Tango in the Snow

Photo: Inge Curtis

On Valentine’s Day, I queried an AI bot about the idealistic love that Ancient Greeks called agape and compare it with the romantic notion of love. This is how it replied:

“The main difference between romantic love and agape love is that romantic love is usually based on physical attraction, emotions, and mutual admiration, while agape love is based on selfless giving and unconditional acceptance. Romantic love can change over time, while agape love is unending and unconditional. Romantic love is often focused on two individuals, while agape love is focused on giving to others and showing kindness to all.”

While musing on Valentine’s Day about how big love can be, I applied the adjective cosmic. No, I didn’t mistype it for comic love! Way back in my college days, I read an arresting thought from the cleric-cum-archeologist, Teilhard de Chardin. Can love embrace all nature for all time and pale every other kind of love by comparison? Cosmic love is gobsmacking. When one of my scientific heroes, the immunologist Peter Medawar, ridiculed him as a peddler of mystical nonsense I laid Teilhard’s books aside. Recently, I pulled his books down from the shelf, their pages now brown with age, for fresh reflection.

By Roger Gosden

A British and American scientist specializing in reproduction & embryology whose career spanned from Cambridge to Cornell's Weill Medical College in NYC. He married Lucinda Veeck, the embryologist for the first successful IVF team in America. They retired to Virginia, where he became a master naturalist and writer affiliated with William & Mary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Gosden

1 comment

  1. Much food for thought here…
    The AI bot describes romantic love and agape love as a dichotomy. Surely there can be overlap between the two; can AI bots make such distinctions, or are they currently too simplistic to synthesise more subtle concepts?
    I found even the Wikipedia entry for Teilhard heavy going, let alone helping me understand more about his take on philosophy, theology and the universe, however this may bear further investigation one day…

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