EVOLUTION AS ENTERTAINMENT
premise: a Saturday morning TV cartoon series telling children how
works would arouse intense public concern.
LOOKING TO EVOLUTION FOR VALUES
Of Darwin’s three
main ideas, only natural selection remains controversial.
Kelly explains how it
threatens values, and longs for a science providing students
with a sounder
basis for self-respect.
“Jim the Republican”
SECULARISM AS A FORCE IN POLITICS
Jim presents secularism as an extreme wing on the left, as Christian Fundamentalism
already is on the right. He tells how secularism is becoming organized, and stresses
the significance of evolution for political balance. Saturday morning
television is key to the nation’s future values, he says.
“Chinese dance troupe”
DOES EVOLUTION DETERMINE HUMAN NATURE?
threatened and fight back as Darwinism swings away from the humanist
the hard sciences. But these swings in Darwinism are inevitable, Sung-Tin says.
FROM FLAT EARTHERS TO PHYSICALISTS
the main positions she sees people falling into, from extreme Creationism
one end to extreme scientific reductionism at the other.
THE “BULLDOG” DEFENSE OF NATURAL SELECTION
illustrates natural selection’s unfortunate tradition of intellectual bullying.
Another enthusiast denies free will. Is this the way to win public support?
STAKING OUT A MIDDLE POSITION
the possibity of third option midway between natural selection and Creationism.
“Sung-Tin as paramour”
BE AGNOSTIC ABOUT MECHANISM?
recommends agnosticism—just not claiming to know— about the processes driving
evolution. To an “alien” like herself, neither natural selection nor
Creationism makes much sense.
Why commit to assuming they exhaust all
INSPIRATION FOR SUNG-TIN’S THIRD POSITION
Could the process
of evolution itself have evolved to become intelligent? Does our intelligence
come to us courtesy of intelligences supported by the genome? Beth thinks so.
“Margaret, the Humanist”
GAME-THEORY STRATEGIES VS. FEELINGS
game-theory to analyse morals threaten the integrity of feelings as a guide to
in friendship for example? Sung-Tin first defends moral relativism,
then reassures Margaret that feelings
won’t lose their power to move us.
BETTER WAYS OF
selection is the only process involved in evolution may not be the best way of
countering Creationism. Norman comes up with some more
WAYS EVOLUTION CAN THREATEN CREATIONISTS
beliefs make it harder to be religious. Mike wants his children to have
something to believe in. School teachers have no right to preach against
“LEAVE OUT THE ‘ISMS’, JUST TEACH THE MATERIAL”
It’s not science’s
job to become a basis for morals or concepts of human nature, says Tom. OK
says Sung-Tin, teachers should purge from the teaching of science their
own biases about human nature.
LEARNING TO BE HUMAN FROM COMPANION ANIMALS
What are the main
sources of meaning available to us? Sandra and Jeff pit art against evolution.
THE EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS OF CULTURE
Jeff and Sung-Tin
once adopted, then split over, two ways you can look at culture evolving—
evolved phenotype” and “memes.” All explanations for human nature are
Jeff concluded. But he passionately supports one, Sung-Tin
“Evolutionist round table”
WHEN HAS DEBATE TURNED INTO INQUISITION?
natural selection’s role in evolution permitted? Or are we be experiencing a
closing of the Western mind? Sung-Tin, defending Beth’s ideas, gets
roughly handled. A round up
of ideas: Mind, intelligence, consciousness,
emergence, mind-body interaction.
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, AND EMERGENCE
Dan explains why
Sung-Tin’s ideas got a rough reception, how genetics claimed Darwin’s mantle,
talks about “mind” and “emergence,” and provides background on the
controversy’s two champions,
natural selection and Creationism. He explains
their strategies and assesses their chances.
HOW TO FRAME THE QUESTION? WHAT QUESTION?
What’s the role of
intelligence in evolution? That depends on what question we most want answered.
At what level of explanation should we pose our questions? What do we want
evolution to account for?
What do we want explained?
“Truth in Advertising”
ARE OUR VALUES A GIVEN? OR CAN WE
“What level of
explanation should you work on?” The level of a modern civilized nation’s
where they come from and who’s responsible for their consequences—is
two case-studies, one
involving celebrity-endorsement in advertising, the other involving
manufactured realism in movies.
“Maxine and Jane”
HARNESSING THE POWER OF PARADIGMS
Is the pursuit of happiness a good idea? Video games? Natural selection? Should we care about
their potential impact on future generation’s self-concept? Are we qualified to
EVOLUTION IS AS IMPORTANT AS WE MAKE IT
theories based on Beths Book will emerge as a new paradigm capable of
the future world economy.
“Sung-Tin pops the question”
EVOLUTION COMPLETES A PERIODIC TABLE OF
theory unifies all our knowledge and experience. Sung-Tin describes a new
“periodic table” of knowledge. Using it she shows how, for want of evolutionary
Western wisdom remains fragmented.
“Beths Book” complete
The author and ‘Tom’
HOW DIFFICULT IT CAN BE TO REACH
in schools, why not? What is ‘intelligent design’?
What lies behind
our different points of view? Who owns Darwin? Materialism vs dualism.
and spirit. The value of multiple traditions.
Notes on the novel