Tuesday, September 02, 2008

People aren't on the top of the food chain

The idea that humans are on the top of the food chain and have gotten there through superiority, and that therefore human society should be structured for survival of the fittest is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of where human ancestors and humans really fit in. The things that really are on the top of the food chain are tigers, bears, leopards, things like that, possibly really bad ass gorillas too. The animals closest to where humans come from are further down the food chain and have to watch out for their local representatives of the above. Human beings rose to where we are not through sheer survival of the fittest but because we learned how to use tools and therefore short circuit the whole process. Human beings would not exist for very long if the mental capacity that enabled this was taken away and we became animals having the form of humans. The same could be said for human society itself.

If we created a survival of the fittest scenario with nothing to stop anyone from abusing anyone else the people who were nasty and vicious, the tigers and bears of the human world, would raise terror while the folks who weren't like that would spend lots of time trying to figure out how to counter them, get around them, defeat them through cunning. Cunning, ideas and knowledge, can be passed on to people through teaching, with genetics playing no role.

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