Sam GhandchiWorldview of a Smart Monkey
Sam Ghandchi

جهان بينی ميمونی هوشمند

Bishop of Worcester’s wife is quoted as saying the following about Darwin's Theory of Evolution that ‘Let us hope it is not true. But if it is true, let us hope it does not become generally known.’

Basically she was ashamed of being related to the apes.

Today hardly anybody denies the relation of humans and apes nor would imagine the truth can be hidden. Thinking of ourselves as a smart monkey is not really too farfetched. We still look pretty much like the primitive humans. Maybe in the next 100 years various parts of our body and our brain will go through major changes and even be augmented by many artificial parts and artificial intelligence but for now we are still not much different from the humans of a million years ago.

Religious worldviews which date back to the birth of human civilizations are still with us. For some enlightened humans it has been hard to believe that one religion can have the sole ownership of the truth and thus mysticism has been around among adherents of all religions and in different parts of the world. Rumi's following poem gives the best description of it where he describes Moses and Pharoah as two shades of the truth:

Since colorlessness became the captive of color, a
Moses went into battle with a Moses

Mysticism was surely less prone to having the illusion of having ownership of the truth than any particular religion. But as human knowledge expanded, it was obvious that believing in Earth and heavenly bodies having been built in 7 days could not be reconciled with our scientific discoveries even if many religions agreed on it. So science became a major challenge to mysticism although, similar to religions, it had more inclination to create the illusion of having the ownership of truth.

In the last five centuries of science and technology, it has become increasingly clear that as we get farther from our times and from the Earth, in time and space, our scientific views become as speculative as the religious views, although we still require scientific theories such as Big Bang theory to go through the rigorous experimental requirements and do not just accept them by faith no matter how much we revere a specific scientist or scientific discipline. Even Einstein's theories were put to rigorous tests long after his death.

Early scientific philosophies such as 18th century materialism assumed that extrapolation of our new science in time and space can be infinite. Cosmologists were more tilted towards Steady State theory of the universe. Einstein's Relativity, Quantum Theory and later the Big Bang theory were major blows to the pseudo-certitude of not only mechanistic materialism but they blew away the dialectical materialism of communists. Science does not accept any dogma as a matter of faith. This is why the attempts of Nazis and Communists to make an eternal dogma out of science failed.

We know that our universe is about 14 billion years old. But we hardly understand anything beyond that, in space or time, or if other dimensions and parallel universes are possible. We have no answers to these questions and human science may not have answers to them for a long time. In such areas, extrapolations of various scientific disciplines may be as good as speculations of various religions but scientific mind will not resort to any dogma like dialectical materialism to have a pseudo-certitude.

Science of today is far from the materialist science of 18th century. Not only the phenomena like quarks of quantum theory are part of this science but it is open to investigate things beyond the dimensions that our human senses can detect and does not consider such speculations as unscientific hallucinations. This is not going back to the ideologies and religions of antiquity but it shows we are now ready to examine a bigger scope of phenomena by post-human science than it was possible with a science bound by materialism.

Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
May 5, 2014



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