[ExI] a little essay on anger and respect

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Wed Apr 26 19:43:16 UTC 2023

On Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 10:41 AM spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:


> I will tread some dangerous ground here, for when I suggested the following twenty years ago, I was soundly scolded by Eliezer, who insisted that evolution does not operate at the group level.

It logically cannot exist in humans.  Eliezer, Richard Dawkins, and
many others are right on this point.  I am not sure why the idea is so
attractive that it comes up again and again among people who should
know better.  Assume that some group accumulated a bunch of favorable
genes.  Humans practice exogamy, marrying outside the group, so
shortly the favorable genes are spread to other groups.

? I believed then and believe now that it does to some extent, and I
will present my reasoning.
> Europe was populated by warring tribes for centuries, and there were nomadic privateers and small independent raiders and such.  But over time a reproductive advantage accrued to the guy who could organize a group, get them to stay put, farm some land, build a rocky barrier to defend the harvest from raiders and beasts, work together, eventually build castles and such.  They needed the men to fight as a unit, which led to the notion of large organized armies with a hierarchy, all fighting for god, king and country, where the boundaries between the three became a bit fuzzy.
> When an army works together well as a unit, the casualties in that army are lower than an opposing disorganized rabble.  Specialization results in improved weaponry and unit cohesiveness.  Returning victorious soldiers who did risk themselves for a belief in god, kind and country, enjoyed social status and perhaps spawned more children, in whom he instilled belief, a kind of memetic evolution we now think of as a natural selection mechanism in evolutionary psychology.
> That looks to me like a thought-experiment example of evolution working at a group level: it results in an organized society where people don't kill each other but does harm the reproductive capacity of the societal non-conforming, such as we do by imprisoning criminals.  Result: that society tends to evolve those who believe in following law.

Clark makes the case that the whole UK population became less violent
over 400 years of selection mostly for wealth.


> spike
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list