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Archive for January 18th, 2011

Yesterday’s post on You=tube and being all DaDaDandy needs a follow, and although I’m far from growing wings and going chirpy I may possibly have something percolating between synapses that offers other than gloom for a Tuesday.

When in discussions with folks who subscribe to Life is Short and Then You Die and That’s All She Wrote line of thought, one question that pops into mind is: Why?

Not, “Why do you think this is all there is?”, because that actually makes a lot of sense, but “Why?” as a broader issue.

Although I do understand the biological imperative we carry to find meaning to life in our efforts to figure out what’s going on and therefore somehow protect ourselves with the result being we stick around longer, that doesn’t feel quite enough to get us to the point of doing so so well.

In the course of evolution, changes in species arise because something new and different works, and works well enough and is repeated often enough to have those with it make more others than those without. Many new adaptations are very costly involving trade-offs in expenditures of energy.

Bright coloring in male birds, for instance, takes more energy, but results in breeding opportunities, so it works and is worth it.

Humans stand rather than crawl after developing big ass muscles, an improvement on mobility allowing us to use our hands which led to tool making and a decent living for manicurists. The ability to use tools made killing big stuff possible so we starting living in groups … which spread the cost a bit as the society as well as individuals anted up … and talking to each other so we could manage to deal with mammoth leftovers.

Fine. DadaDandy, even.

Where the evolutionary sense runs off the rails for me, however, is where we got so bloody smart.

Where is the biological imperative in moving from beating on a log while blowing through a reed to Mozart? For that matter, why did we start blowing on reeds in the first place? Chimps have been around as long as we have and done well without making music, so what is it in us that needs it to soothe the savage breast?

What good has it done our species to build extra brain making it possible to turn completely effective grunts to poetry, to develop compassion to the point of giving the shirts off our back to help another in need and the determination to go where no one has gone before even when we well know there’s a dearth of fruiting trees in them thar hills?

Big brains need a lot of calories to form and to work. Why go that way when longer arms or wings or bigger lungs may have served better?

If there’s one thing going on making me suspect there’s more than one thing going on, it would be that we’re over-engineered for what’s needed for survival in this world. Because that over-engineering is so expensive, it seems there must be a better reason for it than simple process of effective mutation explains, and because of that there just might be more to us.

So, from a Monday to a Tuesday, and from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to a philosopher of our time, Yoda …

Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

Perhaps …

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