2005

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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The Number 12: Disciples, Tribes and the Zodiac

"The Divine Number 12: 12 Gods, 12 Disciples, 12 Tribes and the Zodiac" by Vexen Crabtree (2007)):

The conclusion reads (briefly; many interesting tid-bits are iterated through first!):

When you see the number twelve, watch out. If the number is employed in a practical sense to divide time, measurements, or angles, then the chances are it makes awesome mathematical sense to utilize such a factorable number as the number twelve. But if you see it used in a superstitious, religious, magical, paranormal, holy or weird way, be warned that it is based on ancient sun-worship, star warship, and ridiculous astrology. As a species we have been using it to divide the solar realm into twelve divisions, assuming that each one is ruled by a personification, a god, a divine being, a teacher, a prophet or a son of the sun. Now we understand what stars, planets and stellar objects are, it makes no sense to retain the mystical, nonsensical connotations of the 'holy', 'perfect', 'divine' or 'special' number 12. Such superstitions have made their way into major religions; there are 12 tribes of Israel as founded by the 12 sons of Jacob, the 12 disciples of Mithras and Christ, the 12 Gods of Olympus and according to Shi'a Muslims, 12 successors to Muhammad. The number 12 is useful because we use a base 10 numbering system (using 10 digits: 0123456789). It makes no sense to say that Gods would use a base 10 numbering system: Therefore gods would not divide the skies, their sons, their chosen ones or the message into twelve parts just because we have ten fingers! So applaud the usefulness of number 12... but watch out for those who are deluded by the pagan, irrational, magical and nonsensical claims made about it! It is, after all, only a number.


Death is a major part of evolution because it depletes populations, defines lifespans, frees resources, and most importantly ends an individual's ability to duplicate hir genes.

Available resources, lifespan and population size relative to migration are the three main determinates of the rate of evolution, so, duplication and death are perhaps the two only important 'levels' of evolution.

But.

You are not talking about evolution. Evolution is the change in the quantity of genes in the gene pool over time. Very little of what you just said was about that. What you are talking about is a kind of value-judged "development" of a species, which you can pretty much classify into rhetorical schemes like the one you just described.

The 'levels' in your scheme are highly arbitrary and some of them incredibly unlikely. For example, the most ancient bacterial-like life are the Archaea; these, many billions of years ago, had already developed methods to move around. So, you might as well scrap the distinction between "levels" one and two.

"reprogram" is an odd term and I'm afraid I don't really know what you are talking about. Many animals have an ability to learn; Humans are the most advanced thinkers by far, but, I don't know how this equates to "reprogramming". Do you mean genetic engineering? If so, we do not yet have the ability to sensibly reprogram human genes in any practical way.

Your 4th level is already apparent: The Human brain can grow now neurones even late in life. But the other aspects will only be possible with cybernetics; which is not anything to do with evolution, but with technology and cultural development. These things are simply futurism and applied science, and not to do with the evolution of the species.

Level 5 has been possible since the advent of social mammals: It is called diplomacy.

I don't think there are logical or coherent reasons why your system can be said to have anything to do with (1) evolution (2) reality or (3) rational theorizing. The main problems are:

(1) Arbitrary "levels" with no clear system of categorization (why are certain developments suddenly considered a new 'level', whilst immensely important events like the evolution of consciousness isn't mentioned?)

(2) It is not a definition that has anything to do with 'evolution', and there is no evidence for some of the 'levels' you define.

My biggest warning:

Watch out for pseudoscience. This is when people use scientific-sounding terms, out of context, without critical thinking or an evidence-based approach.

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