Where is the normal place to put this?

Commented on January 30, 2013
Created January 30, 2013 at 1:12 AM

I posted on Facebook,

It's a rarer concept than I thought: my godfather spoke quite lucidly about "pseudomorphosis," or George Florovsky's concept of Orthodoxy assuming a false form. But, if web searches are any indication, the term is not as widely used, or familiar, as I thought when I was inducted into the Orthodox Church.

"Pseudomorphosis" as it was used then was Orthodoxy assuming a false shape, and etymologically the word is Greek for becoming a false state. It is something of the same, in U.S. race relations, to the extremely pejorative term "Oreo", meaning a person who is black on the outside but white on the inside. Pseudomorphosis told of Orthodox scholars using Catholic ways of thinking, Orthodox icons using Renaissance Western perspective instead of their classical inverse perspective (which includes the worshipper in the space of their icons), of every of the innumerable ways that someone can be Orthodox on the outside but Western on the inside. As it was explained to me, it seemed a cardinally important concept, but it is rare enough on the Web.

I wrote a Socratic dialogue discussing, not a pseudomorphosis against being properly Orthodox, but a pseudomorphosis against what is basically human. Perhaps the two cannot ultimately be distinguished, but the remarkable success of the Paleo diet (and, if you prefer, lifestyle) is based on a remarkably simple assumption: humans have been, on the old earth account, around for two million years. What some secular scholars identify as the most important change in the time humans have been around has been the Agricultural Revolution - which only occurred after 99.5% of the time humans have been around. That's a geological eyeblink, and the Paleo perspective is that human genes have not appreciably changed from what works best with a hunter-gatherer diet and lifestyle. The agricultural diet is, so to speak, a "pseudomorphosis" concerning the proper operation of a human being.

It is my thesis that there are a number of such pseudomorphoses, and that the pace is accelerating. (And I expect some people to say that this NOT my unique insight, but a mere rephrasing of what many others have observed.) I don't want to downplay those who have emphasized the impact of the agricultural evolution, but the present cascade of technologies has meant more change, more quickly, than at any time prior in recorded history or prehistory. (And it's really not just technologies; it's changes in the broader cultures.) My hackles go up when someone speaks of "after Wittgenstein", as it treats Wittgenstein as something like the Catholic conception of a "doctrinal development." None the less, if one may employ a critical reception of philosophy today as ancient saints employed of the philosophy of their day (even if it was better), the concept of "forms of life" in Wittgenstein is notable. And it is my thesis that forms of life are changing away from what is natural and proper to man. There is a machine afoot, akin to the ironic N.I.C.E. of C.S. Lewis in That Hideous Strength.

For my comments on Lewis, see another article. But for the piece I am posting now I invite you to read,


I looked under the "About" to see a way to contact the author, and I saw Patrik's Twitter feed but no way to ask, "Where do I put this?"

Maybe it's not appropriate, but it is intended to be a thought-provoking Socratic dialogue that includes Paleo. My apologies if it isn't.


on January 30, 2013
at 02:11 AM

"it is my thesis that forms of life are changing away from what is natural and proper to man".. and yet mans most exceptional trait is that of adaptability, is it not? For what other life form has managed to find its way to all corners of the earth and beyond it? Therefore it could be said that "what is natural and proper to man" is an ever changing and challenging environment that man seems indeed designed for..

Medium avatar


on January 30, 2013
at 01:42 AM

Jonathan, thank you for taking the time to write this but I regret to inform you that there is no place to put this on PaleoHacks. I will have to close this as it is not a real question.



on January 30, 2013
at 01:28 AM

on your personal blog

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