This book is a collection of scientific, scholarly, and political essays written over the last 33 years. The underlying theme is scientific humanism the belief in the rapid evolution of intelligence in the human species and in the individual human being.The Humanist strives (not always successfully) to be morally flexible, unique, changeable, open-minded, optimistic, Utopian, progressive, funny, irreverent, tolerant, goofy.The Humanist chooses hopeful uncertainty rather than dogmatic past. Freedom over security.The humanist relies upon scientific intelligence for the solution of problems.The opposite of the Humanist is the person who relies on tradition and divine authority, who holds a pessimistic view of human nature.
This book is arranged in five chronological parts reflecting the interactions of these controversial libertarian ideas with the jittery custodians of our culture. Each idea is treated as archeological specimen and introduced by a commentary describing the cultural context in which it emerged. Thus we can see how the quaint psychological terms of the recent past have changed. We can watch humanist notions appear, become popularized, vulgarized (psychobabbled), and evolve in response to later events. History cautions us that any work of art, literature, or science becomes, in time, an anthropological relic like a Paleolithic stone knife important and useful in its time, but unwieldy, primitive, even dangerous to the future unless understood in an evolutionary framework. The researches described in this book are concerned with predictable change, metamorphosis, mobility, expansion, genetic escape.