Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homo Sapiens Panderensis

Homo Sapiens Panderensis
Homo sapiens is a work in progress. Our most fundamental predilections and behaviors, including bigotry, intolerance, xenophobia, greed, confirmation bias, and fear of change, evolved to suit an environment lacking the trappings of civilization. These anachronistic characteristics are inherent in our species, but are counterproductive in a modern society.

We have the genetic potential to overcome our baser instincts and employ fact-based logical reasoning in our public and private affairs, but frequently fail to do so. Our opinions and our votes are often determined more by negative emotions than by rational thought. Conservative politicians and news entertainers gleefully pander to these weaknesses in the human character for power and profit.

Now that human activities have profound impacts on the global environment, applying our most rational thinking and taking effective action is an existential matter for humanity. There is no more time for anti-intellectual, anti-science conservative foot-dragging and pandering to change-fearing, information-challenged luddites. No amount of praying and magical thinking by the Religious Right will suffice.

Refusal to face established facts and undertake necessary proactive measures could ultimately lead to the decline of modern civilization and reversion to a primitive world in which our baser instincts would once again serve us well. We finally have a President whose emotions are invariably in the service of his intellect -- the very definition of an adult. It's time for the rest of us to grow up as well. It could quite literally be now or never.

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