The enclosed article by Evelyn Fox Keller talks about the
Battle of the Sexes in which Alchemy as Feminine lost to Male-
Mechanist Physics. The battle took place in England 1650-1670.
Since then Alchemy became “superstition”. That Newton
(1642-1727 ) was a secret practitioner of Alchemy meant that
Alchemy went “underground”. But Newton invented the “Gold
Standard” and became the Director of Coinage. Perhaps, he
understood the magical power of Gold over people better than any
As to why Alchemy was considered “Female” and even
dangerous, please see Jack Lindsay; The Origins Of Alchemy In
Greco-Roman Egypt. [QD13 L54l Sample pages are included.
Another interesting source is C. G. Jung. ALCHEMICAL
STUDIES. (Collective Works vol. 13. Princeton U Press. 1967.)
It is noted that European Science was not much “advanced”.
It was from a religious reason that Atomism and Mechanism came
out. Even after Newton, European scientists could not understand
“Fire” (Heat, Energy) well. It was after 1850 that they came to
realize “Fire” is not a substance. Energy concept emerged in
1850s. That is to say, Marx did not know “Energy”.
I saw a transcript of a speech by Russell Means made at
Black Hills in 1980. In the speech, apparently aimed at Marxists
(and perhaps also for the political need of AIM to say he is not
a communist), Means says (if Indians follow) “We will all be
Industrialized Science-Addicts in a Marxist society”.
In one sense, I am sympathetic to Means and understand why
he said that. But I think Means overestimated the Intellectual
Power of Europeans. Germany, in the time of Marx, was barely out
of the “tribal culture”. They had a hell of a time adjusting to
“invasions” by “science”, “rationality”, “intellectualism” etc.
from the “west”. What Europeans and Means call “Rationality” is
not “rational” at all — it was an illusion, conceit,
superstition, arrogance —. Or at its best, it is a Language
It may be disrespectful to say this. But Means was fooled
by Europeans. He did not see through the superficial veneer of
“rationality”, “science” etc. It amounted to “surrendering before
the fight”. If Indians have such a weak intelligence that mere
contact with Marxism or Science makes them “Industrial Science
Addicts”, perhaps there is no point in fighting. The “Feminine
Scientists” have better guts in their declaration that they will
Of course, I do not know what was the context of the
circumstance in which Means’ polemics emerged. But I wonder if
such is the pervasive attitude of Indian Braves. And if so, Pam
The point is that every “Culture” is tribal. There is
nothing superior about euro American tribes relative to others.
If a Haida need not fear an Oneida, there is no reason for a
Lakota to fear a Marxist or a Scientist. Means could have said
that he can beat Europeans at their games, “intellectual games”
Interestingly, even P1ato distinguished “Noesis”
(intuition, intelligence ) and “Dianoia” (Rationality, Reason).
European Science is not “Intelligent”. And if you ask for
“Wisdom”, you would be disappointed even by Plato — Socrates
was not “Wise”, he was a skillful player of a fashionable
Intellectual Game of Greece of his time —.
The trouble is that, for survival, Native Americans need
something beyond the level of collective intelligence that the
European tribes have. For that, I would imagine every mistake
European Science made is a good lesson for Natives to learn.
Instead of being victims to the mistakes, Natives can become
“healers” of the mistakes. This difference in “posture” would
make a difference in the “overview” (Worldview). You might say
you are not the savior of the World. I don’t ask that. But,
Excerpt from “The Social Brain”; Chapter “On the Inevitability of Religious Beliefs”;
Pp. 166-167. Underlining and red italics are notes by Sam Kounosu.
In religious beliefs, as with any other belief we again see the
left-brain interpreter seeking an explanation for a series of life experiences. Just as it is
charged with delivering a running explanation of’ the behaviors of all of our independent
modules, it is similarly, charged with explaining real-life events and circumstances
existing in the culture. It is seeking consistency, and the left-brain interpreter module,
linked as it is to the special human inference system, works hard to construct theories
about the causes of perceived events, That our brains accept the theories this system
But how did the idea of religion start? Why did our species generate the idea of
deities? The nature and origins of religious beliefs has an intriguing and, I think,
interpretable history that underscores the centrality of the brain-based psychological
mechanism I have been describing. I will argue that religious beliefs were inevitable and
had to start once the left-brain interpreter was fully in place and reflexively active in
seeking consistency and understanding. Explanations were generated and institutions
created to manage and deal with the issues of human existence and cosmic origin. Once
launched, such institutions, given their intense coercive power, have a way of staying.
Alternative views like the ones now readily available from modern science and
those made available by Aristotle have played and continue to play a subordinate role to
beliefs involving revealed truths. And, in an effort to explain this fact, I will also argue
that the acceptance of these not-of-this-world beliefs is due to another special capacity of
the human brain, the capacity for magical thinking. Let me explain.
There is a region of the human brain that, when tampered with, causes profound
changes in the human psyche. A lesion in that region, which can come about for a
number of reasons, tends to cause a change in three behaviors. This “temporal lobe
syndrome” was first described in detail by the late Norman
Implication is that “Intellectualism” is a brain malfunction.
Geschwind of Harvard Medical School. I would have been most skeptical of his account
if I had not seen a case that exactly matched his description. This syndrome now has been
reported several times. In its basic form, the brain injury causes a deepening of religious
conviction, a desire to write extensively (hypergraphia), and the performance of bizarre
sexual activity. There is no a priori reason I know of why affecting one of these behaviors
The reality of the syndrome is not amusing. Of interest here is the religious
behavior aspect of the syndrome. Not only is conviction deepened, but the form it takes
becomes erratic and the person switches from one belief to another rapidly and without
apparent cause. The brain process that allows for nonrational and magical interpretations
of events that are usually implicit in stories of religious creation is readier than ever. It
seemingly doesn’t matter which belief is plugged into this process. In a way, the brain
lesion frees the patients from their personal histories and prepares them for any set of
beliefs. These clinical phenomena suggest that a dynamic equilibrium can be set up in the
brain between systems that generate hypotheses and systems that accept such
explanations as meeting rational criteria. The normal state allows for a certain degree of
nonrational and magical beliefs. The diseased and disinhibited state so lowers the criteria
for acceptance that rapidly accepting and changing beliefs become the rule.
If there are brain networks in our modern brains that do tilt us toward magical
beliefs, it would follow that there should be evidence for religious behavior in primitive
humans, at least in all humans who possessed the same brains as those we possess. That
means we could examine the prehistorical record back to approximately forty to sixty
thousand years ago and, if clever enough, find evidence of religious practice. It turns out