Thursday, October 9, 2014

And an example in the news

And an example in the news this week helps us clarify the limits of the kind of thought that the natural scientists insist on -- that is their binary logic. 
An announcement was made that cave art in Indonesia is about the same age as the art in Chauvet and other French and Spanish caves. The latter have been considered the oldest, and originating instance of this type of human behavior. 

Now, what you are not allowed to think, according to the most pedestrian of the social scientists,  is that humanity as a whole is making some kind of leap in existence, with the painting.. The idea that all the people on the planet might be connected is "spooky action at a distance."  That is because the only kind of objective knowledge is of the external world -- of slicing and dicing and rearranging. They will therefore in the coming years spend a lot of time considering HOW this knowledge of painting could be "diffused," that is passed on by one person to another. 

At the end of some period they may just give up talking about the diffusion of knowledge of cave painting, and kind of forget the issue. That is what happened with philosophy. 

Philosophy is another example of the failure of the diffusion model to explain how philosophy and religion bloomed during the "axis time" of history."Axis time" is a phrase referring to roughly the same chronological range in which Socrates, Confucius. and other figures lived. 

Of course their first assumption is always that the examples that might illustrate simultaneity are actually dated differently than they turn out to be. And how did the assumption that the cave art in Indonesia was the same rough age as Chauvet get proved? Laboratory testing -- the kind of scientific analysis for which people win Nobels. A great example of objective scientific advance. My only point is that this kind of scientific knowing is not the ONLY kind of objective knowledge. 


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