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Fremragende fremstilling om det vise menneskets historie. Fremstillingen bygger på kjente teorier og etablerte fakta. Det er perspektivet på mennesket som en av mange dyrearter og sammenstillingen av fakta og teorier, som etter min oppfatning gjør at boken skiller seg ut og blir interessant. Jeg sitter igjen med følelsen av at det er våre sosiale egenskaper og en rekke tilfeldigheter som gjør at vi har den posisjonen som vi har i dag. Kanskje vi burde være mer ydmyke?
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Just as medieval culture did not manage to square chivalry with Christianity, so the modern world fails to square liberty with equality. But this is no defect. Such contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture. In fact, they are culture's engines, responsible for the creativity and dynamism of our species. Just as when two clashing notes played together force a piece of music forward, so discord in our thoughts, ideas and values compel us to think, re-evaluate and criticise. Consistency is the playground of a dull mind.
A meaningful life can be extremely satisfying even in the midst of hardship, whereas a meaningless life is a terrible ordeal no matter how comfortable it is.
The economic pie of 2014 is far larger than the pie of 1500, but it is distributed so unevenly that many African peasants and Indonesian labourers return home after a hard day's work with less food than did their ancestors 500 years ago. Much like the Agricultural Revolution, so too the growth of the modern economy might turn out to be a colossal fraud. The human species and the global economy may well keep growing, but many more individuals may live in hunger and want.
So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe - and He's evil. But nobody in history hs had the stomach for such a belief.
Modern-day science is a unique tradition of knowledge, inasmuch as it openly admits collective ignorance regarding the most important questions. Darwin never argued that he was "the Seal of the Biologists", and that he had solved the riddle of life once and for all. After centuries of extencive scientific research, biologists admit that they still don't have any good explanation for how brains produce conciousness. Physicists admit that they don't know what caused the Big Bang, or how to reconcile quantum mechanics with the theory of general relativity.