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  1. #31
    Senior Member celesul's Avatar
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    Technically, Hitler was not very good at understanding social darwinism. He twisted it. It's not so much about society oppressing people as much as saying that one can either a) let the weak die, or b) "help" and "civilize" them. The "civilizing" aspect can be used to justify oppression, but Hitler's was too artificial for social darwinism. His was racism, with even less logic (not that social darwinism is that logical anyway)

    That being said, Darwin himself considered the theory beyond absurd. The theory doesn't take into account that individuals who are not that self-sufficient can still be useful (think about a genius in a wheelchair. they need outside help, but they can help others just as much). Also, it doesn't acknowledge either compassion or a desire to feel superior. Studies have shown that people measure wealth and position relative to their peers. Unless someone is impoverished, they tend to think they are poor or rich based on the people they know, even though those people are not an accurate random sample of the population. Do keep in mind though, that capitalism does, in a way, endorse a milder form of the idea. Essentially, every person for himself or herself, without help from others. With other constructs such as unions and helping the impoverished, this is lessened.
    "'You scoundrel, you have wronged me,' hissed the philosopher. 'May you live forever!'" - Ambrose Bierce

  2. #32
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    the cooperative approach is the most intelligent, so it's no surprise that it is the one humanity has taken.

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  4. #34
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Skimmed read paper... I it heart!

    Social helping... compassion, altruism and the rest of that good stuff arisen because they're traits that raises inclusive fitness. Why are humans the most widespread and "adaptive" mammalian species around despite being weaklings? It's not because we have larger brains... It's because we form large social groups and can coordinate and efficiently divide labor. The large brain evolved from the need to maintain social groups. (Too lazy to search reference papers).

    Believe it or not, the genius in wheelchair is "fit" according to the natural selection model. So long as he can reproduce... Who cares if they can't move around very well? As long as he can gather the necessary resources to pass on his genes... based on natural selection, he's fit.

    I don't know how else to drive this point home. The environment dictates fitness. The word "fitness" here has a specific meaning that isn't the same thing as health. Just like "feeling" in MBTI doesn't directly relate to emotions and feelings. Fitness just means the ability to past on genetic information. It doesn't even need to be directly yours! If you help your cousins successfully have kids... then you have inclusive fitness. This is where kin selection/altruism originates from.

    *wanders off before she starts to sound like a textbook*

  5. #35
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default The Largest Animal on Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Why are humans the most widespread and "adaptive" mammalian species around despite being weaklings?
    We are the largest animal on earth. So naturally we are the most powerful.

    We look, of course, like individuals but we are linked by our mirror neurons into one big animal.

    And just as you are able to know what is going on in my mind right now, I am able to know what is going on in yours. We are, so to speak, one mind.

    Our shared mind spans not only the Pacific but time itself - Socrates shares our mind just as Nightning.

    We are one vast, huge animal and when we roar, we shake the earth while sending Voyager to the end of the Sun's reach.

    Victor.

  6. #36
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We are the largest animal on earth. So naturally we are the most powerful.

    We look, of course, like individuals but we are linked by our mirror neurons into one big animal.

    And just as you are able to know what is going on in my mind right now, I am able to know what is going on in yours. We are, so to speak, one mind.

    Our shared mind spans not only the Pacific but time itself - Socrates shares our mind just as Nightning.

    We are one vast, huge animal and when we roar, we shake the earth while sending Voyager to the end of the Sun's reach.

    Victor.
    *rolls on the ground*

    Yes... tremble under the might of the mirror neurons.

    HAh! Good one victor!

    Fun aside... mirror neurons are good... but I'm afraid we haven't develop telepathy/mind reading capabilities yet. I wonder when that's going to occur. Hmmm interesting thought.

    Human fitness is in adaptability by making our environment adapt to us. It hardly makes us the most powerful though.

  7. #37
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Fish Didn't Discover Water

    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Human fitness is in adaptability by making our environment adapt to us.
    All environments are invisible and that is why we adapt to them rather than they adapt to us.

    And just as fish didn't discover water, we can't see our present environment 'cause its invisible - just as water is invisible to fish.

    However as we drive forward looking in the rear vision mirror, we see yesterday's environment and mistake it for today's.

    For instance, theatre is yesterday's environment in the environment of today - TV.

    And when we went to the Moon, we turned the TV cameras around and saw the Earth for the first time.

    And bless our little, cotton socks, we called it, "The Environment", with a capital, "E".

    This was startlingly ironic as, "The Environment", is no longer our environment of today.

    "The Environment", has become visible to us all and so is no longer the environment of today.

    And so, "The Environment", is the invisible environment of yesterday and is merely the content of the environment of today.

    But, "The Environment", with a capital, "E", is as powerful as the word, "Truth", with a capital, "T".

    And just as each religion has the Truth with a capitial, "T", so, "The Environment", has become a religion.

    Victor.
    Last edited by Mole; 04-16-2008 at 08:19 PM.

  8. #38
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Adaptation is change...

    We adapt... we change... environment changes... who's to say the environment does not adapt?

    The objective absolute view does not matter... The relative subjective view point will do. Sensing change is sufficient. If it changes in our subjective world... then something in the objective world must have changed no?

  9. #39
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    Default A Surprise Party

    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    If it changes in our subjective world... then something in the objective world must have changed no?
    This is called magical thinking and I am very attracted to magic - the magic of poetry - the magic of the Bush - and the magic of you.

    For instance, young poets want to live their poetry - particularly their love poetry. While old poets know that poetry does nothing.

    Another good example is the words, "This is my body and this is my blood", which changes the bread and wine into body and blood.

    So when these magic words are uttered by the appropriate person in the appropriate place, the subjective world changes the objective world.

    Or does it?

    Or are the old poets right in saying, "Poetry does nothing".

    Personally, I seek magic at every opportunity.

    And avoid being mugged by reality.

    Surprisingly, poetry exists as do you and I.

    So I can only conclude that poetry, you and I are magic.

    And we are all a constant surprise to one another.

    Which is no surprise at this surprise party.

    Victor.

  10. #40
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Social Darwinism is a philosophy for the weak. Anyone who believes it should not be allowed to procreate.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

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