It’s Amazing Who You Run Into In Maine

It’s amazing who you run into during the course of your regular life. Last week I met an elderly gentleman who casually told me that had a book coming out soon. When I asked what his book was about, he told me it was a book about his life and field of study. After telling me his name, I looked him up and discovered that he’s one of the world’s most famous philosopher. But he is so much more than a philosopher. He’s a neuroscientist and evolutionary biologist who studies consciousness, evolution and artificial intelligence. In fact, he’s beloved figure among Silicon Valley techies.

I immediately purchased one of his books and started reading it. It’s powerful and deep, and very dense. The author makes a compelling case for the evolutionary design theory, believing that life forms adapted throughout the millions of years they were allowed to develop. And while he admits that humans are intelligent designs, he steadfastly argues against an Intelligent Designer—a god if you will. He claims that organisms had “all the time in the world” to develop into what we’ve become today.

It got me to thinking about how this difficult subject relates to writing a novel. It’s a pantser versus plotter argument. Or evolutionary process versus intelligent design. The pantser adapts and changes on the fly in order to create their compelling characters. Unnecessary plot elements fall by the wayside while the good material gets stronger and stronger. The pantser reacts to situations and creates on the fly. The plotter, on the other hand, is more like an Intelligent Designer. There is a well-thought out pattern to their well-constructed plot. Everything moves according to teology. Everything has a purpose that helps drive the plot. The plotter knows where all this will end because he designed it.

Although it’s difficult to argue against the ideas this Maine philosopher is making in his book, I still fall on the side of their being an Intelligent Designer to what we call life. I think the two theories can coexist. Who created the universe? And made all the rules of physics that makes up everything.

Dennis Dennett is a giant in his field. What a surprise to learn that he lives in Cape Elizabeth. This after many years teaching at Tufts University. After reading his book, I have so many questions to ask him if I ever run into him again. If you get a chance, look him up. Or better yet, read his book and see which side of the debate you fall on. Are you a pantser when it comes to the world we live in? Or are do you think all this has been plotted out?

About joesouza

I am a writer of crime novels
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6 Responses to It’s Amazing Who You Run Into In Maine

  1. matthewcost says:

    It seems that every single person we meet has something truly unique to offer.

  2. kaitcarson says:

    What an amazing happenstance! I am a plotster – there’s room for both views wrapped in one enigma. Always best to keep an open mind. My husband would love the book. Putting it on his TBR.

  3. maggierobinsonwriter says:

    I’ve never really planned anything, in life or writing. And have decided at my age I’m never going to understand anything. Maybe I should buy this book!

  4. Julianne Spreng says:

    Definitely a pantser. Adapt and enjoy! Thanks for the recommendation. Will absolutely look him up.

  5. John Clark says:

    The old adage “There are two things I know about God: There is one, and I’m not he/she,” comes to mind when reading this.

  6. Shelley Burbank says:

    Oh wow, that sounds wonderful.

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