Science, Beauty, Evolution, and Progress

This post was inspired and improved by information provided by Kerry Sewell. Thank you Kerry.

I am constantly reading and listening to presentations to learn new things.  As I learn I am awed by what I learn and how everyone and everything is interconnected.  Recently I listened to an interesting RadioLab presentation and 2 TED Talks and they all seemed to tell an interconnected story.

To start the story,  Phil Plait ‘s TED talk, The secret to scientific discoveries? Making mistakes,(see below) provided a fresh perspective on science.  He reminds us that mistakes are part of the scientific process.  He also suggests that many people misunderstand science because they  think that “…science is just a big pile of facts.” He emphasizes the problem with this belief is not only that it is wrong, but that collected facts are not even a goal of science.  He then explains how the process of science provides humans with the best chance to learn about our reality, objectively.  Next he explains what most of us know, but fail to admit, “…people are flawed” and easily fooled. Science is valuable because it provides a method to be objective  (for more about our difficulty seeing things accurately see, Innate Gullibility Highlights the Value of Predictability)

Science helps because it gives us a process that minimizes our biases so we can see reality more clearly. I encourage you to listen to his presentation below.

Next, an interesting RadioLab discussion about The Beauty Puzzle (show linked) challenged the evolutionary scientific idea of fitness as the determining factor.  In other words, it suggests we may have made a mistake.  This hypothesis suggests beauty or aesthetics, not survival of the fittest, is the determining factor, and that the ’survival of the fittest’ paradigm was a deliberate perversion of Darwin’s original theory..



The evidence providedfor this hypothesis,, while it has some merit, for me, provides an unconvincing alternative.  The discussion did not factor in the idea of mental illusions or mistakes in the scientific process as discussed by Phil Plait.  Nor did it take into account mental illusions as outlined by Kahneman and Tversky. (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us)   As I understand it, evolution is an ongoing big experiment and not all experiments are successful.  Their examples may represent some experiments that may contribute but may not be successful. Possibly, or maybe…

Then I heard Marjan van Aubel‘s TED Presentation about solar energy, The beautiful future of solar power.  She suggest beauty may in fact be the determining factor for OUR survival.  In his presentation she explains the importance of aesthetics or beauty and suggests it as necessity if we are to adopt and use the power of the sun.

All together these interesting presentations seem to recommend for us to progress toward a better tomorrow using study, science, experiments, and mistakes to learn how to contribute to a more beautiful tomorrow.

Please share your thoughts.  I will continue to attempt to push evolution with science by creating more beauty through the generation of comprehensive improvements from the creation of pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits, or by practicing paneugenesis.  I look forward to hearing about the how you help generate all good for everyone and everything.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

If you want to contact me:


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