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How much should human evolution guide our behaviour?

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Tycho Brah, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Since Darwin proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection, there has been no end to the number of thinkers who have applied the theory to their social environment. Today we hear about the theory of evolution guiding insights into such diverse fields as medicine and nutrition to dating advice and even moral philosophy.

    The fallacy of the appeal to nature seems to stand as a conceptual barrier to some of the more ambitious applications of evolution to other fields. The appeal to nature, in short, states that a proposition or behaviour cannot be evaluated based on its existence in nature alone, because nature provides good and bad and forces us to choose between them by other means.

    This objection can be fatal in fields such as evolutionary ethics, but seems out of place as a criticism of the paleolithic diet, for example.

    Below is a list of statements relating evolution to other fields in order of my immediate perception of their plausibility, from lowest to highest.

    Evolutionary biology can help us define right and wrong.
    Evolution can define the meaning and purpose of human lives.
    Evolution can help design better social arrangements and family structures.
    Evolution proves religion to be false and unnecessary.
    Evolution can explain human psychology.
    Evolution produces immutable gender roles.
    Evolution can tell us how to treat our bodies, including what we should consume.
    Evolution can inform valuable medical insights.
    Evolution contributes to the understanding of human history in an important way.


    What say you - where do you agree or disagree? Is evolutionary biology informative in some places but not others? Is it a non-starter in any field other than biology? Is it a "universal acid that eats through just about every traditional concept and leaves in its wake a revolutionized worldview?"

    Discuss.
     
  2. moreorless87 Straba

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    Honestly by far the biggest issue seems to be a reading of evolutionary theory in favour of a sociopathic "alpha" world view that ignores empathy as also a product of evolution seeking to put it down soley to a social construct.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
  3. Cherry Brigand We're gonna put some heat on 'em.

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    Evolution isn't real.
     
  4. punky brewster Red Belt

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    I'd say much of modern medicine and technology is trying to subvert evolution. Keeping people alive much longer than they normally would..... large populations of people who depend on pharmaceuticals and devices to stay alive. People that normally would not have lived long enough to reproduce, or not been able to reproduce, now have as many offspring as they want. People that are too stupid or lazy to sustain themselves, are taken care of by society or government. Diabetes, food allergies, heart disease, neurogenic disorders, are all managed by modern medicine, but that doesn't stop the genetic component of those diseases from invading and overtaking the gene pool.

    Heart attacks used to usually be a death sentence, so did cancer..... not so much anymore.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm one of those people that would possibly be dead without my prescription meds. I sometimes wonder if he world just implemented a one year ban on all prescription pharmaceuticals and medical devices, how much the gene pool would be shored up, and how much fat would be trimmed (literally and figuratively).
     
  5. BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

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    It's good to be aware of and understand it, and its ramifications, to the best of our ability.

    It's also good to be aware of its limitations if we wish to define and pursue a higher level of morality or ethics.

    In both the animal kingdom and human history, evolution largely rewards theft, rape, indifference to suffering, killing stepchildren, etc.

    A snake doesn't get rewarded if its venom kills painlessly instead of slowly digesting a living animal from the inside. Humans don't really get rewarded if they eat free range animals instead of factory farmed abused livestock.

    Some say Genghis Khan's DNA is in 8% of the entire male population of Asia, and almost 1% of the entire world. He sure didn't achieve that by making women laugh and playing Barry White music.

    Know how evolution works. Know when to aim for something higher.
     
  6. My name is Shawn

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    We live we die
     
  7. Phlog Dad Belt

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    It informals our thinking about EVERYTHING. People who don't see it lack the education and/or imagination.
     
  8. Organic Damage Vantablack belt

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    The other thing to consider is that natural selection takes a long time to come to fruition. Modern society especially in the last several hundred years has changed so dramatically that traits developed over milennia have become maladaptive.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's important to be a thoughtful about this stuff and not dogmatic one way or the other.
     
  9. Phlog Dad Belt

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    This is a good example of how people don't understand the matter.

    Evolutionary theory does not "ignore empathy", it explains it.
     
  10. Phlog Dad Belt

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    Yes. One must bare in mind that everything we create comes from it. Online dating for example is entirely dominated by behavioural tendencies evolved over hundreds of thousands of years.
     
  11. moreorless87 Straba

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    Indeed but I think you'd have to agree that a simplistic reading of evolution has in recent years been used to push that kind of mindset, we see it from several posters on Sherdog.
     
  12. Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    I actually meant to make this in the War Room, but good responses so far!
     
  13. HunterSdVa29 Respect, tho Platinum Member

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    it's always a little weird w/ humans due to higher intellect

    as Might Makes Right universally applies to all living organisms, yet we're expected to ignore that in favor or more civil lifestyles
     
  14. Organic Damage Vantablack belt

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    I shudder to think how ugly a discussion about evolution could have gotten in there...
     
  15. moreorless87 Straba

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    In there you can bet the "alpha's" would have been out in force telling us evolutionary theory justifies wacking women on the head with a club and dragging them back to your cave.
     
  16. Tycho Brah You drink water, I drink anarchy Platinum Member

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    Hahaha well surely we're just getting started...
     

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