The boundaries of understanding


Richard Dawkins asks the question whether we can understand things beyond our evolutionary context. Are there concepts that we cannot grasp. He first positions us, humans and other animals, as existing in the middle-sized world, that world between the atomic scale and the astronomical scale.

By having evolved in this middle-sized world our bodies have come to interpret and understand the physical world presented to us in this scale. What we see of the real world is a model of reality constructed by us to interpret and survive. Each animal in the middle-sized world will construct their own model to survive the conditions they face. The nature of the model is defined by how it is to be used, not so much of how well it reflects the reality.

As such, realities that exist outside our model’s scope of interpretation are difficult, if not impossible for us to grasp.

So much for thinking outside the box.


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