Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Blip: Neanderthal infestation

I'm writing this post under the assumption that we have already accepted that we are not neanderthals; whether by evolution or intelligent design, we are intellectually superior to that breed of humanesque subjects that rely on instinct, aggression and rituals of violence to survive.

We instead rely on our minds to help us out-think our problems; that's the theory anyway. For the most part, this theory holds water. We use electric transport systems to get around, we send and store our information electronically and we debate the world's issues socratically. This model is supposed to apply to all of human life, so that we may advance as a species and as a collective intellect. There is, however, an inherent flaw in the system.

Consider evolution for a moment:

A creature that has a genetic predisposition towards a trait that is more propitious for its survival is, intrinsically, more likely to survive and pass on its favourable genes. Seeing as these genes also suffer random mutations, the more favourable mutations of the already superior genes are even more likely still to succeed, thus fuelling the process of improvement further.

As this process continues, there will be elements of said creature that become obselete, certain senses, for example, may be replaced by a more targeted sense and the original sense will be an unnecessary capability of the species until it evolves out, streamlining the organism in question.

Society is a creature, so is man, as it happens, and like a creature, it evolves and adapts to become more favourable to its environment. Some argue that modern eradication of natural selection due to the somewhat unnatural protection offered by constructed domiciles and other societal constructs has halted human evolution, or potentially shifted it into being an evolution of intelligence, fuelled by every discovery and every theory that we have.

Like a creature that is evolving, some elements become obselete until they disappear but here we have the problem: this problem not only self-perpetuates but is also a detriment to the creature (society) as a whole. It is a drag factor, removing modern advancements and replacing them with awkward elastic-retraction style regressions back to our early days.

I'm talking of course about the animalistic side of human nature, the part that, as I mentioned before, relies on instinct, aggression and rituals of violence to survive. Also as I mentioned earlier, we are largely above acting on these impulses and by rationalising it and rising above it we can force ourselves forward in an attempt of progress. Some, though, don't have such desires and choose instead to commit their worthless lives to the satiation of their animalistic urges.

If the urges themselves are the drag factor on humanity, these people are the drag factor on society.

Consider further: survival and achievement of modern man depends on our mental resilience, our empathetic capacity and our reasoning prowess whereas a neanderthal's achievement lies in physical prowess and aggressive success. If you think about it, there is a widely grouped mass of people that follow such an edict: sports people.

People who strive to run faster when they have no predator to run from, people who strive to swim faster when they have access to sharkless pools, people who strive to over-develop their muscles when they live in a world with twisty-top wine bottles and, of course, people who develop pseudo-hunting skills like javelin throwing and fighting technique even though they have no need to hunt nor to fight.

A logical mind would classify such people as mentally deficient, as incapable of looking after themselves and in need of rehabilitation or institutionalisation because in the current state of society we should be past glorifying empty-headed nitwits simply because they can run, jump or fall over faster than anyone else. The rest of society with potential ends up aspiring to these wastrels, looking at them as targets and role models to set their kids on.

In a better world, we would laugh at those that choose to spend their lives furthering unnecessary physical exploits and glorify those who choose to spend their lives furthering unnecessary intellectual and creative exploits instead. We would, then, be putting our efforts into forward-moving progress, which has to be the better option.

If nothing else, we would be free of empty-sentimented, directionless and worthless drivel spewing forth from vacuous sport-headed simpletons.

To end with a quote of Winston Bennett, a University of Kentucky basketball player: "I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body."

Blip (siggy thing)

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