On 11/6/2013 6:18 PM, LizR wrote:
On 7 November 2013 14:39, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:


    There's a continuum of behavior which at the extreme absence of empathy we 
call
    psychopathy or sociopathy.  But that doesn't mean more empathy is better.  
Sometimes
    it's good to be hard hearted.  Should we have been nicer to the 
Neanderthals?

We'll never know. But we do know we evolved to cope with a world that is very far removed from the one we have. Is there any reason to believe evolution got everything right? We've already made changes to other aspects of our being, both physically and psychologically. But certain aspects of our behaviour still seem to be stuck in a distant past when life was almost always nasty, brutish and short.

Indeed I think we have evolved significantly over the last 10,000yrs. Just look at the difference between wolves and dogs. If we've adapted wolves to civilization like that, it's pretty certain that we have been adapted too, by the unnatural selection of culture. But I'd beware to trying to create the Ubermensch by genetic engineering (c.f. Greg Egan's short story "Eugene" in "Axiomatic").

Brent Meeker
"Evolution is clever than you are."
    --- Leslie Orgel

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