Evolution versus Design

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Humans, like all living creatures, are the result of evolution, not of design. If we were, we would probably look totally different. Still not many realize in full that this makes us very different from machines.

Evolution has no direction, no goal; it just happens. We are here because we adapted quick enough to changing circumstances and survived.

Design certainly has a direction, a goal, a purpose. A function that one can measure and predict. Logic is applied in the original design and development.

Only recently some have realized the importance of this difference between living creatures and machines.

Also in the things we do or can do, it needs to be emphasized that we still are the product of evolution, not design. Dancing is a perfect example.

Dancing (in any form) is the result of our cultural evolution, not of design. Hence the importance of historical and cultural knowledge in evaluations (judging). Hence the danger of treating dancers like machines and dancing like a result of a logical process.

It is the part in dancing that one cannot measure and has no purpose in itself that enhances dancing. We see it, we feel it, we sense it, we value it. But we cannot measure it.

To analyse and dissect a dancing performance is most dangerous and yet this seems in certain circles to be the “future” for judging. If not done in the right way, we might have to look at “machines” on the floor: efficient, predictable and completely boring. The most efficient, most predictable and most boring wins! The result could be measured by anyone, even a computer.

Our senses.

Because of what we are, we can see, hear, feel, smell, taste, etc.

But also because of what we are, we see, hear, feel, smell, taste, etc. only a small part of the reality that surrounds us. Our pride and joy, the brain, interprets all this information and makes it even worse: all the original information is deformed into something we think we can understand. So let’s face it: our reality is an enormous simplification.

Put it on film (like some of us do) and with only xx images per second (missing out on all the rest), we still think that what we see there gives a clear picture of what is really going on.

It is good to realize that even when we are “on the spot” we do not get even near a full picture of what is going on right under our eyes and noses.

And the more we will use our brain, the more we will deform reality. Until it is within our own limited understanding, creating our own reality.

Beware judges!


Fred Bijster



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