importance of phylogenetic trees
The lexical data used in this analysis come from the Indo-European Lexical Cognacy Database (IELex). This database has been developed in MPI’s Evolutionary Processes in Language and Culture group, and provides a large, high-quality collection of language data suitable for phylogenetic analysis. Beyond the intrinsic interest of uncovering the history of language families and their speakers, phylogenetic trees are crucially important for understanding evolution and diversity in many human sciences, from syntax and semantics to social structure.
There are three broad types of explanation for human emergence, evolutionary psychological, religious, and New Age. The religious myths have fallen by the way side, despite hints of ancient understandings in the Adamic corpus. The New Age/Indic accounts are highly suggestive. Consider:
The attempts by evolutionary psychology to explain human evolution are almost more mythological than anything in religious or New Age speculative literature. This area is a void on all sides. But the evolutionary psychologists may well have insights into the microevolutionary adaptations of already existing ‘man’, often inducing decline of real potential. The suggestions in Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence (Lynch and Granger) are that at some point homo sapiens was more intelligent than he is now. The regime of adaptational natural selection is under strong suspicion as an eroder of human intelligence.
The design argument lurks over the void of science: J. G. Bennett, in The Dramatic Universe, Vol. 4, gives an interesting if near science fiction account of the emergence of man via homo erectus/sapiens, and is unique in its suggestion that the dimension of consciousness (beyond animal awareness), creativity, and mind, as the foundations of language, purposive action, and ethical agency, are the breakthrough stages that jumpstart erectus to a new speciation. And Bennett, in a unique argument about demiurgic agencies, suggests that early man could only have achieved the passage with help from evolutionary guides, appearing as ‘avatars’ inside the species zone. Avatars, a quite obscure category (!), are well-known in the Indic tradition, most accounts being now myth. That the phenomenon of jump-started self-consciousness, well-known in Indic religion, resembles that relation (too often in superstitious decay) of guru and disciple, is a possible clue to the conundrum of human emergence.
One of the dangers in the ‘Gurdjieff Con’ is the strategy to destroy free will in victims/disciples: invultuation as a work drone is the best you can expect…
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” — Shakespeare
Humans love stories. We tell each other the stories of our lives, in which we are not merely players reading a script but also the authors. As authors we make choices that influence the plot and the other players on the stage. Free will can be understood as our capacities both to make choices—to write our own stories—and to carry them out on the world’s stage—to control our actions in light of our choices.
What would it mean to lack free will? It might mean we are merely puppets, our strings pulled by forces beyond our awareness and beyond our control. It might mean we are players who merely act out a script we do not author. Or perhaps we think we make up our stories, but in fact we do so only after we’ve already acted them out. The central image in each case is that we merely observe what happens, rather than making a difference to what happens.
Read the rest of this entry »
Secularism, freedom, and the conflict of science/religion
There is a curious irony to the conflict of science and religion: the basis of secularism is as metaphysically engaged as that of religion, and demands, as with the idea of freedom, an extended view of science. The philosopher Kant was the primary figure in the challenge to scientism that was latent in the Enlightenment. His classic discourse on freedom in the context of Newton reposes the issues of modernity. The rise of the modern world was larger than the coming of science. We forget that modernity was the tandem emergence of a duality of parallel ideas, causality and freedom, as science and liberalism double-teamed the spectacular transformation of culture. The debate with religion can be a distraction, and yet the dilemma of nature and supernature is embedded in the very texture of secular ideas of freedom. The irony here is that the idea of freedom, as the keynote of secularism, has no place in science. That should be a reminder that ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ distinctions are misleading. This leads us at once to the core difficulty with scientific theories of evolution. Here a Kantian framework appeared promptly as one of the foundational insights into the nature of the modern, and its scientific leitmotiv.
Secularism and freedom The prominence of science fundamentalism in the Darwin debate makes us forget that the basis of modernity itself is more than the reductionism it has become in a positivistic age. The Protestant Reformation was itself the first stage of modernity. The very basis of the idea of freedom, at the core of all modern liberalisms, has a metaphysical character that would in principle be excluded by scientific explanation. The transition from Reformation to revolutionary liberalism can be seen in the English Revolution of the seventeenth century.
The dimensionality of the human organism is a mystery that reductionist biology is in danger of missing, whatever the confusions of human ‘species’ beliefs here: that’s the irony, such beliefs come into existence with human speciation. Why? Man begins to experience a new ‘software’. The construct of the man-machine evolving by a law of natural selection, like a dead object tracked by a law of physics, is an illusion of modern science.
The Evolution of Religion Scientists armed with Darwinism exhibit something close to obsession in their attempts to reduce religion to Darwinian genetics, in the process mechanizing explanations of ethical agency. The search for the god gene, and the scenarios of evolutionary psychology are desperate attempts to save the reductionist viewpoint. But the question of the evolution of religion is clearly seen from the study of world history.
Here Alfred Wallace is an important, but neglected, figure in the emergence of evolutionary theory. Let us note, in the context of the ‘descent of man revisited’, that one of the co-discoverers, if not actual source, of selectionist theory later dissented on the question, as far as the descent of man is concerned. Wallace (who started as a super-selectionist) saw something that severely challenges Darwinism, that is, the appearance not of adaptive traits, but of potential ‘traits’ that emerge through self-realization (making the term ‘evolution’ ambiguous). His classic observation was that
…in creating the human brain, evolution has wildly overshot the mark.
An instrument has been developed in advance of the needs of its possessor…Natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of the ape, whereas he possesses one very little inferior to that of the average member of our learned societies….
This sentiment springs to life once we see the way Wallace’s dilemma reflects on history. We are confronted with questions about the meaning of evolution, if history shows yogis exploring consciousness in traditions as old as the emergence of civilization. It is entirely possible such men came into being in times unseen in the Paleolithic. Religions such as Buddhism point to another dimension to religion, one that might clarify the confusions over ‘naturalism’.
The Buddha Phenomenon That close observation of historical facts might uncover some surprising indications of what is left out of Darwinism can be seen in the history of Indian religion. That Wallace was righter than he knew is obvious to any student of world religion. Man in his ordinary state is unaware of the potential of his ‘self-consciousness’, let alone able to produce a theory of its evolution. History shows the extreme antiquity of explorations of self-consciousness in the discovery of the famous cylinder seal possibly showing a meditating yogi from the period ca. -2000 (denied by some scholars) in a possible hybrid with Shiva mythology. That what we find in later Buddhism should be discovered much earlier was to be expected, and makes us suspect still earlier forms of such explorations stretching backwards into the Neolithic, or before.
A simple question haunts the Darwinian account. At what point do we first see the Buddha phenomenon and what evolutionary process can account for it? In fact, we don’t know. The most outrageous aspect of Darwinism is to completely ignore such issues, to promote its oversimplification. We can mention this particular case as a theory stopper, and reminder that Darwin’s theory only exists in a culture of ostriches.
Havng said goodbye to Osho Commune, the next step is a takeover from the left.
We are out of time, and the left (=communist left) needs a religious vehilce association. Buddhism has been captured by fascist reactionaries,….
Socialists in three-cornered hats?
http://history-and-evolution.com/whee4th/chap6_5.htm: the fixation on the generation of 1848, and in relation to the previous period of the Enlightenment and French Revolution is no accident. The timing of the mysterious world system shows that the conclusion to the modern transition had left the world of the secular in an incomplete state, one in which the status of capitalism remained undefined in the emerging canons of the liberal ideology. That was the point of the new socialists, expropriated by Marx and marxists: they wished to complete the French Revolution.
But instead a reaction formation emerged (analogous to the later one of the postmoderns) to destroy modernity and create a new age or starting point. But that strategy was doomed to create a jackknife against the whole modern transition. The early socialists understood that the value of socialism was connected to its liberal framework in the creation of the still unclaimed term ‘democracy’.
The issue here is not the destruction of the liberal state, pace Leninism, but the realization that, e.g. the American Revolution had been wrought by people who finished the job before the rise of Adam Smith and the new ideology of capitalism, miscalculating the effect of their achievement. The immediate distortion of the system of rights, has escalated in our time into the destruction of democracy. But the solution is not Marx’s critique of right, but the creation of a system of socialist right. That task was started by Kant with his ethics of the republic of ends. Lockean property right is taken as the summa of liberalism, but the closer reality is that property right might be limited in a republic of ends. This simple starting point for a socialist liberalism, on its way to a still undefined democracy of men who have renounced private property in the rights of the Commons, was lost on both the early liberal sharks of capitalist mystification, and the anti-right disillusion with the democratic that lurked in the revolutionary anger of the left.
A revolution of communist completion to restrain the American rogue state, close to destroying the planet, requires thus something more than a Leninist revenge drama.
I have been expressing a hope that the Osho commune could be a vehicle for the left. But the whole commune is now a dead zone of capitalist tantra. So be wary. But you can still demand the real history here. the hoity toity snobbery of this now vulgar sex club for the rich.
It is beyond belief the spirit of Osho could nosedive here.
But, as usual the left loses a possible vehicle.
Osho had a clear notion of the ‘Commune’ and communism, in some fashion. Demand the real legacy and don’t put up with the whore house shsitheads calling themselve sannyasins at the Poona circus.
Meanwhile, leftists should steer clear of Tibetan Buddhism (not including book study in private) with its legacy of occult attacks on the left.
People complain that the left is hostile to religion. The reality is a bit different.
Saying goodbye would create a sigh of relief in the ashram zombies. Sorry, goodbye won’t rid you of attempts to bug the hell out of you. A permanent guerilla war for the real commune endures, effective immediately.
Osho’s Commununism: Zen Wind, Zen fire is one of the golden oldies, a little later than the rest, now out of print, but I notice some copies still for sale at Amazon.
I got one of the last copies, at the time (and I see I reviewed the book in 2003), and I will use to beat capitalist sannyasins over the head if they get out of line.
Meanwhile the immense library of Osho books is pretty much online: http://www.osho.com/topics/topicseng/osholibrary.htm
But I recommend being wary of the reissued versions of Osho’s books.
See if you can find older editions of the books (online also, at different links).
I don’t see why the Commune doesn’t get copies of the original Poona first editions, beautiful books with striking color plates and line drawings and put them through the POD reprint circuit.
You can have the books rescanned by experts for several hundred dollars (color reprints would raise the cost , the text itself costs under a hundred dollars) and issue the books via Print on Demand. Lightning Source in Tennesse could do it tomorrow. Such books, at a reasonable price would sell by the tens of thousands, and do justice to the original legacy of Osho books.
I rememeber the original editions appearing in the mid to late seventies onward in New York and won’t ever forget the impression. The reprints in new editions have been edited, and homogenized, and are unreadable by someone who has read the originals.
My contradictions on the Osho Commune are merely a constructive warning: Osho Commune has two futures, the whorehouse Club Med degeneration of its legacy in commercial idiocy teamed by tantric sex seekers, and its original radical legacy created by Osho, with its evocation of the Commune.
Having said all this, I won’t get a a response from the Commune estab who wouldn’t deighn to reply to ‘feral dogs’.
So goodbye, parting shot…
I am not worried: the #Occupy can at the right time march on the Commune, as the tranticks flee in panic.
PLease note: you can’t preach spiritual surrender to people you wouldn’t admit to your premises.
That means that buddhism, Tibetan buddhism, sufism, gurdjieffianity, and Osho commune are all out. I can safely predict all the rest of the New Ages remnants are ditto as per ditto.
Your fate is sealed. It’s the tantric sex economy stupid.