The Architecture of Thought
A New Look at Human Evolution
John A Hewitt
- The content of this web site, Sex and Philosophy, is taken from
or adapted from the book, The Architecture of Thought: A New Look at
- The site aims to introduce the new ideas about human origins described
in that work. The work is an exploration of human evolution but it develops
a novel approach and, unlike most studies on the evolutionary origins
of man, does not take genetics or genes as its basic idea. The antecedents
of this work are to be found in studies that apply evolutionary thought
to epistemology, the theory of knowledge, a subject usually seen as philosophy
rather than science.
- The book's argument notes that evolutionary theory is applied to several
fields besides biology. In each such field an evolutionary process can
be identified that leads to the accumulation of a pool of selected, replicating
data. In general, that pool of seelcted, interpreted data is "knowledge"
- hence the emphasis on epistemology. Genes contain such data,
which has been selected during biological evolution, but other forms of
interpretation and selection produce other knowledge pools. Hence, a general
form of evolutionary theory should not be based genes but upon data -
genes may be conceived as formatting the evolving data found in DNA. Non-genetic
data, with other formats, enters other evolutionary processes - the two
most important being sensory data and social data which lead, through
mechanisms of evolution, to the data pools of sensory knowledge and social
knowledge. The book develops a merger of biology with these other manifestations
of evolution and examines its biological and social implications. The
name bioepistemic evolution
is given to this merger.
- This innovation, of using data rather than genes as the basis for evolution,
is no mere technical formalism, it is a very significant change that especially
informs our understanding of our own species, homo sapiens. Man
possesses much more social knowledge than does any other species and the
coevolution between our genetic and social natures has had a great impact
upon humankind. Bioepistemic evolution explores this impact, greatly enhances
our understanding of the ways in which human nature differs from that
of other animals and offers several new and significant interpretations.
For example, it enables an understanding of aspects of human sexuality
that have previously been mysterious, such as homosexuality and other
sexual deviations. (Hence the name of this site but readers should understand
that both the book and the site are serious documents that contain
no pornography.) Bioepistemic evolution also suggests a theory
of humor - that is an interpretation of its nature, origin and
- The book contains thirteen chapters, two of which are primarily concerned with human sexuality. This site includes early versions of the full text of both those chapters - one of which discusses human heterosexuality, or "normal" sexuality, and the other concerns "deviant" sexuality, phenomena such as homosexuality, sado-masochism and the like.
Most recently I have been applying bioepistemic evolution to other problems besides sexuality. These studies are also presented on this site.
- The first such study is a more up-to-date version of the theory of humor than was available in the book.
- The second is a theory of prebiosis - the origin of life from the primordial soup. This problem appeals because prebiosis cannot have involved genes but requires an evolutionary mechanism mapped within a purely physicochemical setting. Bioepistemic evolution has proved a good guide and the resulting work is, "The Evolution of Prebiotic Oscillations." This describes the chemical oscillations on the early earth and why they will be subject to evolution. It then charts their possible evolution and adaptation to become metabolic pathways and protocells. The argument is detailed but makes parsimonious assumptions and, in that respect, seems preferable to earlier work. For the extended discussion see the prebiotic evolution link.
- Thirdly, the theory of prebioic oscillations has now been developed to include an account of the evolutionary origin of biochemical chirality.
The full text of the book will not be made available on the internet but enough will be summarized to enable a basic grasp. The book itself is available for purchase and argues that, properly developed, evolutionary epistemology can illuminate aspects of the evolution and the nature of homo sapiens, knowing man, that might otherwise seem incomprehensible.
|All original ideas, text and graphics on this site, and in the book from which it is derived, are the work of the author, Dr. John A. Hewitt. See the contact page for information.|