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We have a number of premises that are either well-established by science or reasonably obvious from an interdisciplinary perspective:

Humanity evolves

Humans, like all animals, are the product of Evolution, so evolutionary reasoning can answer “why” questions about human nature.

Humans are unique animals

Humans are unique among animals in having cumulative culture and extreme sociality mediated by complex language.

Culture evolves

Culture also evolves under pressures of natural selection, so evolutionary reasoning can be used to answer “why” questions about cultural beliefs and Social Organization.


It is simultaneously true that human instincts constrain the form of human culture and that humans are uniquely and acutely dependent on culture to provide their means of survival.

Reducibility and emergence

The mind is a consequence of the anatomic organization and electro-chemical function of the brain. Aspects of mind such as consciousness and emotion emerge from this locally mindless activity without any need to invoke unknown physics or other unmeasurable influences.

Guidelines for Content

These are guidelines for content, not a creed. We welcome people with any religious faith (or none), having any level of education, skin color or shoe size, and do not care what planet you were born on. You are free to believe whatever you choose (for a suitable definition of free will), but content inconsistent with our premises belongs elsewhere.

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wiki/premises.txt · Last modified: 2011/02/18 13:49 by ram