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To be steeped in natural history

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Published on Jan 26, 2012

Imagine Deep History http://www.bighistoryproject.com/

The gods of the human primate from this little blue planet in the universe seem to be too small, too human and too petty to be the ultimate force in this giant cosmos.
The created gods of the human mind are too small and petty for the grandeur of the stars and universe. Human gods do not even cover the scale of the earth and its history much less the universe.

"A universe in which everything is known would be static and dull, as boring as the heaven of some weak-minded theologians ."
Carl Sagan
"To be steeped in history is to cease being Protestant." Cardinal John Henry Newman


The Cardinal stops too early. A Jewish person or a Pagan could say to be steeped in history is to cease being Catholic as well. And the more you research and study history dogma seems rather provincial, tribal and solipsistic.

"The human mind delights in finding pattern—so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it...
We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer---but none exists."
Stephen Jay Gould

"A general problem with much of Western theology in my view is that the god portrayed is too small. It is a god of a tiny world and not a god of a galaxy much less of a universe."

-Carl Sagan

"I think that we reject the evidence that our world is changing because we are still, as that wonderfully wise biologist E.O. Wilson reminded us, tribal carnivores. We are programmed by our inheritance to see other living things as mainly something to eat, and we care more about our national tribe than anything else. We will even give our lives for it and are quite ready to kill other humans in the cruelest of ways for the good of our tribe. We still find alien the concept that we and the rest of life, from bacteria to whales, are parts of the much larger and diverse entity, the living Earth."
Dr. Lovelock

"The importance of the Scientific Revolution for philosophy is beyond question. Modern philosophy the work of both rationalists and empiricists would have been impossible without great advances in physics. Analogously, therefore, we could anticipate that the Darwinian Revolution will have important implications for philosophy. Indeed, I would go further and say that we might expect Darwin's work to have even greater implications for philosophy than those of physics. The theory of evolution through natural selection impinges so directly on our own species. It is not just that we are on a speck of dust whirling around in the void but that we ourselves are no more than transformed apes. If such a realization is not to affect our views of epistemology and ethics, I do not know what is. As I said in the Preface, I find it inconceivable that it is irrelevant to the foundations of philosophy whether we are the end result of a slow natural evolutionary process, or made miraculously in Gods own image on a Friday, some 6,000 years ago. "
Dr. Michael Ruse

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