Friday, April 4, 2008

Star Wars civilizations ruled by Stone Age emotions

E.O. Wilson is a famous biologist who has been making news for his recent efforts to bring attention to the critical nature of the environmental problems we are currently facing. I recently heard a quote from him that has been getting more attention than I was aware. The line below marked in bold sums up the current state of humankind nicely. I included the surrounding context, which came from a May 2007 article in Vanity Fair by E.O. Wilson titled Problems Without Borders. rising to power, beginning with the invention of agriculture a scant 10 millennia ago, we carried along with us the heavy baggage of ancient primate instincts. Today, as a result, we live in Star Wars civilizations ruled by Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology.

We haven't really figured out yet, as a species, what we are, where we are going, and what we will be when we get there. But at least we have discovered that we are fast ruining the global environment. The scientific evidence for that conclusion is now massive and compelling.... The bottom line is that we have created a real mess. In order to avoid wrecking our planetary home, we have to settle down and together devise the means to achieve sustainable development while preserving our biosphere. The good news is that the same thing that has gotten us into trouble—those brains of ours—can get us out. We're smart. We can do it."

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