Preface 2021-New Human Variant
پیشگفتار 1400؛ واریانت جدید بشر
P.S. 05/30/21: Kurzweil: Intelligent Tools, Singularity and Obstacle
This is preface 2021 to my book about the need for a new human variant; and as noted two years ago, we need to be vigilant about proliferation of side-effects with exponential growth, which will not be discussed here again. On February 8, 2011, i.e. 10 years ago, this author published an article entitled 'New Human Variant is Needed,' which was well-received by Ray Kurzweil. I continued the work, and 5 years later, on November 1, 2016, published an online book entitled: 'Futurist: Humanity's Nowruz in 21st Century (New Variant to Meet Human Needs)', and the book was also well-received by Ray Kurzweil. Later, more articles were added to the book, as appendices, during the last 5 years, and unfortunately after 10 years, I still have not found the time to incorporate those articles in the main text of the book, and hopefully will do in the near future. Nonetheless this new preface is a fresh look at the topic especially after "Elon Musk’s brain-chip company, Neuralink, has recently released a video of a monkey playing video games!" In this new 2021 preface, I will not discuss Neuralink's achievement, but will rather have a philosophical discussion about how the invention of modern science, created a new level of human understanding of the world, nonetheless, in the absence of a new variant, this potential was never fully materialized because transfer of the knowledge was still achieved, at best, by *education*, and not by change of humans themselves to a new variant! Although this topic may not directly be connected to meeting human needs which is the focus of this book, but it reciprocally affects human needs and how they are fulfilled! Modern science dates back to Descartes and Newton and even Aristotle in Ancient Greece discusses scientific achievements of his time! Science basically is not about any scientist claiming some kind of *Ontology*, rather similar to Descartes, the most general approach by scientists, is epistemological, or what Descartes refers to as a *methodology* of science! In other words from the time human beings invented science, understanding the universe at the macro or micro level was no longer a philosophical speculation about the world by philosophers like Plato in Ancient Times or mystics in the Middle Ages! In fact although there were philosophers like the Existentialists in Modern Times, whether in the tradition of Heidegger or that of Sartre's, who still talked of *Ontology* as a separate discipline from science, but they did not really achieve anything new in understanding the reality, as compared to what scientists discovered! The pre-scientific philosophical or religious thought stopped to offer anything new knowledge since the start of Middle Ages. In fact, as early as 19th Century, prominent thinkers like Karl Marx and Frederick Engels who based their works on science, would not try speculating on an *Ontology* of their own, and this is why Marx in the first volume of Capital talks of turning Hegel's philosophy upside down, trying to base his *Dialectical Ontology* on materialism of Feuerbach, an approach that was continued by Engels, in Dialectics of Nature, Engels tried to re-write Hegel's Dialectics as a new *Ontology*, using the science of his time, by making it based on what he called 'materialism,' when trying to form a Marxist version of what Hegel had created in his Philosophy of Nature! Nonetheless, later, Frederick Engels in his introduction to Anti-Duhring, completely rejects the need for independence of philosophy on the ground that various sciences are capable of approaching different problems of knowledge without the need for any philosophy to embrace it all, in other words, he was actually taking a positivist approach by stating that each scientific discipline will discover its own area of truth and there is no need for a philosophical approach as a separate attempt to understand 'everything-there-is,' i.e. an *Ontology*. Thus even Engels approaches positivism at the end; in juxtaposition to what he tried, when writing 'Dialectics of Nature!' In other words philosophical attempt at *Ontology* was avoided by Engels at the end of his life, and what remained for Marxists, was *Epistemology*, i.e. the theory of knowledge, although again among later Marxists, the philosophical dogma of Marxism, i.e. Dialectical Materialism: the Marxist Mystification of Scientific Worldview, became a semi-Ontology, and by doing that, as far as philosophy itself was concerned, Marxists, on one hand, dropped discussions of Ontology and only focused on Epistemology although at the same time talked of *Dialectics* as some kind of a Religious Ontology, supposedly as an overall view of the world as a whole, while contradicting new sciences such as Relativity and Quantum Physics! About a century after Marxist founders, Karl Popper and others who had views like Hume and Kant, had no problem questioning philosophical principles like causality, although they were not positivists! Popper focused on *Epistemology* in his book entitled Objective Knowledge, and formed a general philosophical approach to the world by postulating theory of falsification which he considered as what the scientists do, and discussed it as an epistemological approach to reality! There were others like Thomas Kuhn working on philosophy of science, who thought Paradigm Shifts determines the progress of scientific thinking. Regardless of such differences among the philosophers of science, they arrived at the same thought, as Engels did, at the end of his life, that epistemology was the enterprise of philosophers after the rise of modern science, and any philosophical discussion of *Ontology*, separate from science, is meaningless! In other words, whether one believed in the answers various scientific theories provided about understanding the world, the word of science became the criteria of truth about the universe at macro or micro level, and it did not matter if one was a positivist or believed in some philosophical epistemology that would have a more general model of understanding of the world such as Popper's Falsification, nonetheless, this perspective would not support any ontology separate from the verdict of science. And of course, all this was true for most philosophers who saw the impact of modern science on their discipline, with the exception of religious or mystic philosophies, who were just remnants of the past, and tried to justify their *Ontology* by reinterpreting science, rather than deriving their philosophical thought from science! Thinkers such as Willis Harman and Morris Berman are good examples of such thinkers! What we learned in the era of Modern Science was that Epistemology is central to our understanding of the universe and any *Ontology* separate from the epistemological discoveries is basically a religious or semi-religious thought and not philosophical thinking! Now with the advent of new human variant, this scientific understanding can be incorporated in the mental system of a new variant, and totally be co-present in life of human beings and not just be a glimpse of genius for a few! In fact, although prior to new variant, the human species as far as its mental capacities are concerned, has not moved much beyond the humans of 5 million years ago and at best is more educated and can refer to its knowledge for particular needs. Maybe this is why the thinking of ordinary humans of the world at large is still defined by religious *Ontologies* of thousands of years ago, i.e. the views long before modern science was even invented!
Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
April 21, 2021
For a Secular Democratic & Futurist Republican Party in Iran