lack of evolutionary pressures

Blanc blancw at
Sun Aug 24 01:05:38 PDT 1997

Tim May wrote:

>(And not even the infamous "But what if _all_ smart and educated people
>thought this way?" applies. First, what Adam or Tim or Blanc does about
>having children will not affect the decisions of others. [...]

I look up, startled - what; me, worry?  <g>

There are actually quite a lot of "determining factors" which do not affect
the decisions of others.  For instance, the Constitution of the U.S., or
good genes from one's ancestors.    A lot of people read, but do not
appreciate the meaning of, the Constitution.   Too many depend upon it to
determine the choices on what is right or wrong about government activity,
without considering the reasoning behind the document or without applying
their own reasoning to its meaning.

Humans are pretty complicated, fragile creatures and there are many things
which will affect our success or lifespan; unforseen elements can overwhelm
ones's biological system (like an AID virus) or one's circumstance, (like
encounters with Nature - unexpected floods, forest fires, tornadoes, etc.).
   Many things which we do to ourselves will weaken us - taking drugs,
malnourishment,  incorrect responses to events which challenge our
psychological makeup, etc.

These discussions on evolutionary pressures, genomes, the intelligence
passed on through genes, all reference things which have been given to one,
given in the past, given to a passive creature at a time when they exercise
no influence in their own existence (i.e., at the time of conception).

There is a factor being left out of these discussions as if it didn't exist
or had no influence, and that is the particular individual who is in the
act of living their given Life.   That person must maintain a rightful
state of mind which can understand the requirements of their own existence.

Although people may receive benefits of all kinds, they may yet fail to
live a successful life:   some people grow up in rich families and end up
drug addicts living in the street.  Many people are super intelligent (at
least in school) but seem to have no wisdom of judgement, making very
unwise decisions which affect their success (the latest big-name killer
Cunnanan comes to mind.   He was credited for being brilliant; he took
drugs and this influenced his mental state, but that in itself was an
unwise, self-defeating thing to do).   

A person's decisions, their self-advancing or self-defeating responses to
life's exigencies, also determine the direction & quality of a their life,
not only what they have been given by others.   One thing which can't be
passed on very well (yet) is the *desire* to live on a certain plane of
"intelligent" life, once one has it.   

(And who appreciates so well the struggle to stay on such a high level
plane?  Sometimes there's a lot of "pressure" to evolve in the future, but
not much empathy with efforts in the present.)


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