5 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. this course considers at the very end the question of the essence of thereligion: Through all this change, does anything remain constant?

      Religion co-evolves with the people, places, and times in which it exists. Much like human genes, it works at the level of the individual, the local group, the larger groups and communities (of both the religion itself as well as the polities around it), and when applicable at the scale of all people on the planet.

      The Selfish Religion: How far might we take this religion/gene analogy with respect to Richard Dawkins' thesis (1976). Does religion act more like a gene that is part of the particular person or is it more like a virus which inserts itself? The latter may be closer as one can pick and choose a religion rather than it being a core part of their genetic identity.

      (highlight: anchor only)

  2. Jan 2022
    1. The scientific consensus has shifted so much that Richard Dawkins, in the 30th-anniversary edition of “The Selfish Gene,” wrote that he could just as accurately have called his book “The Cooperative Gene.” Perhaps decades of our economic and political lives would have been much less harmful if he had.

      I do like the more positive framing of "The Cooperative Gene."

    2. There’s no real argument about the fact that “the evolution of cooperation is central to all living things.” That’s the first line of a Nature Ecology & Evolution paper by the biologists Nicholas Davies, Kevin Foster and Arvid Ågren, and it expresses an utterly uncontroversial view among biologists. The paper examines a “central puzzle”: “Why does evolution favor investment in cooperation rather than self-serving rebellion that would undermine a particular genome, organism or society?”

      This view of cooperation within evolutionary frameworks goes back to Richard Dawkins in the 1970s. Was their prior art/work on it prior to The Selfish Gene?

  3. Dec 2021
    1. In other words, the palette of social organization was rich and diverse from the beginning: early humans, like us, were constantly in the business of shaping and reshaping their social arrangements, with evidence of conscious embracing and rejection of all sorts of social forms.

      In an ever-evolving manner, humans are constantly working at shaping and reshaping ourselves.

      How does our drive to have and establish identity cause us to evolve as a species? Is identity the root gene that is driving change within society? Is there an identeme (a tacit portmanteau of identity + gene) that works at both the local level as well as at the group level? How might this fit into the selfish gene theory?

  4. Aug 2019
    1. Divergent responses to annotation demonstrate what Foucault means by power running through the whole social body.

      How would this have worked in pre-literate societies? Examples?

      "the whole social body" also reminds me of the idea of the "Great Chain of Being" to consider how differences in annotation may change and evolve in societies over long periods of time. I can't help but consider Richard Dawkins' original conceptualization of the "meme" and how they move through societies with or without literacy skills.