[extropy-chat] 300 and the Gates of Fire

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 12 09:30:32 UTC 2007

--- Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> Well, no, Stuart. It's no more "Darwinian" than any
> other strategy. 
> Were the Athenians less Darwinian?

Well to be technically precise no. But the Spartans
were in my opinion more primal and their candor
regarding it was refreshing. Freud observed that
civilization is but a thin veneer over baser
instincts. The Spartans didn't bother much with the

> And far from
> being 
> "refreshing"--as Hamilton noted--evolution is a
> heinously heedless, 
> mostly horrible process. (I'm fairly sure we agree
> about this, though.)

Evolution is indeed callously indifferent but I would
not go so far as to call it "heinous" or "horrible" as
there is no actual malice in nature, only blind
impartiality. I see nature differently than Hobbes and
his "red in tooth and claw". The fox may run after the
hare and the hare may run from the fox but in the end
both are running for their lives and it's a fair race.

There is a certain cold hard beauty in that and a
degree of iron-handed justice too. At least from the
point of view of all the poor carrots that the hare
massacred. When it comes to evolution, I try not to
get so hung up the thorns that I miss the rose. Or the
occasional Damien that happens to evolve for that

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Nature which governs the whole will soon change all things which thou seest, and out of their substance will make other things, and again other things from the substance of them, in order that the world may be ever new." -Marcus Aurelius, Philosopher and Emperor of Rome.

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