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I’ll believe humans are not unique the next time I hear …

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The Catholic Darwinist speaks.

This is almost too much but … here’s an effort to claim that humans are unique while assuming that all the evidence is in the other direction – a classic move in Catholic Darwinism. But, somehow, somehow, humans are still unique:

Consider the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a cup of tea. There is a chemical explanation for this process and an objective, publicly agreed upon, way to measure its duration. But, Bergson observed, the experience of waiting is neither a public nor an objective affair; one’s subjective state of mind – impatient, tired, etc. – determines how one experiences the objective fact. That is, the first-person experience of time is something over and above the third-person description of it.

From the scientific point of view, making tea is more or less identical on each occasion: the same chemical processes are at work and the amount of time, if it varies at all, varies by some objective measure (seconds or minutes). But the experience of making tea is patently not the same on each occasion. There is a profound difference between, say, making tea for the first time, and having made tea with one’s grandmother every Sunday afternoon, doing so for the first time after her death. Such qualitative differences are more readily captured by art and literature – think, for example, of Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time – than by chemistry. But, Bergson argues, such considerations are precisely what we need to make sense of our experiences, mundane and profound alike.

Okay.  I’ll believe humans are not unique the next time I hear apes started a charity to rescue humans from genocide.

Actually, even neuroscientists largely can’t stand the nonsense any more. See: Neuroscience tried wholly embracing naturalism, but then the brain got away

and for a quick overview of the basic problem, see: Darwin’s “horrid doubt”: The mind

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3 Replies to “I’ll believe humans are not unique the next time I hear …

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Henri Bergson as Christian Darwinist?

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Denise,

    This is off topic mainly but I am almost finished David Epstein’s book, Sport Gene. More about human evolution than in Nicholas Wade’s book.

    Nearly all about sports and as such a lot is not about genes but still quite a lot is DNA oriented. Some speculative but some very interesting.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    Denyse,

    Sorry about the name spelling but I had it right and IOS 8 changed it without my noticing.

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