Monod shows us a paradigm of how choice at one level of biological organization (metabolic activity) is generated by necessary (choiceless) interactions at another level
Hence, the combined effects of chance and necessity, which are amenable to scientific investigation, account for our existence and the universe we inhabit, without the need to invoke mystical, supernatural, or religious explanations.
While acknowledging the likely evolutionary origin of a human need for explanatory myths, in the final chapter of Chance and Necessity, Monod advocates for adopting an objective (hence value-free), scientific worldview as our guide to assessing truth.
He describes this as an 'ethics of knowledge', which disrupts the older philosophical, mythological and religious ontologies that claimed to provide both ethical values and a standard for judging truth. For Monod, assessing truth separate from any value judgment is what frees humans to act authentically, by requiring that they choose the ethical values that motivate their actions.
He concludes "...man at last knows he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below; it is for him to choose". While apparently bleak, in comparison to the concepts that humanity belongs to some inevitable, universal process, or that a benevolent God created and protects us, an acceptance of the scientific assessment described in the first part of the quote is, for Monod, the only possible basis of an authentic, ethical human life. [/quote]
Unsurprisingly, I am very much in agreement with what he said. And not only was he a great scientist, he was also Chief of french resistance in WWII. I certainly recommend reading the wikipedia page about him, even if you do not choose to comment here.
• I believe Ray mentioned this book some time ago
His views were in direct opposition to the religious certainties of his ancestor Henri's brothers, Frédéric Monod and Adolphe Monod, who were prominent evangelical preachers in the 19th century. In 1973, Jacques Monod was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II.
Sociologist Howard L. Kaye has suggested that Monod failed in his attempt to banish "mind and purpose from the phenomenon of life" in the name of science. It may be more accurate to suggest that Monod sought to include mind and purpose within the purview of scientific investigation, rather than attributing them to supernatural or divine causes. While not explicitly addressing mind or consciousness, his scientific research demonstrated that biology includes feedback loops that govern interacting systems of biochemical reactions, such that the system as a whole can be described as having a purpose and making choices. Monod's philosophical writing indicates that he recognized the implication
|The amazing Monod 1910 - 1976||311||Susan Doris||26-Jan-20 18:00|
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|In Memoriam: Jacques Monod (1910–1976)||80||drrayeye||27-Jan-20 08:33|
|Re: In Memoriam: Jacques Monod (1910–1976)||72||Susan Doris||27-Jan-20 09:37|
|Re: In Memoriam: Jacques Monod (1910–1976)||74||Susan Doris||27-Jan-20 11:01|
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|Re: The amazing Monod 1910 - 1976||81||Susan Doris||27-Jan-20 11:04|
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|Re: The amazing Monod 1910 - 1976||73||Susan Doris||28-Jan-20 06:16|
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|Re: The amazing Monod 1910 - 1976||147||Susan Doris||29-Jan-20 16:12|