Monday, October 13, 2008

This Rant is Just a Bunch of Ones and Zeroes

Managed to get myself irritated remembering some typical woo arguments. IDiots say those of us who believe what the evidence tells us about evolution don't care about humans because they're "just animals." Vitalists, fans of psychic woo, yadda yadda say we don't care about people because we're just electrochemical reactions. This makes no sense to me.

A rose is a plant. It still smells sweet. Van Gogh's Starry Night is a bunch of pigments. It's still beautiful. Love is a bunch of unpronounceable chemicals. It still makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Okami is a bunch of ones and zeroes on a plastic disk. It's an awesome game. I'm a bunch of copper and tin (4.6%) in a canine shape. I like to think I'm a decent guy who deserves the same rights as other sentient beings.

Just because you can look at something from the bottom up doesn't mean it ceases to have the values we assign to it from the top down. About all it can do is point out that we don't have a complete description. Or that we'll have to be long-winded in describing it accurately. I don't see a problem with that.

About the only time I find knowing more about something to detract from it is in fiction. Boba Fett isn't as cool as he used to be. With reality, I usually find the explanations for the world to be more elegant, amazing, or beautiful than my imagination. I'd be dissatisfied if reality was as impenetrable as woos claim.


Valhar2000 said...

Particularly true, given how conservative, mundane and unimaginative the claims of woos actually are. Though they style themselves as original, radical thinkers, their claims are old and worn, and they only ever change by looking from afar at what Science is doing.

For all their protestations, nothing is as superficial, empty and devoid of wonder and mystery as the world of the Woo.

Anonymous said...

Humans are "just animals" is discouraging? Would they prefer humans with added biomechanical parts?

Come to think of it, each human is an entire ecosystem, with more prokaryotic cells than human cells. "mere" indeed!

Bronze Dog said...

Biomechanical would be cool. I want wireless internet in my cyberbrain!

...Wait. Maybe I'd rather not run the risk of having my mind hacked by the Laughing Man.

King Aardvark said...

Unweaving the rainbow.