Homo sapiens - Born of the Earth- David.docx

4 Pages
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Department
School of Environment
Course Code
ENV100H1
Professor
Stephen Scharper

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Description
Homo sapiens: Born of the earth - The key success is the possession of the most complex structure on Earth: the human brain. Weighing a mere 1.5 kilograms and occupying the space of two fists, the brain consists of 100 billion neurons. Each neuron can form up to 10 000 connections with other cells, thereby creating the potential for more combinations than there are stars in the heaven. The Brains need for order - Jacob, the French molecular biologist and Nobel laureate, suggests that the human mind is far more; it has a built in need to create order out of the constant flow of information coming from its sensory organs. - The brain selects and discards information to be used in the narrative, constructing connections and relationships that create a web of meaning. – A narrative reveals more than just what happens’ it explains why. - The physical world is approached from opposite ends in two cases: one is supremely concrete , the other supremely abstract; one proceeds from the angle of sensible qualities and the other from that of formal properties- Claude levi-strauss. Weaving a World View: - Knowledge of every human being accumulates through generation of observation, experience and conjecture, was a priceless legacy for survival. Small families of nomadic-hunters depended on skills and knowledge that were profoundly local, embedded in the flora, fauna, climate and geology of a region. This information was woven together into what is called a “Worldview”- a story whose subject for each group is the world and everything in it, a world in which human begins are deeply immersed. Each worldview was tied to a unique locale and people who had shaped Gods. - Every worldview describes a universe in which everything is connected with everything else. Stars, clouds, forests, oceans, and human beings are interconnected componenets of a single system in which notion can exist in isolation. - Human beings hold enormous responsibility’ each individual is accountable and every action has repercussion. Past, present and future form a continuum in which each generation inherits a world shaped by actions of its forebears and holds it in trust for all generation to come. The Capernican Revolution: - For thousand of years people saw the world as the center of their worldviews. - Then in 1523, Nicolaus Copernicus presented a new view of the cosmos, and humanity’s place in it, in his book, “ on the Revolution of Celestial Orbs. His story had the sun as its center, circled by planets. In 1610, Galileo Galilei published “ the starry messenger” – in which he announced his discovers about the nature of the moon, the composition of the Milky Way and the “ new stars” circling Jupiter- evidence to support Copernican hypothesis. - The earth was marginalized-reduced to one for many planets in a universe filled with other suns. This revolutionary cosmology demolished the intellectual and moral order of the Western world - The medieval view of the universe as fixed and finite, with humankind enshrined at the center as God’s special creation, was replaced by a infinite universe- a boundless region filled with darkness and space- and human beings were relocated to very inferior quarters. - After Copernicus, the great physicist Isaac Newton discovered laws governing the movement of bodies and the behaviour of light that appeared to apply everywhere in the universe - The cosmos, is like an immense clock, a complex mechanism whose basic components and principles could be revealed and examined through science. - According to this view, nature is a machine and is of its parts could be added together until a picture is created - Thus, to those accepting Newton’s ideas, the natural world, like any other machine is knowable, adjustable, and manageable. And above all it belongs to the people who control it. - Charles Darwin, “The Origins of Species” was the biological equivalent to Copernican Revolution. By replacing the moment of divine creation- with a long-running family saga that includes apes and Chimps, Darwin shoved the human species off its pedestal. - Evolutionary biologists denied humanity its final claim to eminence by showing that natural selection does not necessarily to increasing level of complexity and greater intelligence - There is no splendid evolutionary ladder leading steadily onwards and upwards towards Homo sapiens - Descartes’s famous phrase “ I think therefore I am” encapsulated the belief that self- consciousness, or awareness is the great achievement of the human species, a property that is unique to humankind and elevates us above all live. - Even that conceit crumbles – “ the assumption so a human monopoly on conscious thinking becomes more difficult to defend as we learn about ingenuity of animals coping with problems in their life”. Severing the Connections - Whereas traditional worldview see the universe as a whole, science produces information that can never, almost by definition, be complete - Scientist focuses on PARTS of nature, attempting to isolate each fragment and control the factors impinging on it. - But what is ultimately acquired is a fracture mosaic of disconnect bits and pieces, who’s parts will never add up to a coherent narrative. - The Newtonian method of understanding a whole system by adding together the properties of its parts has turned out to be fundamentally flowered. - The position of the particle could not be defined with absolute certainty but only by statistical probability. If there is no absolute certainty at the most elementary level, then the notion that the entire universe is understandable and predictable from its components becomes absurd Reveling how little we know. - What we know is utterly small to what remains unknown or not understood. - Identifying a species merely indicates that the taxonomic position so the sp
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