GENETIC DRIFT AND “ORIGINAL” DAMAGE

Genesis 1:31 declares to us that at the end of the sixth day of creation, God inspected the entire project and declared it to be “very good.”  The text goes on to state that the next day He entered a rest (a Sabbath) from His creating activity.  It is difficult to not infer from the text that creation was finished.  His last act of creating was the creation of the man (male and female, with the female somehow inside or within the man).  Later, He was to bring the woman out of the man, but that was not creation.  She had already been created, albeit in the man, on the sixth day.  Her coming forth was a kind of “birth” rather than an additional act of creation.  (Some Jewish traditions have it that the woman was brought forth on either the thirteenth or the fifteenth day.  I prefer day fifteen.)

Genesis 3:17-18, in contrast, speaks of the coming into being of “cursed ground” and “thorns and thistles” due to the mischief of the man and the woman in the matter regarding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  So, what caused thorns and thistles to appear in the “very good” creation?  For that matter, did God originally create the ground in a “cursed” condition?  Was the cursed condition of the ground a “very good” thing?  Were thorns and thistles components of the original “very good” creation?


GROUPTHINK

This is one in a series of “writings” that have to do with the psychological nature of culture.  Other essays in the series that might be of interest to you include:

VOX POPULI           ZEITGGIEST         VOX DEI      CONSENSUS

I invite you to consider the context of the series as a variety of perspectives.  We need to learn to examine what we accept as common knowledge.

 

In a previous discussion, we examined the nature of consensus.  It is, at once, “better” decision making than simple democracy, and somewhat less likely than democracy to omit actual truth in deciding on courses of action.  The common proposition that consensus is more likely to be “right” than simple democracy seems reasonable.  Consensus building is simply more deliberative that simple democracy.  The argument is that more deliberately taken decisions are likely to be better than less deliberate ones.  When deliberation involves actual truth as its target (we can use juries in courts of law as our example), the deliberateness of consensus just feels more likely to yield correct decisions than more arbitrary methods like anonymous voting.


CONSENSUS

It is not uncommon for us, when we are considering matters in a group context, to desire to be “of one mind.”  That actually means that we hope all the participants in the deliberating group will come to the same conclusion on some matter.  If all are in agreement, the thinking generally goes, then all participants will be equally committed to whatever course of action is decided upon.  Of course, we are aware that people are not identical in their thinking and that in modestly complex social situations, we are not very likely to encounter situations in which everyone has the same opinion.  The larger the group, the less likely we are to arrive at “one mind.”  Furthermore, we may all be in agreement as to some question, but that agreement might not be actual truth.  These are separate issues – agreement and truth.

Democracy is recognized as one way to overcome potential disagreements, but we all know that democracy is a bit crude in both its methods and its results.  It generally works as to some agreement being reached but can be very hard to implement.  Furthermore, it is often the case that very few parties to the agreement reached will be happy with the actual agreement because of what had to be “given up” to reach the agreement. 


Pages