Really not got the point about evolution here

So, teach evolution earlier and in more detail. Why not?

But it would be about more than learning why our bodies are the way they are. We would become better, more caring, citizens of Earth if we were reminded each day of our animal heritage. A daily reminder that we must play by the same laws of the universe as any other creature; that we can’t take, take, take from nature and expect infinite reward, because nothing comes from nothing.

For that’s the most significant manner in which we differ from the other products of that shared evolution. We manage that nature, that environment, greatly increasing the productive capacity in a manner that really no other animal does.

Think it though for a moment, we’ve escaped the Malthusian trap. We are all, entirely voluntarily, limiting our reproduction and holding species size well below the available food supply. This is, remarkably, more true the greater the food supply too – a larger food supply is synonymous with higher GDP and fertility is most definitely negatively linked to that.

The whole point about humans is that in this very sense, the abstraction from nature, we don’t play by the same rules as other animals. He’s entirely missed the point.

33 comments on “Really not got the point about evolution here

  1. “We are all, entirely voluntarily, limiting our reproduction.”

    Not _all_ of us. As the likes of SMFS and Ecks constantly (and correctly) point out – when they aren’t intentionally missing the point.

  2. While awaiting Biggies reply I think it likely that the speaker is trying to peddle atheistic “values” to kids. Whether there is a God or not the problem with such values is that they are as unreal as all the opponents of “Sky Fairies” claim said fairies are.

    If we are just a troupe of monkeys there is NO reason not to do whatever you can get away with. Avoiding final extinction and avoiding hastening that final extinction by behaving in a reckless manner is a tactical “value” but there is no reason for moral behaviour.

    The chimp-chump author peddles the usual Dawkins-malarkey but thinks that his middle class CM shite is all kids would learn from his regime.

    What the middle class leftist turd wants the young taught is that nothing matters and there is no reason to be moral save monkey troop taboos . Which–given the frame he is creating–it would be foolish to have weighing down your one and only chance to enjoy whatever is worth enjoying on this accidental and pointless shithole called Earth.

  3. “We would become better, more caring, citizens of Earth if we were reminded each day of our animal heritage.”

    Or they could conclude that they should practice social Darwinianism on those weaker than them.

  4. We would become better, more caring, citizens of Earth if we were reminded each day of our animal heritage.

    This is laughably naive. As Rusty points out. A inevitable fact of evolution is that people are not equal. A likely fact of evolution is that races are probably not equal. Any measure you use will produce different averages for different groups.

    By all means, let’s remind each other of evolution all the time. Therefore we should care about British people who are closely related to us a lot more than we care about Africans who are not.

  5. Different groups of humans have evolved different codes of behaviour to make their lives more successful in the circumstances in which they find themselves. These codes are related by religion, superstition and folklore more than in formal law.
    Of course there are problems when circumstances change and a new code needs to be evolved, but that’s best done by building on the old one, not starting from scratch.
    And there are also problems when people with one code bump up against people with another.
    It is vanity to believe that any man can devise a code to live by front first principals using logic.
    I doubt the author would much like the starting point of a.troup of chimpanzees either.

  6. But it would be about more than learning why our bodies are the way they are. We would become better, more caring, citizens of Earth if we were reminded each day of our animal heritage.

    One of the great things about labelling yourself as “an environmentalist” is that it means you no longer have an obligation to have the slightest clue about what you are discussing. ‘Feels’ is all.

    We would become better, more caring, “citizens of Earth” if we staked out the area we wanted by attacking and driving off the original inhabitants and then grabbed what we needed to see ourselves through to the end of tomorrow.

    Property rights and pensions for cats!

    If this had been written in an early 1970s article we’d have rolled our eyes. At least they wrote “citizens of Earth” instead of “citizens of Gaia”. Even that was probably too much for them.

    We could learn through finger painting, perhaps, why we have five fingers.

    Could you learn why I am showing you two of them, Jules?

    My guess – Jules lives in a city, probably London, and in a hip inner-London suburb too.

    Anyway, I’ll leave others more talented to fisk that, it’s a fucking gold mine.

  7. ” Humans have a fondness for stories and a capacity for detailed, rational thought. We have the potential to be tolerant. We have the potential to be great. We really are special. And these really are values. But they are not British values at all. They are human values. They are world values.”

    Strange then, that these ‘World Values’ tend not to exist outside countries that have a majority of White, European descended inhabitants: more especially people of British stock.

  8. Strange then, that these ‘World Values’ tend not to exist outside countries that have a majority of White, European descended inhabitants: more especially people of British stock.

    S.O.P. is to take positive attributes of the UK/British/West and attribute them as being worldwide, while claiming or insinuating that negative attributes are unique to the UK/British/West.

  9. “Be fair. Most cultures have a fondness for stories.”

    True. Stories are fun.

    On the point of us being like apes, which apes should we aspire to be like? Chimps – violent murdering, raping cannibals, or Gorillas – peaceful vegetarians who live in family groups headed by an Alpha Male with a harem of docile females?

  10. Careful Tim, hinting that humans are in any way different (let alone special) is becoming unsayable.

    I wonder if It’s not the most obviously demonstrably wrong PC article of faith.

    Sure, let’s base our morality on the ‘natural’ world! I think we could start with gang rape and necrophilia from ducks, what do you think?

  11. All life on earth derives from the same basic trick. That which survives does so by adaption, and luck. We are no different. If we manage to colonise another planet we might survive a little longer, because we would have finally overcome our environment.

  12. I see the point of driving Christian drivel out of schools, but not if it’s to be replaced by snowflake drivel. At least the Authorised Version is written in beautiful English.

  13. “greatly increasing the productive capacity in a manner that really no other animal does”

    Obviously there is a scale to this, but in fighting for territory and exterminating competitors, animals do this. So do plants. Also through symbiosis , some plants use other species. Do we tame dogs and cats, or do they tame us? Certainly, my cat doesn’t provide me with food, and my neighbour’s dog doesn’t pick up his turds …

  14. We do seem to be derived from some bizarre combination of chimp and bonobo characteristics. Close common ancestor?

  15. Pretty much exactly that. Ape species seem to (and I think it’s true of many others?) diverge into robust and gracile forms. Chimps are robust, bonobos gracile form of pretty much the same thing. We and Neanderthals the gracile and robust forms…..there’s thought that there should have been a gracile gorilla out there. And all very closely related….

  16. Tim – are you saying that Spud is a Neanderthal or that in some parallel and courageous universe, there’s a robust version of Spud?

  17. Humans are not ‘outside the rules’ – there’s not really anything people do that other animals don’t, the differences are mainly in quality rather than in kind.

    We’re not ‘voluntarily’ limiting reproduction, we’re changing reproduction strategies in the face of changing conditions. And none of that is ‘voluntary’ – as in there’s a volitional act involved – people are not choosing to not have children, they’re not choosing to have them, which is a different thing.

    As for holding population size below the food supply limits – that’s entirely a side-effect. Its the increased wealth that allows for entertainments other than bumping genitals and removal of the need to have children to keep you alive in your old age that are causing the shift to smaller families.

    If there’s one thing that *is* unique about humanity, its that we can see exactly how much trouble raising children is and want no part of it.

  18. On the subject of evolution and its importance – when you get right down to it, what percentage of humanity really benefits from a detailed understanding of how it works and its implications?

    IMO, its as relevant to the average person as electron shell theory. And as useful.

  19. The most extraordinary thing about humans is the capacity of the human mind to seek explanations – and particularly scientific explanations. No other species possesses this ability. Part of nature, human beings, has become aware of nature itself and seeks to explain and understand nature. Surely, this is awesome — to atheists, agnostics and theists alike.

  20. So… The most genetically successful known person was Ghenghis Khan. He spread his genes across half of Asia and Europe. Should I try to emulate him as suggested by evolutionary imperatives? Discuss.

  21. Steven Pinker points out that, contra the touchy-feely fairy stories of nature-fetishists like the author of this vacuous piece, for almost all other mammalian species intra-specific killings* are hundreds if not thousands of times higher than for humans. We’re really quite remarkably pacific, especially given our capabilities. Other animals kill members of their own species at a rate that makes the most psychotic MS-13 sicario look like a piker.

    * inter-specific killings are of course far higher than that. Most animals do not die of old age, even apex predators.

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