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 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- There is no splendid evolutionary ladder leading steadily onwards and upwards towards
- 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