Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Evolution, Art and Aesthetics

To most people, evolution just has to do with biology. It's central role in biology was famously put by the geneticist and evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky, who said that nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution.

The philosopher Daniel Dennett goes further. He considers it the most important idea ever developed, and in his view it's a 'universal acid' that eats through the container of biology into many other subject areas, such as psychology, ethics and cosmology, forcing their traditional concepts to be reconceptualised.

I think Dennett has got it right. The whole world makes much more sense in light of genuine appreciation of evolution.

Here's an example. Could subjectmatters seem more distant from each other than evolution from art and aesthetics? Not so, explains Dennis Dutton, in an article in the Australian titled 'Hardwired to seek beauty'.

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