God of Life and Intelligence (GoLI): an introduction

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I have borrowed the “God of Life and Intelligence” concept from our most famous history teller Ferdowsi, as a perceptual tool to paint a picture of how more and more intelligent life forms (microbes, plants, animals, humans, cultures and civilizations) have appeared on Earth, and what this trend means for our future in Iran and elsewhere.

If you are an atheist, GoLI can mean a unique set of accidental circumstances that have consistently and continuously favored the evolution of life and intelligence on Earth. If you are a believer, GoLI can be a non-accidental influence that has guided life here, over the past 4 billion years. For an agnostic, it does not make a difference, because GoLI is a demonstrated “bias for life and intelligence” on Earth, whether it is an actual entity or a fortuitous confluence of cosmic forces.

Confluence of cosmic forces inadvertently aligning to evolve into an increasingly intelligent life on Earth, leading to us Sapiens, who are now discovering the universe from the subatomic to galactic, would be more miraculous than any god of mythology. Just imagine the tangled tree of existence (from the big-bang to the soup of photons to the gases and dust to the stars and planets) growing a tiny leaf on a tiny branch. Then consider that leaf as it turns into a mirror that looks back at the tree, and grows a mind to analyze the cosmic existence, and grows a consciousness to realize that it exists, and finally falls in love with its own reflection. That is pure magic!

As an amateur researcher of history, mostly of Iran, in 2008 I authored a manuscript in Persian titled Farsi-Nameh (summary of Iranians chronicle from Persepolis to Jamaran). Since then, I have been publishing articles about Iranians past, present and future. In recent years, I have also tried to better understand the major trends in world history, and not just Iran and Mid-East by reading more widely and researching through the literature that aim to find a general evolutionary trend in history, perhaps starting even from a biological and genetic background all the way to zoology and anthropology.

Using the Ferdowsi-inspired concept of “God of Life and Intelligence”, I will try to explore the following three questions in these GoLI series.

  1. How and why has natural selection formed the evolution of more and more intelligent species?
  2. Has that same selection mechanism affected the evolution of human species and societies?
  3. What does that trend mean for the future evolving path of our life on Earth?

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2 comments

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ChamoshChamoshvnd ChamoshChamoshvnd (@ChamoshChamoshvnd) Pinned comment
For a short intro this certainly packs a lot of punch and raises so many vital issues and burning questions.

To begin with it's noteworthy to recall how many scholars have considered Ferdowsi's affinities with Isma'iliyah (citing the order of intro to Shahnameh as one evidence) and of course Isma'iliyah emphasis on Rationalism and how they themselves were influenced by Aristotelian philosophy. Nasser Khosro is another figure of Iran's classical literature who was also close to Isma'iliyah and had an emphasis on Rationalism.

Per life on Earth let's remember that life on our little planet has gone through extinction five times before and today we might be on the verge of the sixth one. See below:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sixth_Extinction:_An_Unnatural_History


The most fascinating part of this intro for me is your reference to “the unique set of accidental circumstances” which you evoke to point out how life on Earth was formed, but it could as well be utilized to analyze societal developments. In philosophy and social sciences such an approach is referred to as “Aleatory Materialism” or “Philosophy of Encounter” largely based on works of the late French philosopher Louis Althusser. Most significant point of Aleatory Materialism is its freedom from any mechanical, teleological determinism and its emphasis of the analysis of the specificities of conditions in any historical period. See below for details:

Aleatory Materialism
plato.stanford.edu/entries/althusser/#LatWor198AleMat


Looking forward to next installments.



Picture below is a detail from a Diego Rivera mural "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park"
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ashianeh ashianeh (@ashianeh) Pinned comment
A very interesting introduction! I cannot wait to read the follow-up articles.
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