From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of meekerdb
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 7:30 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Our Demon-Haunted World

 

On 11/6/2013 6:18 PM, LizR wrote:

On 7 November 2013 14:39, meekerdb <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.  

 

Indeed. we are cultural animals now, and increasingly so. How much of our
extended cultural beings exists outside our individual selves, and travels
through us, amongst us, a shared mind. More than any species - that we know
of - we have become changed by and adapted to cultural being. The pace has
quickened with the information revolution. 

Who knows what lies next; perhaps just around the corner. 

 

 

But I'd beware to trying to create the Ubermensch by genetic engineering
(c.f. Greg Egan's short story "Eugene" in "Axiomatic").

 

I agree with you here. 



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

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