Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Katherine Redford's picture

The Why?

Okay, so we've finished Myer and are now working our way through Dennett.  It wasn't until Thursday's discussion that I realized that I had never actually spent very much time wondering about the why.  When it was brought up, I realized that this was probably because it is a WAY difficult question.  Throughout Mayr's book there is not why, there is only a serious dissection of the how.  My current question is why do we need to know the why? If it is such a difficult question, what are we going to gain from it? I suppose we will never know until we discover the true why. 

The problem I see with the why, and of course, the term "problem" is completely relative, is that it is an enormous can of worms? Why do we need a why? Is it simply a matter of human curiosity, or will we truly benefit somehow from learning.

And as far as the error discussion, a point that I made in my paper, is that we must remember that we are a PART of evolution.  Because we are a part of it, we cannot assume that we can control it simply because we think we understand it.  While it is unlikely, our environment could suddenly change and we won't be able to react, because we are not genetically prepared for it.  It is also incredibly important to point out that our governments, and our ability to form a social heirarchy is only our response to the world around us.  It isn't going to save us from evolution, it is only keeping us thriving now and it doesn't provide us with a security for the future.

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
1 + 7 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.