13/08/2019 0 Comments
Our Educational Lineage
As humans, we have evolved a complex brain that has the capacity to process sensory information from our surroundings. This has contributed to our survival against all odds over hundreds of thousands of years. Our unique brain has enabled us to out-compete other, more powerful animals with better and more specialised sensory organs than ourselves. Consequently, we have developed sophisticated agricultural societies from our early beginnings as hunter-gatherers.
Over millennia, we have built sporadic civilisations whose survival depended on our capacity to control our environment and our self-destructive tendencies as an animal species. A revolution in human thinking and a new way of understanding ourselves and our environment occurred some 2500 years ago, when a few inspirational, bold thinkers started to view our world in a unique and objective way. These people dismissed the old Gods and belief systems that generations of societies had adopted and offered us a renewed hope for our survival as a species. They taught us to consider events as having natural causes (they called such events ‘phenomena’) that we could rationalise. They told us that we should have no fear of any irrational or superstitious beliefs, but to have faith in our ability to control our own destiny. These few, enlightened individuals created mathematics, science and all the other different subjects, arts and ethics that underpins our modern Western values.
They taught us to rise beyond our basic needs and overcome our self-destructive animal instincts and thus become better individuals. We like to refer to them as the Ancient Greeks and they still continue to inspire us and to strive to understand ourselves. They believed that only then can we have hope for humanity to survive as a species, provided we ‘achieve the highest element in ourselves’, as Aristotle wrote (384BC-322BC).