Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cranes all the way down

After reading about the depressing ignorance of certain US senators yesterday I was reminded of a rather nice analogy for the process of evolution that the American philosopher Dan Dennett came up with, it kind of redressed the balance for me, here it is (I tweaked it slightly, hopefully he won't mind)
  • Proteins and DNA are not alive, living spirits are made from lifeless stuff.
  • Souls can be made from things that don't have souls, brain cells often make souls.
  • To make something complex you don't need something even more complex, that lives in the clouds.
  • Evolution has cranes that lift things from the floor, cells, sex, language all cranes lifting us to higher places 
  • Cranes all the way down, with solid foundations anchored to the ground, no magic sky hooks in sight.

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