Scientific Narratives of Human Origins

…scientific narratives of human origins are myths and, in their deep structure, are recursively involved with other religious or weird and crazy narratives of human origins that exist in the hypertext spaces of our culture. When we line them all up and read them as mythic narratives of human identity, then more complex cognitive structures begin to emerge than when we simply read one narrative…and take it as the gospel truth. Certain motifs or themes begin to show up in more than one narrative; it is as if one were watching a play in which the character exits stage right but returns stage left in a new costume, with a different accent and a different tone of voice. Let’s imagine an interesting play in which crazy ideas are put in the mouths of properly attired and responsible professors, and truth is put in the mouths of absolutely unacceptable characters: bums, lunatics, god-crazed prophets. Is such a play of the sociology of knowledge, the whole notion of “forbidden knowledge” would begin to become artistically interesting.

And, in fact, I think that such a dream is being played out in our contemporary culture. In the university today, there is definitely such a thing as forbidden knowledge. Make a mistake and you are denied tenure or fired. Outside the dominant centers of accepted knowledge is a “twilight zone” in which science, art, and forbidden knowledge, and imagination and paranoia converge and separate.

-William Irwin Thompson, Coming into Being.

I love how Richard Dawkins is taking a picture on his phone. Church of teh Unbelieverz?


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