Photo: JOOIN Creative Commons
The word “Ridiculous” resounded across the barbecue table. George was now in a tricky situation. Should he continue to engage with his lively guest? Of course, after all, for George, engagement was the highest form of respect to anyone. Or should he try to get off this unexpected track, and save more embarrassment to his friends? George stayed calm and took a middle path.
“Interesting, very interesting Santiago” he said, in as sincere a tone as he could muster. “Four point five billion years of continuous struggle does make you wonder if there had been any time-outs along the ….”
“With all due respect” interrupted Santiago, “this is not a light matter. It seems to me that the ancients were much more developed in their biological thinking than we are, subjugated nowadays to the materialist hegemony,” he stated, huffing the words ‘materialist hegemony’. “To the ancients, the four humours”, he continued, “the four elements – fire, air, water and earth – and the aether and the soul were notions at the same time physical and metaphysical. They had an open world view, one that saw the Gods, Humankind and Nature as co-actors in an ebullient vision of life. Life for them was not just some debased scramble for resources.”
“But you seem to be suggesting that biological thinking has regressed, rather than progressed, in the last two millennia!” George sounded. “How can today’s science be all wrong?” he pleaded, trying to bring the conversation back to the present.