T Nation

Evolving Darwinism

I don’t mean this to be a debate about creation and evolution.

Today at work I was listening to a book and it mentioned that Basques are believed to be direct descendants of Cro-Magnon man and may possibly be the oldest Europeans.

From that the conversation turned towards evolution and survival of the fittest.

We were talking about what is “fittest” and more that it meant “best adapted or best suited” for life in that specific circumstance.

Then there was the talking about medications and surgeries, easing of life challenged and acceptance of what might perceived as weakness and disability.

There is the physical aspect of “best suited” and there is the mental aspect of “best suited”. Which is more valuable? To the extreme. Two types of separate communities. One physically advantaged and one mentally advantaged.

I am not advocating any type of selective breeding or eugenics program! Just was wondering about things.

With a civilized society have we hindered physical potentiation? On the other hand, has being civil promoted an intellectual evolution that we might not have experienced? But I guess that is assuming those folks benefitting from civility are mental giants.

So you’ve got the pro-physical side, one guy saying it may have been the thinkers that espoused great ideals but it was men of action that acted. But then how do you ignore the aesthetic value of life?

I certainly don’t see society changing to put malformed babies out to die or putting old people on ice flows, but how far the other way will things go? Or is it even possible to be too civil and compassionate?

yessss long ramble, but I am not sure how you would summarize that whole concept

i agree

there was a spoof movie about this… forgot the name lol

there was a spoof movie about this… forgot the name lol

[quote]Petermus wrote:
there was a spoof movie about this… forgot the name lol[/quote]

idiocracy?

If so horrible movie with a brilliant concept

I just think stupid people are having too many kids.

[quote]Split wrote:
i agree[/quote]

That very long post was a bit of a mess wasn’t it?

I was meaning to ask, have we helped or hurt evolution with too much civility?

and… regarding evolution, will it be best to potentiate physicality or intelligence, not that they need be mutually exclusive.

will too much humanity bring about a devolution of the optimum physical being with all the new modern marvels that of course were created by those with mental gifts.

yep… another rambling post

no more coffee for me

The trouble with thinking about applying evolution to our current times is that evolution isn’t really a factor for any organisms when they are experiencing a lack of a struggle.

Only when we find ourselves challenged in our ability to survive do we successfully filter out certain traits in favour of others. It’s normal for a species to go through a period where many survive that under more difficult circumstances they wouldn’t.

Like you said, there is no clear cut definition of what is advantageous and what is not. You can’t accurately evaluate something in the context of the whole world, and you can’t disregard context.

For example, in an african village where people are starving, intelligence may actually be a disadvantage because it may be expensive for the human body to power a large brain.

I’m not sure if that’s an accurate example but it gets my point across - even things which we take for granted as advantageous are not always so in different contexts.

Eugenics is wrong not only because it’s inhumane and it would fuck up society - but scientifically it wouldn’t be good because it narrows the gene pool as well.

Even people who are perhaps weaker or less strong may have mutated traits which are advantageous in a certain context and it would be good if those could be passed on. If you started eliminating people with so-called “bad” traits, you have less genetic variation overall.

Studies have shown recently that due to high population levels, human evolution is increasing at a much larger rate than it has in the past. We have more variety and more potential for benificial mutations.

[quote]debraD wrote:
The trouble with thinking about applying evolution to our current times is that evolution isn’t really a factor for any organisms when they are experiencing a lack of a struggle.

Only when we find ourselves challenged in our ability to survive do we successfully filter out certain traits in favour of others. It’s normal for a species to go through a period where many survive that under more difficult circumstances they wouldn’t. [/quote]

Well if you ask a scientist we are constantly evolving but at such a rate that it won’t be evident for hundreds if not thousands of years.

There are occurrences of spontaneous evolution through mutation and “happenstance”.

But I am not speaking so much of just a physical evolution, but more of a social evolution and those change pretty quickly. If that social evolution will influence the physical evolution.


I have nothing to add except a picture that will bring more people in here and give you all something to read.

[quote]Petermus wrote:
there was a spoof movie about this… forgot the name lol[/quote]

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells somewhat addressed the issue with the Morlocks and the Eloi.

I think human physicality is declining in today’s world.

Yes, athletic endeavors are still looked on favorably, but the fact remains that technology is allowing humans the ‘convenience’ of little-to-no physical work in exchange for the same products ancient people spent hours physically laboring over to create.

Slowly but surely, technology is replacing manual labor tasks/jobs and other elements of our lives that require movement.

Hell, my mom’s van doesn’t require arms to open. . .

It’s as if we’re encouraging the de-evolution of arms.

Honestly, I think it’s silly that, in today’s society, going to the gym is one of the most widely used methods of maintenance and improvement of the human body.

Moving around is supposed to be an inert element of being a human…

Or is it?

Looking at this as a whole - a species that allows for a small percentage of malformed offspring to live might show that they are a compassonate species.

Maybe compassion is an attribute that makes a species ‘fitter’ than other species?

Then again maybe such a small percentage is negligable and has no meaning?

I would think that we have both people of thought and people of action since both are required for the betterment of the species as a whole.

Maybe the human race evolved to have both jocks and nerds live in harmony (to a degree) and that’s why we kick arse in the animal kingdom?

Civility OG?

I think this has been an integral part of human evolution in the first place.

It is the social group dynamics that have allowed humans to advance as a species. While we have civility within our society, there still remains enemies whose death would be applauded by almost all Americans (Think Osama).

Social evolution occurs as we learn more and more about humanity…the persistent social psychologists that study persuasion, the Frank Luntz’s of the world that give political issues more precedence by a simple reframing of the argument or wordplay, and everyone else who strives to reach their top potential.

Some evolutionists think that human brains will continue to grow disproportionately to their bodies as the importance of intelligence manifests itself in society. However, there is no doubt in my mind that physical aptitude and a muscular stature will remain a symbol of strength that garners respect with a mere millisecond glance.

When you find people that have physical charm, charisma, and intelligence all in one package, you will know they have the potential to be one of the greats.

[quote]Flow wrote:
Moving around is supposed to be an intrinsic element of being a human…

Or is it?[/quote]

Just plug me into the Matrix, baby.

[quote]Spry wrote:
Looking at this as a whole - a species that allows for a small percentage of malformed offspring to live might show that they are a compassonate species.

Maybe compassion is an attribute that makes a species ‘fitter’ than other species?

Then again maybe such a small percentage is negligable and has no meaning?

I would think that we have both people of thought and people of action since both are required for the betterment of the species as a whole.

Maybe the human race evolved to have both jocks and nerds live in harmony (to a degree) and that’s why we kick arse in the animal kingdom?
[/quote]

Oh I certainly hope we don’t divide into extremes and really, I just don’t see it happening. I can see a cheapening or even a devaluation of one or the other depending on the social climate.

and like anthropocentric mentioned, physical beauty will most likely always be valued, just to what extent. We know that what is considered beautiful changes and isn’t consistent.

Luckily men still have a pretty powerful primitive brain along with the so called “higher thinking” portion of the brain. Long live the reptile.

[quote]Spry wrote:
Flow wrote:
Moving around is supposed to be an intrinsic element of being a human…

Or is it?

Just plug me into the Matrix, baby.[/quote]

good call on the correction :slight_smile:

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:
Spry wrote:
Looking at this as a whole - a species that allows for a small percentage of malformed offspring to live might show that they are a compassonate species.

Maybe compassion is an attribute that makes a species ‘fitter’ than other species?

Then again maybe such a small percentage is negligable and has no meaning?

I would think that we have both people of thought and people of action since both are required for the betterment of the species as a whole.

Maybe the human race evolved to have both jocks and nerds live in harmony (to a degree) and that’s why we kick arse in the animal kingdom?

Oh I certainly hope we don’t divide into extremes and really, I just don’t see it happening. I can see a cheapening or even a devaluation of one or the other depending on the social climate.

and like anthropocentric mentioned, physical beauty will most likely always be valued, just to what extent. We know that what is considered beautiful changes and isn’t consistent.

Luckily men still have a pretty powerful primitive brain along with the so called “higher thinking” portion of the brain. Long live the reptile.
[/quote]

A good question is probably why are there no 7 foot tall brick shithouses walking around with PhD’s in theoritical physics hunting lions (with super smart amazon girls to come home to)?

“Civilized men tend to be more rude because, as a general rule, they are less likely to have their heads opened.” - Robert E. Howard.

I’m not overly impressed by our current civilization. Of course, I say this in an air-conditioned apartment, whilst typing on a wireless keyboard, watching the text appear on my LCD HDTV used as a monitor, on a collection of information channels that puts the Library of Alexandria to shame.

To the original topic, I don’t have a clue. As much as I want physique and intellect to be equally prized, it’s not, and as long as it’s not essential for the weakest among us, it’s not going to be.

Bring on the anarchy . . . which would require a utopian societal interaction. Fuck it.

Give everyone a club, some cocaine, and an hour.

[quote]anthropocentric wrote:
Civility OG?

I think this has been an integral part of human evolution in the first place.

It is the social group dynamics that have allowed humans to advance as a species. While we have civility within our society, there still remains enemies whose death would be applauded by almost all Americans (Think Osama).

Social evolution occurs as we learn more and more about humanity…the persistent social psychologists that study persuasion, the Frank Luntz’s of the world that give political issues more precedence by a simple reframing of the argument or wordplay, and everyone else who strives to reach their top potential.

Some evolutionists think that human brains will continue to grow disproportionately to their bodies as the importance of intelligence manifests itself in society.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that physical aptitude and a muscular stature will remain a symbol of strength that garners respect with a mere millisecond glance.

When you find people that have physical charm, charisma, and intelligence all in one package, you will know they have the potential to be one of the greats.

[/quote]