Archive | 10:21 am

Concepts and Survival

27 Apr

This can get a bit abstract.

If you don’t believe in evolution it is hard to discern its survival value.

If you do believe in evolution it is still a bit difficult to follow.

Here it is.

If evolution is a fact of the universe then we humans cannot possibly be the pinnacle of it.

We can only be the last step we have encountered — At best.

Unless you are irrational, and note I did not say anything about intelligence. Many very intelligent people are irrational. If you don’t believe me check out the number of Mensa members in prison.
You would think a person that smart would either not commit crimes or be smart enough to only choose those to do those they could get away with.

Not so.

Highly intelligent people believe things that are highly irrational all the time. A good place to start would be with Aristotle. He believed things about Women and Deaf People that no one could possibly accept today. Things he could easily have discovered were wrong at the time, such as the number of teeth a woman has.

If you believe in evolution you HAVE to accept at the very least that it is possible humans are the next step in evolution, not the last step.

As species have evolved so have their concepts.

Many people consider the praying mantis as evil. She turns her head around and eats her mate while he is impregnating her. Many people consider rats vile because they eat their own, and other rats, turds.

Yet it is difficult to conceive of the mantis as having any other concept than an overwhelming desire to eat the thing upon her back. And it is just as difficult to conceive of the rat as having any other concept than a desire to eat the turd it finds in its path.

I am unaware of the survival value of a mantis eating its mate. But the survival value of a rat eating rat turds has been demonstrated. They provide nutrients the rat desperately needs but cannot get any other way.

Concepts change according to the needs and abilities of the species or subspecies involved.

The dodo did not change its concept of complete safety fast enough to save its species from the predatory humans. The humans in their joy of killing easy prey did not change their concept from hunter to farmer in time to save the dodo as a unique and viable farm animal in time to save the species. Perhaps because of their profession. They were sailors. Farmers would have instantly seen the potential and the military mind, ever alert that an army travels on its stomach, would have been very apt to have seen the potential of the dodo as a tame food source that should be protected.

I submit that every concept every creature has survival value. Species change their concepts as they are able too when the old concepts cease to have survival value and new ones are needed.

One notable example are otters. They were originally monogamous. When hunted to virtual extinction they became polygamous. This is not a simple evolutionary adaptation in form, it is an evolutionary concept in concept.

The evolution of humanity has been more in the evolution of its concepts than in its physical form.
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