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The Mysterian Position --- that consciousness is forever incomprehensible to the human brain --- makes no sense to me. There's just no reason for the mechanisms of mind to be intrinsically inaccessible to us, any more than it's necessary to make an opaque enigma out of orbital mechanics or the biochemistry of beer production. Sure, some things can be tough to figure out. But with enough hard work, observation, and experimentation they can all be understood, at least to some level of detail.

But! What if there's an evolutionary advantage to having a blind spot? What if individuals who simply can't fathom some particular topic have a significant edge in the battle to get copies of their genes into the next generation? If so, then it's perfectly logical for some or all human beings, over the eons, to develop an utter inability to figure out that subject.

An example of such obscurity-by-darwinian-necessity? Consider the forever-fascinating riddle: the mind of the opposite sex. Might it not be helpful --- in order to bind couples together for years of joint child-rearing --- to ensure that one's partner always retains an element of mystery, an unpredictable core that continues to tantalize even after decades of observation? Could that ineluctable conundrum be part of what is called, for shorthand, "love"?

As always, the Bard says it best, in Antony and Cleopatra (II.ii.):

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety ...

And on that note, my male mind boggles. Honey, you can talk about it with your girlfriends for the rest of the day. I'm going out hunting ...

(see also TheMysterians (2 Aug 1999), ThoughtfulMetaphors (8 Nov 2000), ManOfMystery (12 Aug 2004), ... )

TopicScience - TopicMind - TopicHumor - Datetag20040905

(correlates: EvolvedDeceivers, MysteryReligion, ClassyPeople, ...)