Evolution and the Imagined Order

The Cognitive Revolution gave humans the biological ability to cooperate with each other on a large scale or setting. The evolution and development of the brain’s learning, memory, and communication capability within the human species during the cognitive revolution gave them the tools for constructing societies. This led to “imagined orders”. An imagined order is a subjective organized reality. This allows for more cooperation among large groups of humans because it creates guidelines on how to go about things. There is not necessarily truth behind the order, but it works efficiently. Harari uses the line “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” in the Declaration of Independence to demonstrate this. First off, Harari argues that men were not “created” but rather scientifically evolved. There is also not a biological definition of equality, nor is there a scientific agreement that gives every man pursuit of it or any certain rights. Everything about the quote is merely subjective and imagined, without any scientific backing. 

I think that a certain imagined order has indeed led us to science and its understanding. That being said, I do not think science is an imagined order itself. Science is inevitable whether humans acknowledge it or not. While the imagined order has made it possible for the understatement of science by humans, science and its nature has and will continue to “happen”. Especially in today’s political climate and possible imagined order, it is important to understand this concept. Just because one refuses to believe in climate change, for example, does not stop greenhouse gases from warming the Earth. Science exists without an imagined order, but the imagined order does not exist without science. The evolution of the human brain made the mere idea of an imaginary order possible.

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