Arthur Koestler considered man an evolutionary blunder. The lion’s share of the wealth we create is spent in war, terrorism and other destructive activities. We have infinite gods with countless priests and yet we are not able to surmount the unbounded hatred we carry inside our little hearts. We work miracles with science and technology but remain crude brutes deep inside us. Is it all because of some evolutionary error?
Koestler believed it was. There is “a screw loose in the human mind,” he wrote in his book, The Ghost in the Machine. He called the Homo Sapiens a "biological freak, the result of some remarkable mistake in the evolutionary process." It is because the ape began to walk on two legs too quickly. The whole mutation took place in too short a time for the human heart to change significantly. The reasoning brain evolved, but the heart remained savage. That’s what Koestler says.
Koestler relied on neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean’s model of the human brain for his arguments. According to MacLean, three brains coexist in the human skull: a primitive reptilian one, another inherited from the lower mammals, and the really human one. These brains function more or less autonomously. Consequently we, human beings, see the world through two different lenses: a very primitive one which has not evolved much from the brains of the snakes and the donkeys, and the other thinking, reasoning, evolved brain. Unfortunately, the snake and the donkey inside us insist on imposing their perceptions as the truths on us. The result is a form of schizophysiology and the crude animal brain makes us delusional mass murderers.
|Paul D. MacLean|