Evolution and purpose

If evolution is the truth, then what would be the point of life?

[ 19/Feb/21 ]

Evolution explains how it is that complexity can, in some limited sets of contexts, emerge from relative simplicity.

To get to the level of complexity observed in human beings, that process had to recurs, over and over again, at multiple levels.

Every level of structure has necessary sets of limits to sustain itself.

Various sets of symbols, languages, stories and ideas have evolved to allow us to contemplate the idea of a point to life.

We seems to be capable of choice, to some meaningful degree.

Many of the ideas of culture (even the very idea of truth) seem to be simplistic approximations to ideas that are, in reality, vastly more complex, nuanced and fundamentally uncertain.

Evolution deals in “what survives”.

If we wish to continue to survive, then we need to update our understandings of the sorts of boundaries that are actually required for the survival of complexity, including the survival of ideas like freedom – and it can be difficult for many to accept that even freedom demands responsibility (acknowledgement of the real limits necessary for survival of complexity at that level) if it is to survive.

It seems clear that we all have some degrees of choice in what we consider to be the “point” of life, and it seems that reality poses some very real limits on what sorts of strategies are actually survivable in the long term. And in the absence of such individual consideration and choice, we all come from “cultures” that put default values into such ideas as “the point of existence”.

If urgent decisions are required then the limits of time available in reality can demand of us that we use simplistic models of reality; but that does not mean that reality is simple. Holding that distinction clearly seems to be an essential part of survival at our level of complexity.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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