Figments of Reality - The Evolution of the Curious Mind by Ian Stewart

By Ian Stewart

Peppered with wit and arguable subject matters, it is a clean new examine the co-evolution of brain and tradition. Bestselling authors Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen (The cave in of Chaos, 1994) eloquently argue that our minds advanced inside an inextricable hyperlink with tradition and language. They transcend traditional perspectives of the functionality and goal of the brain to examine the ways in which the brain is the reaction of an evolving mind that's always adjusting to a posh setting. alongside the best way they enhance new and interesting insights into the character of evolution, technology, and humanity that would problem traditional perspectives on realization. The esteemed authors tantalize the reader with those daring new outlooks whereas placing a progressive spin on such vintage philosophical difficulties because the nature of loose will and the essence of humanity. This sincerely written and stress-free publication will encourage any expert reader to significantly assessment the present notions of the character of the human brain.

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It’s not so much a ballroom dance as a bar-room brawl. Understanding, then, comes at many levels. Our level and type of understanding can be gauged by the extent to which we can answer questions about nature, and the type of question that we can answer. There are (at least) three different types of question, and each requires a different type of answer. The simplest questions are ‘how’ questions: how does the speed of a falling rock vary with height, how does haemoglobin capture and release oxygen molecules, how do geese string themselves out into loose V-shaped skeins as they wing their way across the sky?

In discussing such questions we shall be happy to reinvent philosophical wheels, in the hope that they have not been punctured irrevocably long ago. That is, we shall not give chapter and verse for who first came up with what idea – or something vaguely like that idea that might be seen as containing its germs – and we have not rummaged through the literature to look for devastating counter-arguments. Instead, we shall ‘wing it’, on the grounds that the lines of thought are in any case more interesting than any particular conclusions.

But what actually ‘drives’ evolution? Human beings, conscious of their personal mortality, are somewhat obsessed with the Grim Reaper, if only because they dimly see Him coming and they don’t like it. In consequence the Grim Reaper plays a central role in humanity’s usual story of evolution: ‘nature red in tooth and claw’, where creatures strive to outcompete each other in a desperate no-holds-barred battle for survival. Only the winners of these battles, it is said, get to perpetuate their kind: the losers just die, and in this way organisms with ‘good genes’ proliferate at the expense of all the rest.

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