Thanks. I agree that abstract reason likely isn’t itself an adaptation, but it could be an exaptation or a byproduct of a more self-serving kind of intelligence. Accidents such as science can look like miracles because they seem anomalous; science doesn’t fit within the pattern of animal selfishness.

I suppose the question is whether we account for that anomaly by positing a supernatural substance such as an immaterial mind or whether we take less seriously the regularities that the anomaly is supposed to violate. I come at these explanations from a pragmatic standpoint. It’s all about finding models and simplifications that work for certain purposes. The ultimate truth isn’t found in our explanations or in anything we say, but in sobering states of mind and existential experiences.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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