SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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'MATTER', 'SPACE', 'TIME'                         239
discovered. Every few years we discover some new form of energy manifestation, and, at present, our knowledge is already so advanced that it is highly probable that the list is much longer. Finally, and here the whole 'structure of human knowledge' begins to play its role; for sanity we have to know and evaluate this world around us, if we want to adjust ourselves satisfactorily to it.
Section C. Problems of adjustment.
Is the problem of adjustment in the animal world similar to that in the human world? No, it is entirely different. Animals do not alter their environment so rapidly, nor to such an extent as humans do. Animals are not time-binders; they have not the capacity by which each generation can start where the former left off. Neurologically, animals have no means for extra-neural extensions, which extensions involve the complex mechanism with which we are dealing throughout this work.
The example of the caterpillar, already cited, shows clearly how organisms not adapted to their environment perish and do not propagate their special, non-survival characteristics. Similar remarks apply to hens, their eggs, and chicks which are kept in buildings without sunlight or with ordinary glass windows; these, also, do not survive, and so pass out of the picture.
With humans, the situation is entirely different. We are able to produce conditions which do not exist in unaided nature. We produce artificial conditions and so our numbers and distribution are not regulated by unaided nature alone. Animals cannot over-populate the globe, as they do not produce artificially. We do over-populate this globe because we produce artificially. With animals, selfishness comes before altruism, and the non-selfish perish. An animal has to live first, then act. With man, the reverse is true. The selfish may produce such conditions that they are destroyed by them. We can over-populate the globe because of artificial production, and so we are actually born nowadays into a world where we must act first before we can live. As I have already shown in my Manhood of Humanity (p. 72), the old animalistic, fallacious generalizations have been, and are, the foundation of our 'philosophies', 'ethics', systems., and naturally such animalistic doctrines must be disastrous to us. Neurologically, we build up conditions which our nervous systems cannot stand; and so we break down, and, perhaps, shall not even survive.
Animals have no 'doctrines' in our meaning of the term; thus, doctrines are no part of their environment, and, accordingly, animals cannot perish through false doctrines. We do have them, however, and,