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Can the monkey mind understand the universe?

It has been said that the monkey mind cannot, or is incapable of, fully understanding the universe.

Since we share 99% of our DNA with monkeys (namely chimpanzees), does this apply to us?

“For talking monkeys to speak of truth is hubris of the highest degree. Where is it writ large that talking monkeys should be able to model the cosmos?”

Terence McKenna

I have been thinking about this, as of late… is it possible for we mere humans to understand this vast and complicated universe? Should we even try, or give up and resign ourselves to living with nature and not attempting to comprehend vast and complicated ideas, that may be well beyond us?

Nowhere is it writ that anthropoid apes should understand reality.

Terence McKenna

Of course, McKenna was not (as the establishment would say), a traditional scientist. I am not trying to criticize him here. Yet he had a lot of beliefs and ideas, including shamanism and his ‘Novelty Theory’, which have not been substantiated by modern science.

Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer the way Isaac Newton put it best:

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Isaac Newton in a 1675 letter to fellow scientist Robert Hooke

I think Newton was on to something here…

Newton understood how it was possible to advance. He understood the concept of the hive mind, of allowing many, many beings to work on a problem, over time, instead of just one. And with written language, a gift bees and ants do not quite possess, we can pass this knowledge down through the generations. The universe may be vast, and it may be more than any one human can comprehend, but the way that science (and thus knowledge) advances is bit by bit, piece by piece, one discovery at a time, over the centuries.

Scientists learn through experiment and observation. They then pass these discoveries down to others, who build on them… correcting and adjusting the results until, like the crucible of truth an ideal courtroom has been described as, we arrive at a clearer picture of reality.

It is possible, eventually, to understand the universe. Yet it may take centuries of human evolution as well as exploration, trial, and error. In the end, I side with Stephen Hawking:

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

Stephen Hawking

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