Life, Child of Logic (You too)

By Tom Veatch

Version 2.0


Although perhaps readable separately, I wrote these three essays on how to understand human evolution, together. A polemic on cognitive biology; and a climb up from ignorance and nothingness through the cognitive/conceptual/logical prerequisites of that captureable essence of intelligence called Language. I began with the undeniability and pervasive utility of logic, emphasis on seeing tautology where it presents. Tautology asserts that different ways of saying the same thing are the same, which in a way says nothing, but in a way says everything believeable. You're not wrong if you say nothing; can you say nothing, but merely by changing perspective, achieve clarity, truth, and deep insight? Yes, I think so. Forgive me the innocence and cynicism combined, the arrogance of seeking to find those, in us, here:


Let me conclude these essays on human evolution.

We are slaves of evolution. The leash of Life is tight, just as Life is itself tied tight by the leash of Logic, our true Queen. That conceiveable, possible, actual Entity which is all Life -- can we call it Pambios? -- it cooks apparently exclusively with the solar stove of Planet Earth, burbling up an effervescence of popping, bubbling randomnesses, alternatives to everything within its worldwide self. And it kills by death, gentle or cruel undistinguished, even of whole species, unblinking. Pambios is that nearly-eternal entity which comprises all of life. They, for Pambios is both genders and neither and certainly plural, gives us a freedom like popcorn, to take some random shape, yet it controls us, filters us, fiercely, down to the finest, not all, but to the finest, functionally-distinguishable detail and with a cold and analytical heart.

Every feature in every species, that comes down into posterity as a general feature of that species, only took hold after innumerable mutations that failed to survivably coexist in the species. After so many mistaken, reabsorbed zygotes and embryos and unsurvivable fetuses, some one feature proved survivable at least through birth, rarely also to reproducibility, still that feature had to multiply against valid alternatives; after being endemic in the species it had to show a functional advantage, unless it somehow propagated by association or luck. In showing an Advantage such that the whole species now has it, we have to ratchet up Darwin's relative fitness concept, which could only with difficulty prevent some last carrier from passing on its former feature, but really a final forcible extinction of not just generally some but all and even the very last, meaning that something like an entire species worth of childless uncles and early-killed lovers had to be consigned to death, perhaps eaten, perhaps horribly, and certainly decomposed and recycled without living trace, so that the spread of that feature is assured and that the carriers of all its alternates can no longer exist in the species. Every functional feature of every species has cost a species-wide genocide of early death, or organismally unfulfilled life without offspring, so that that feature might now fully characterize the species. And if this long process, first of near-infinite dice-rolling to finally compute something surviveable and useful, and second, after propagation to endemicity, of failure and death of every last non-carrier, if this sequence is required for any one new feature to characterize any species, just imagine how many thousands and millions of features we see across all the species in the amazing natural library of species of the world? Each is a testament to accumulated death and loss in an unimaginably long and bloody past. We ourselves are not even blips in this flow, in the cascading wash of life. Let us be deeply humble, as befits our station, and as our humility is perfected, recognize our union with, and the majesty of, miraculous Pambios.

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Modified: September 22, 2020, January 23, 2021