Monday, October 15, 2007

The Music Delusion

Unable to withstand the bracing logic of the new atheism, soon religion will be eliminated completely. It may then be time to consider the next frontier, to expose another phenomenon that has outlived any evolutionary purpose it might once have had: Music.

Certainly you've heard them blather, perhaps you were once one yourself: those sentimental, simple folk who claim that music "moves" them. To explain this supposed pleasure they point to empirically unsubstantiated "feelings." Conveniently, they insist that the measurement of this stimulation is beyond the reach of science. (Are they not grateful for antibiotics?) A further indicator of their quackery is the repeated insistence that "words cannot express" musically generated contentment. Are words, the traditional avenue of intelligent human expression, too difficult for these self-professed "music-lovers"? When will they have the courage to realize that music, better still, "music" does not even exist?

Science tells us that what primitive cultures once referred to as "music" is in fact the manipulation and arrangement of measurable sound waves. Sorry folks, so much for that "ineffable" symphony. The effect "music" has on the human organism, we now know, is a side-effect of this sound wave manipulation which, like most things, can be traced to the mating urge.

Yet why is our culture still so bound by what science has finally explained? "Music" departments persist in colleges and universities worldwide. Huge sums of money are wasted on its performance and "appreciation." A massive, corrupt industry duplicates this "music" to perpetuate its effect on common people, most of whom are ignorant of its evolutionary explanation.

It is bad enough that "music" fills concert halls and stadiums the world over, but often we brights are forced to listen to it even against our will, in cars, elevators, malls, grocery stores - it's everywhere. Courageous individuals without a sensibility for the appreciation or performance of "music" have in the past been unfairly stigmatized as having a "tin-ear." But modern science has vindicated our perspective, so here's a more accurate way label to label us: Just plain smart.

It's time for those of us who know "music" is superfluous evolutionary waste to finally be heard. The survival of the species may depend on it. You recall that supposedly innocuous "drummer boy?" Yeah right. More like "war boy." How many more armies will be inspired by this "music" as they march into battle to rip our delicate world apart? How many more politicians will use this "music" to rally ignorant masses to their ends? The stakes could not be higher. Science has finally pulled back the curtain on this tired phenomenon; bravely holding that curtain open may be the only thing that keeps our world intact.