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October 04, 2012

An Overview of (Recent) Human History

Until the landmark Seventeenth Century discoveries of Galileo in Astronomy and Newton in Physics, the cognitive tools of modern Science had been generally unknown to other Western thinkers pondering complex natural phenomena; but without the success enjoyed by the two Renaissance giants. In retrospect, the two had also- and almost simultaneously- discovered new investigative principles that would shape future research, and were rooted in the importance of a disciplined and rigorously honest approach to the study of natural phenomena. They are the same principles that dominate what is now referred to as the Scientific Method.

What is also now clear from our modern perspective is that Galileo and Newton, whose lives almost overlapped, were at least as important for the investigative principles they demonstrated as for their monumental findings. That those findings ultimately challenged long accepted religious beliefs would, of necessity, bring the methods that enabled them to the attention of other "naturalists."

Shortly before Galileo and Newton, there had been Columbus, another pioneer, but of a different stripe, whose adventures changed the then-known world in totally unpredictable ways that would soon dovetail with scientific "progress" by adding two new continents and 6000 miles of ocean to the (then) "known world" as areas to be both exploited and understood (in that order).

When we consider how recently the discoveries of Columbus, Galileo, and Newton took place in the context of time as is now understood by the scientifically literate, perhaps we can gain a better understanding of how important human cognition has been to what now- since Darwin- can also be seen as the cultural Evolution our species has been experiencing through use of its cognitive powers, as critically assisted by our unique curiosity.

To return this short essay to this blog's customary focus on cannabis, our contemporary world is now overpopulated, divided by murderous competition, and being uniquely threatened in ways we refuse to address. None of those conditions could possibly exist without our marvelous brains, which are not only uniquely cognitive, but also prey to debilitating anxiety.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at October 4, 2012 11:43 AM