Monday, September 13, 2010

The lack of integration between major types of thought process used by the brain results in an incoherent body of human ideas. Archaic (supernatural) and modern (scientific) explanations for the environment describe mutually exclusive universes. Attempts to reconcile these distinct universes create disaster: ever-more powerful technologies are developed, directed and used against human beings and nature by the Top Male hierarchy. The secrets of nature are routinely turned over to thugs.

The explanation for obvious and longstanding contradictions in human behavior is revealed in the additive nature of the human brain, which is a poorly integrated compilation of evolved functions. The evolution of the brain from a simple bioelectrical circuit into the complex of functions that must operate the animal body has not been without problems, especially in human species. The primate lifestyle requires a large brain, long gestation, and delayed infant development and care, activities that are fueled by a diet high in fat and protein. This trend in quality vs. quantity led to a large brain size-to-body ratio in hominids. Bipedal stance, increased tool use, response to rapid environmental change, a diet high in fat and protein, the development of spoken language, competition among hominid species, and genetic mutations, are all contributors to the present state of Homo sapiens.

The archaic brain is instinctual; it operates on automatic responses to the environment that we identify as emotion and intuition (gut feelings) , but instinct also appears in humans as images and symbols that manifest in dreams and art, and as the magical explanations found in myth and religion for both internal and external phenomena. These explanations do not correspond to physical reality: the laws of nature are routinely overturned in religions; religion is the ritual presentation of a culture’s central myth. (Joseph Campbell)

The result is belief in a supernatural dimension that exists outside physical reality; this non-existent dimension is a projection of the magical human brain onto the external environment. It can be all but impossible for human beings to “get” this relationship, because the human desire to dominate the environment is extreme and adaptive. Gods (which began simply, as ancestors0 are the projection of this dominance need onto imaginary and all-powerful beings that can be manipulated into overthrowing nature in favor of man.

Human reaction to the environment, and our interactions with nature, continue to be dominated by supernatural delusion; it is the default mode of thinking of the social brain. This odd condition –which produces a human view of the universe that is extremely inaccurate, can be resolved if we understand that man evolved in a natural environment that was very different from artificial modern environments. Our early ancestors may have wondered at the origin of their surroundings, but the content of their experience was physical and natural: earth, sky, water; the sun, the moon, and certain stars, and the plants and animals they depended on for survival. These feelings of wonder would have been oriented to survival, and not to philosophical questions about existence. How do I gain control over an environment that includes other humans? That was the central question for modern man. Force and cunning, deception and intimidation were the available tools, and still are the preferred means of male domination.

Not much could go wrong when the human population was small and weapons and tools were good enough for food acquisition and for defense. Incorrect assumptions as to the underlying principles of how the world works (revealed by science) did not preclude the development of basic technology; tools and weapons were limited by a trial and error relationship with the laws of nature. A tool worked, or it didn’t. Some tools, such as hammers, have remained unchanged for thousands of years and are used also by other primates, mammals and birds. The development of tools is a fascinating area of study since it is deeply involved with the availability of materials and the human ability to observe and copy other animals and the forces of nature. Tools are entwined with how we use the brain.