Moving beyond modern biology

In rejecting the claims for privilege for ‘competition between individuals of the same species’  – and of ‘evolution’ as conceived of an ‘animal’ key – we are not forced back into the outmoded forms of creationism and spurious notions of intelligent design of a single-minded form of monotheism which sustained previous European modes of living.

Rather, we embrace with both hands the new insights which life has achieved and seek to rewrite them in a non-privileging manner. Or, if that is an impossible objective, to redistribute the privileges for the benefit of the whole of life, and not merely a small part of it.

All things considered, we can state:

“Life is a text generated by a cosmic context.”

That allows for all manner of ‘messages’ to be inscribed on Being as it eternally recycles.

Some of those messages may be regarded as ‘favourable’ and some ‘unfavourable’ when viewed from a particular set of values.

One of the advantages in jettisoning Darwin’s early 1800s view of life – with its ‘artificial selection’ way of thinking – is that our minds can be freed from privileging a ‘bodily’ basis for reproduction.

While Darwin himself lacked a model for this privileged bodily form of reproduction, subsequent genetic models have developed a powerful tool to explain biological basis of life. This model has dominated modern thinking in the 20th century, and fits well with the corresponding historically peculiar notions of ownership which empower modern corporations.

In refashioning our understanding of life by removing the privileges which make up the “Darwinian” social universe, and by returning a degree of balance by insisting that “Life is a text generated by a cosmic context”, we turn attention away from the narrow ‘biological’ focus and open up epistemological spaces for proper consideration of all those factors which are systematically sidelined by modern thinking.

What is a “cosmic context”?

In must include such local fields which, in modern language, we know as ‘culture ‘ and ‘ecosystem’.

Rejecting the ‘nature-culture’ split – and rejecting claims for a privileged access to ‘nature’ – requires us to reconceptualise.

Certainly, in the case of ecosystems,  there is a growing appreciation that – for example – our form of life is formed by virtue of its place in a vast configuration of life (“the web of life”).

When we move away from a fixation on the genetic means of reproduction, we are able to better appreciate that we serve our own best interests when we direct our surplus energy to ensuring the well-being of the rest of life (and not by trying to force the rest of life to serve our own narrowly defined notions of  what is our interest).

Language shifts a gear here – we can begin to talk about care of our eternal soul – that which generates us.

We have never been mere individuals of the kind necessary for Darwin’s competition to work upon.

How life is drawn back into life is a function of a much larger totality.


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