The Great Forgetting and the Great Denial


Thursday, March 11, 2021 - 13:00


Lab 4, E48


Airing out some ideas about the arc of human history, and our culture's bizarre attitude towards the Scientific Revolution.
Speaker: Yasha Neiman.

I like Yuval Noah Harari's division of human history into three stages, separated by the Agricultural and Scientific revolutions. I also like Daniel Quinn's phrase Great Forgetting to denote the fact that the Agricultural Revolution was so long ago, and so sweeping, that our so-called ancient mythologies contain almost no memory of human existence before it.
I'd like to propose a similar phrase for our attitude towards the Scientific Revolution. It appears useful to view modern culture as engaged in a Great Denial - a desperate effort to pretend that the Scientific Revolution didn't overturn our most cherished values, and that history continues business-as-usual.

Please help me test out these ideas, and tell me where I'm being stupid!

Trigger warning: there will be no way to avoid the conflict between science and most religions.
Anti-warning: I promise not to point out which religions are false, and which one is true.

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