What We Know

So many ‘alternative facts’, propaganda and nonsensical spectacles which do not conform to

 

WHAT WE KNOW

Steven Pinker, American born Canada,  linguist, psychologist, Harvard University).   

 

The findings of science entail that the belief systems of all the world’s traditional religions and cultures—their theories of the origins of life, humans, and societies—are factually mistaken.

 

 

We know, but our ancestors did not, that humans belong to a single species of African primate that developed agriculture, government, and writing late in its history. We know that our species is a tiny twig of a genealogical tree …

 

 

We know that we live on a planet that revolves around one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy, which is one of a hundred billion galaxies in a 13.8-billion-year-old universe, possibly one of a vast number of universes.

 

 

We know that our intuitions about space, time, matter, and causation are incommensurable with the nature of reality on scales that are very large and very small.

 

 

We know that the laws governing the physical world (including accidents, disease, and other misfortunes) have no goals that pertain to human well-being.

There is no such thing as fate, providence, karma, spells, curses, augury, divine retribution, or answered prayers—though the discrepancy between the laws of probability and the workings of cognition may explain why people believe there are.

 

And we know that we did not always know these things, that the beloved convictions of every time and culture may be decisively falsified, doubtless including some we hold today.

 

DSC00573

 Grand Black Tie Sperm Glut, 1987, riveted street signs and other metal parts.  Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008, American.  Loaned by his foundation to MOMA, NY in 2017.

The artist was referring to the recession in Texas brought on by the glut of oil on the market.

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