- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Your grasp of evolution is shaky to say the least.

Posted by: Darcy Carter ( UK ) on September 14, 1999 at 01:45:20:

In Reply to: Evolution and capitalism posted by R Rockliff on September 10, 1999 at 21:52:52:

Your grasp of evolution is shaky to say the least.

It is wrong to think of evolution as having "failed" or "succeeded". to do so is to impose a teleological character on a natural phenomenon. You might as well talk of whether or not a wind, or a rainstorm, succeeded or failed.

As we all know, evolution takes place when freak genetic mutations give living creatures characteristics or cababilities that are different from those of their contemporaries. These features allow the mutated creature to survive longer and procreate more than the non-mutated variety. The genes causing the mutations are therefore passed on more regularly until the "mutation" becomes normal - perhaps one of the most striking examples is the long neck of the giraffe, which developed as its food was high up in the trees.

This is not, as you Americans put it, "rocket science". It is becuase of this that is puzzles me that an apparently intelligent individual talks of the "failure" of evolution. To fail something must have a purpose. Natural phenomenon do not have purposes; they merely have consequences, some of which you may see as advantageous, others not. To the extent that the consequences of evolution (survival of the most well asapted species, and modelling of creatures to best live in their environment) can be said to give it a purpose, the purpose is that the creature in question survives and flourishes.

In this non-teleological way, evolution has worked extrmeley well for us. We control the planet and have developed far ahead of even our nearest neighbours. Some people might say this means nothing as the dinosaurs died out after living a lot longer than we have. I would argue that this proves our evoloutionary worth. In a fraction of the time that dinosaurs had ,we can largely control our environment. Giant lizards never did this in 100s of millions of years, and have you ever read any good books by a Diplodocus? Me niether.

Your talk of failure is merely a way of using a well-respected biological theory to back up your political values. It does a diservice to science and to your intellect - whether your paolitical idead are sound or not. I might as well say that the victory of the labour party in the last UK election (a party I do not support) means evolution has failed.

The fact that socialism has been tried and died is because SOCIALISM HAS FAILED - NOT EVOLUTION.

Also, humans have not been evolving for a while. There are currently no genetic mutations (such as a larger brain) that make procreation more likely and therefore spread those genes more prolifically. We are therefore not evolving.

The idea of use gradually evolving into a super-intelligent, enlightened and peace loving race is wooly minded nonsense. This would only be the case if the highly intelligent and peace loving had more children (and indeed that these characteristics are genetic). There is no evidence that this is true.

We are stuck with our genetic make-up as it is now - the same genes we had, by and large, 1,000,000 years ago. We have made progress since then not through evolution, but the development over time of institutions such as language, governement and eventually education and democracy that have allowed us to make the best use of the DNA we already have.

The most successful of thes institutions in terms of human advancent have been made in Western, capitalist societies. Socialists just can't bear to admit you're wrong even though history has proved it to be the case. If you don't believe me, I suggest you spend your next holiday in one of the ex-Soviet republics. You will see the effect that a prologed experiment with socialism has had on prople's lives.

McSpotlight: Soo, if we haven't evolved at all in the last million years, why aren't we all the same race...?

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