TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Humanities approach to evolution

I believe evolution is the greatest discovery of all time, but in 200 years we've drawn from it almost no wisdom about ourselves at all. What's stopping us? I propose we start searching for that wisdom all over again.

Creationism is not the primary alternative to Darwinism. The primary traditional alternatives have been various combinations of mind and creativity. Alternatives like those help us make more sense of what it means we evolved. I am developing such a combination, supposing mind and creativity to have evolved into the genome, the genome then building them into us. The result is a discourse suited to creatives and members of the humanities, for whom Darwinism, and hence us having evolved, is mostly irrelevant.

Given we're unlikely to have already in hand all the concepts we need to understand something as revolutionary as having evolved, a mere discourse based on new principles may be invaluable for devising crucial paradoxes and questions.

I have written five books on the impact of evolutionary theory on our sense of self, and a play, "What it means we evolved". Would my concerns fit into any program you have in mind? I live in the mid Hudson Valley. The play I perform myself but at 90 minutes it's too long for your format.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jul 5 2013: No, Edward, I dismiss Creationism because its intent is not to learn what having evolved implies for human nature but to support existing doctrines. Creationism comes with answers already in place. I assume there is little thrill of discovery in picking out one or two findings to confirm what one already believes in. Rather like physics! As for disciplines, I was thinking of anthropology, history and linguistics, which have methods but are not bound by a logic limited to syllogisms based on today's physics. Even writers and poets; intuition in a garden may deliver more insights than population statistics. Imagination may be precisely what is most needed in evolution study today. Is it conceivable that changing from an origin story based on God to one based on evolution can have so little meaning for us as we have so far drawn from it? Something's suppressing our natural enthusiasm for exploration.
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2013: You dismiss Creationism because it is existing doctrine? Do you dismiss everything that comes with answers? As a Creationist I can assure you that my natural enthusiasm for observing God's creation is not suppressed by the teachings of the Holy Bible. You are being sophomoric and irrationally biased against Creationism. The only valid basis for dismissing Creationism, aka the Holy Bible, is to falsify it scientifically. Prove Creationism is false using the Scientific Method, you'll be famous as the first to do it.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.