- This topic has 3 voices and 2 replies.
- September 11, 2012 at 8:43 am #344005September 12, 2012 at 5:28 am #395427
I listened to the first 15 minutes of this before getting bored with his repetitious NWO “One Human Family” perspective. Harris, whether theist or not, is a NWO liberal multiculturalist. And whoever he is, he is woefully ignorant of evolutionary biology.
But let’s get to the interesting stuff …
The idea that what is perceived as “morality” is biologically determined may seem disturbing, undesirable, or like a fantasy from a science fiction novel, but it is true. Morality is an evolved set of perceptions and emotions that grew out of risk management in a world of very unpredictable supply. Consider a small incremental change in a gene pool: Hunting was a hit-or-miss proposition. One man could go in one direction and find nothing, a second man in another direction and find a herd. The successful man can take more than he can consume. The unsuccessful man will go hungry. Imagine the first two hominids that ever so cautiously made the agreement; “You give me some of your meat today, I will give you some of mine the next time I am successful.” This is a fundamental element of sociality and the birth of a sensation that grew into larger and more complex forms of social obligation.
Several types of human interactions and emotions spring from this “first” primal transaction. These two men have increased the probability of spreading their genes into the future over two men who would not cooperate. Why? Because they have averaged out the fluctuations in food supply – risk management. Trust, empathy, betrayal, and revenge all have roots in early hominid exchanges tied to risk management (and this includes sexual resources, not just food).
These successful inclinations and emotions spread through the gene pool with these reproductively successful behaviors. Those that were slightly predisposed to such transactions were the winners. That’s why we think and feel the things we do today. The real origins of these behaviors go back even farther than hominids, into the apes and other primates.
This is not to say there is a “gene for” morality. There are 20,000+ genes in the human genome, many more regulatory genes, and over 3 billion base pairs (and this is only for the protein encoding part of the genome, a mere 2% of all the “stuff in granny’s attic” you can find in there). This genome is carved in harmonious and coordinated ways by natural selection, with many subtle and interdependent variations in alleles producing successful variations in phenotypes. In this case, the phenotypes with circuitry predisposed to calculate and understand the benefits of risk management and supply allocation, and the emotions to reinforce the behavior, became more successful. Part of this evolved capability is programmable (yes, nature discovered software long before we did). We call this programmability “education.” So the hardware platform and the programmability for inter-dependent social contracts which maximized reproductive success from better resource allocation and risk management became what we experience emotionally, or subjectively, as morality.
One of the ironies of the modern age is that in the world of the white man, what is perceived or propagandized as “moral” no longer leads to his genetic success. It leads instead to genetic failure. This is because in evolution, we are always applying yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems. When the environment in which the evolved success changes, all bets are off. The effects of this are all too obvious when you realize that hard working moral white people are the least successful reproductively now. But they are compulsively pushed by feelings and perceptions wired from the past. When environments change fast, that’s when extinctions occur. This is nature’s little message: the rules of the environment have changed, and you better change your game quick, or you’re out of the tournament … for good.
By the way, this is not a statement about theology one way or the other. It is about investigations and discoveries; information that is available in the public domain. In that regard it is no different than discovering that thunder is the sonic boom from lightening.
Harris poses the pointless question, “Is the world the way it ought to be?” It already is the only way it can be. Some groups of alleles of genes on chromosomes are successful by launching themselves into the future. Others are failures by being left in the dustbin if genetic history. The scoreboard and how winning is defined were determined a long time ago.
We are the children of winners. Let’s not become losers.November 27, 2012 at 5:50 am #395428
<br /:D” title=”>:D” class=”bbcode_smiley” />
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.