Wednesday, May 31, 2006

E. O. Wilson on the Meaning of Life

My husband just pointed out to me a cool website called meaningoflife.tv or Cosmic Thinkers on Camera, which is connected to Slate Magazine. They have on camera interviews with Big Idea Guys on Big Ideas. I just finished watching the interview with E. O. Wilson and enjoyed it greatly.

At one point he is asked to comment on the idea that many people have, that in some ways sociobiology devalues human traits like love and altruism: "...the very idea that these things originated for self-interested reasons and sometimes are still deployed in a covertly selfish way, a lot of people say this devalues love or somehow unsettles them..."

To which Wilson replies: "I don't think so. I don't think it does devalue it, I imagine that some feel that it might but it's somewhat comparable to the truth that would come from thinking of the brain as the ... musical instrument that has been developed over millions of years and of the playing out of human nature ... in an evolving culture as a beautiful melody, and the emotions felt as part of it. And when you look at it that way and you realize there is almost infinite beauty possible from the instrument from the permutations and creations of the melodies then an organic origin ... does not become debasing at all."

I like that a lot. You can watch the entire interview here or read the transcript here. Interesting stuff, no matter what your beliefs are.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT BLOG!!!!
    Very well written & interesting, keep up the wonderful work! :o)

    ReplyDelete