topic: darwin

competition versus brotherhood

A mania for competition so possesses our societies that it is hard to imagine any other way of being, and yet I think it is critical that we free ourselves from its grip. In the West, the Christian churches, from long habit, had an explanation for everything. Alas, with the rise of science, these churches chose to cling to Old Testament ‘certainties’, with the result that, when the cosmology of ‘Creation’ was overturned, the New […]

the experimental past

The study of the history of non-Western societies – especially those that have ‘failed’ – may be one of the most valuable resources that we have to help guide us through the coming ‘time of difficulty’ that we seem to be heading for. Watching a good BBC documentary about Tiwanaku, I was struck by how pertinent to our present climate change woes was the story of these people, not only surviving, but flourishing in an […]

vitruvian lobster

Thank you Darwin for liberating us from the absurd notion that Man is God’s ultimate and most beautiful creation. When this notion was generally believed – at least in the West with its obsession with Ancient Greece’s perfect white marble nudes (that we now know were painted as gaudily as the carvings that smother Hindu temples) – did no one actually bother to look at other living things? Did no one see butterflies, birds, mammals, […]

yoga bear…

bear demonstrating yoga posture "dancing bear"

This picture is one of several taken by Meta Penca, a 29 year old web programmer from Slovenia, of Santra the bear doing her exercises at the Ahtari Zoo in Finland. Strangely, or not so strangely, this is exactly the same as the yoga posture Merudasana, Balancing Bear Posture (rather more prosaically also known as Upavishta Konasana, Seated Angle Posture.) Taking this name into account and comparing the two photographs, it seems obvious to me […]

human uniqueness…

I was just reading a review of Wild Justice that included the sentence: “Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of ascribing morality to animals because it seems to threaten the uniqueness of humans”… Nothing could more succinctly demonstrate how neurotic a species we are. How amazingly insecure are we, the Rulers of the Earth, the ‘paragon of animals’? It used to be that we relied on an absolute division between us and ‘them’ – […]