RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Sun 08 Dec 2002 - 10:17:05 GMT

  • Next message: "RE: Why Europe is so Contrary"

    At 06:48 PM 7/12/02 -0800, Grant wrote:
    >I'm having trouble seeing where what you said had anything to do with what I
    >said. I was talking about the fact that we seem genetically inclined to
    >search for beginings and endings in life as well as in narative. You seem
    >to be talking about societies adapting to their environment. What is the
    >connection? I was positing that the genetic inclination is what guides us
    >to structure our naratives the way we do. You seemed to be saying that the
    >narrative structure is what causes us to search for beginnings and endings.
    >What this has to do with societies adjusting to their environment escapes

    This is a mixture of fact and theory Grant. Emergent Homo Sapien (wise man) was unique among his contemporary primates in that the female of the species did not die soon after menopause. I hypothesise that these females became an asset to their communities by processing food and minding the young. Young primates are naturally curious and members of our line are no different. Kids can drive you crazy with questions and it is normal to give some sort of answer. The wise grandmothers would have explained what they could about the natural world and invented stories to explain the existential queries. IMO this explains why cultural narratives explain existential issues in ways that parallel the cultural circumstance of the group. I don't think that we are genetically inclined to search for beginnings and endings in life as well as in narrative, or that the genetic inclination is what guides us to structure our narratives the way we do; my theory is entirely memetic. Neither am I saying that the narrative structure is what causes us to search for beginnings and endings. All I'm saying is that some societies placed themselves as a part of nature and some societies thought of themselves as above nature; this is evident from their mythscapes. The societies which lived in harmony with nature evolved into sustainable societies and those that didn't didn't. It is only my memeset which holds sustainability to be evidence of a culture's evolutionary success. I hope this explanation has assuaged your confusion Grant.
    ;~) Jeremy

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