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FIGURE 17.5 Adaptive landscape, which can be used as an explicit representation of valuable states of affairs or goals, relative to one’s current situation.

FIGURE 17.5 Adaptive landscape, which can be used as an explicit representation of valuable states of affairs or goals, relative to one’s current situation.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from Schull (1991) (Copyright 1991, Springer).

Here, we are, we may think, isolated on this sup-optimal peak; is there any way of getting over there, to what seems to be the global summit? Because we can represent this state of affairs (in diagrams or words—you don’t need to use adaptive landscape sketches, but they often help), we can, for the first time, “see” some of the peaks beyond the valleys, and thereby are motivated to devise ways of traversing those valleys. We, the reason representers, can evaluate our possible futures far more powerfully, far less myopically, than any other species, can now look back at our own prehistory and discover the unrepresented reasons everywhere in the tree of life.

We are not perfect truth-trackers, but we can evaluate our own shortcomings by using the methods we have so far devised, so we can be confident that we are justified in trusting our methods in the foreseeable future.

It took Darwin to discover that a mindless process created all those reasons. We “intelligent designers” are among the effects, not the cause, of all those purposes.



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