[ExI] patches accepted

Mr Jones mrjones2020 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 1 15:51:42 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 4:45 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928015.400-biology-nobelist-natural-selection-will-destroy-us.html
> Biology Nobelist: Natural selection will destroy us
> 28 February 2011 by Clint Witchalls
> Magazine issue 2801. Subscribe and save
> We have evolved traits that will lead to humanity's extinction, says
> Christian de Duve – so we must learn to overcome them
> We are the most successful species on the planet, but you think we will
> ultimately pay the price for this success. Why?
> The cost of our success is the exhaustion of natural resources, leading to
> energy crises, climate change, pollution and the destruction of our
> habitat.
> If you exhaust natural resources there will be nothing left for your
> children. If we continue in the same direction, humankind is headed for
> some
> frightful ordeals, if not extinction.

Until sustainability comes before 'profit', we're on a course to extinction
undoubtedly.  I argue that we need to evolve past the outdated "Capitalism"
we currently worship.

> You think that natural selection has worked against us. How?
> Because it has no foresight. Natural selection has resulted in traits such
> as
> group selfishness being coded in our genes. These were useful to our
> ancestors under the conditions in which they lived, but have become noxious
> to us today. What would help us preserve our natural resources are genetic
> traits that let us sacrifice the present for the sake of the future. You
> need
> wisdom to sacrifice something that is immediately useful or advantageous
> for
> the sake of something that will be important in the future. Natural
> selection
> doesn't do that; it looks only at what is happening today. It doesn't care
> about your grandchildren or grandchildren's grandchildren.

The American Indians and many other tribal peoples have known this for
CENTURIES.  Our 'modern/civilized' people have forgotten these age old
truths.  It'd be common sense to everyone if they didn't have their heads so
far up their over-marketed rears.

> You call this short-sightedness "original sin". Why did you pick this
> terminology?
> I believe that the writers of Genesis had detected the inherent selfishness
> in human nature that I propose is in our genes, and invented the myth of
> original sin to account for it. It's an image. I am not acting as an
> exegete
> - I don't interpret scripture.
> How can humanity overcome this "original sin"?
> We must act against natural selection and actively oppose some of our key
> genetic traits.

We start by making decisions that benefit humanity 3 or 4 generations out.
 We work on some forward-thinking strategies, that allow humanity to build
some real momentum, instead of all these 'bubbles' and other corrupt money

> One solution you propose is population control, but isn't this ethically
> dubious?
> It is a simple matter of figures. If you want this planet to continue being
> habitable for everyone that lives here, you have to limit the number of
> inhabitants. Hunters do it by killing off the old or sick animals in a
> herd,
> but I don't think that's a very ethical way of limiting the population. So
> what remains? Birth control. We have access to practical, ethical and
> scientifically established methods of birth control. So I think that is the
> most ethical way to reduce our population.

As survival rates increase, family size decreases.  If people were born into
conditions in which they had food/shelter/clothing/education...You wouldn't
see people having 4,6,8 kids.  They'd have 1 or 2.  I think population
numbers should be managed, and that a well provided for, well educated
population would agree.

> You also advocate giving more power to women. Why?
> Speaking as a biologist, I think women are less aggressive than men, and
> they
> play a larger role in the early education of the young and helping them
> overcome their genetic heirloom.

Perhaps logic to crunch things down to 2 or 3 workable solutions, and then
emotion to pick from the available choices.

> Are you optimistic about humankind's future?
> I'm cautiously optimistic - very cautiously. I try to be optimistic because
> I
> prefer to give a message of hope to young people, to say: you can do
> something about it. But in the present, there is not much evidence that
> this
> is happening.

The masses are still heavily anesthetized, busy running on
their consumerist gerbil-wheels.  Trying to keep up with the Joneses.
 Buying into Edward Bernays' wet dream come to fruition.

> Profile
> Christian de Duve is professor emeritus at the Catholic University of
> Louvain
> (UCL), Belgium and Rockefeller University, New York. In 1974 he co-won a
> Nobel prize for his work on cellular structure. His latest book, Genetics
> of
> original sin, is published by Yale University Press
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