Humanity reboot

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Restarting history should result in similar scientific results, but not similar cultural results.

Humanity reboot is a thought experiment which attempts to demonstrate a fundamental difference between evidence-based beliefs, and other forms of belief.

Imagine rebooting humanity as though it were a computer, all the way back to the very dawn of Homo sapiens, before any technology or culture, and then we let history play itself out again.

It's reasonable to believe that humans will once again make stone tools, tame fire, create the wheel, begin writing, discover mathematics and logic, invent microscopes and telescopes, and eventually understand relativity and quantum mechanics. Achievements of science and technology will progress and develop more or less the same as it did before, because science and technology are based on the objective fundamental laws of the universe.

However, the same can not be said for specific cultural achievements. Although humans will will no doubt create painting, music, and drama once again, they certainly won't recreate the Starry Night, Moonlight Sonata, or Hamlet. They will certainly recreate fashion, but perhaps not specifics like bell-bottoms and hoop skirts. The same is true for religion. People might go through a stage where they will believe lightning bolts are hurled to the ground by a god in the sky, but they won't think the god is a Greek named Zeus who lives on Mt. Olympus and sometimes descends in the form of a swan to impregnate young maidens. No doubt new religions will claim that wonderful afterlife can be obtained, but, barring supernatural intervention, they won't be contingent on a specific Middle Eastern man who was executed to appease a vengeful god who is also the slain man's father, and both of them hate gay sex.

However, there are some cultural world views that are generic enough that they probably will repeat. For example, throughout history, many people have independently come to the conclusion that we should behave as though the natural world is all there is, and that life is precious, so we should try to make things better for everyone in the here and now, a belief known as secular humanism. In contrast, only one group has ever independently concluded that the tenants of the Southern Baptist Convention is the best way to live life, other than the people who created the Southern Baptist Convention and those they indoctrinate.