Archive for April, 2014

The desire to reject modern technology and return to a more primitive lifestyle (anti-vax, paleo, grow your own food, diaperless potty training, homeschooling, etc., i.e., acting dead) seems to be based on a humanist-driven misconception of natural.

There are two key beliefs that, when married, makes neo-primitivism appealing. These two beliefs are: natural is better than unnatural (naturalistic fallacy) and whatever is invented using a human niche-skill deserves special status.

Privileging frontal lobe inventions

The universe and everything in it co-evolves. The earth and everything on it / around it co-evolves. Most things occupy some niche and have some unique abilities. Everything invents. Some things invent things that invent. For example, cells invented organisms to house them, transport them, seek out food for them, and to invent new things that better enable them to accomplish these tasks. Cells invented maple trees that invented winged seeds. Cells invented animals that continually invent more efficient ways to survive and reproduce. Whatever you can think of — it has its own unique way to help create complex systems. Everything does this.

A unique feature of humans is the large frontal lobe. The things that humans invent using their frontal lobe are just like what other things invent using their unique abilities. Yet, human invention is put in a separate category. Anything that humans invent is considered unnatural. Anything that anything else invents is considered natural. Ants and some amoebas farm and use antibiotics. That is not considered unnatural because they did not use a large frontal lobe to invent these things. But why is the method of invention important? Why do we privilege inventions that resulted from planning and reasoning over inventions that resulted from some other method?


There is a pervasive belief that natural is healthier, cleaner, safer, and purer than unnatural.Unnatural is basically anything that humans create. So, to avoid unnatural, we basically have to rid ourselves of all human inventions. Frontal lobe inventions are bad. Inventions by everything else in the universe is good. Hence the desire in some social groups of trying to get back to more primitive times.



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