Saturday, January 15, 2011

Natural Selection

Do all human drives and emotions boil down to reproductive success? Power? Greed? Love? Anger? Fear? Joy? Grief? More and more scientists, health professionals and others are couching various "personality traits" in terms of "survival value". "If it didn't have survival value, it would have disappeared from the gene pool." Isn't this just restating Darwin's theory of natural selection? It's a profound idea, though, when applied to what modern society considers aberrant behavior or mental illness.
Bipolar, sociopathic personality, depression, schizophrenia. What is the survival value of these characteristics? What are thieves and killers when their abilities are directed against a competing tribe? Warriors, heroes?

Survival of the fittest. Much more than just the strongest individual. Among social species, intra-group bonds and cooperation typify the most successful groups. The members of such a group benefit from that success.

Natural selection has brought us to where we are, but are we on a dead end path?

"Over the million years or more that man has existed on this planet his knowledge of the external world has evolved greatly and increased his power and ability to cope with natural calamities. Inwardly, in his consciousness, man has not evolved very much. He is still very much like the primitive man - fearful and insecure, forming groups (religious and national ), fighting and preparing for war, seeking advantages for himself and hating others. He is now able to travel to the moon and communicate around the globe in a matter of minutes but he still finds it difficult to love his neighbour (sp) and live in peace. Modern man is as brutal, selfish, violent, greedy and possessive as the primitive man of a million years ago, though he may now be able to hide himself behind a lot of noble-sounding words and thoughts.

If man does not transform inwardly, though (through ed.) a mutation in his psyche, he will soon join the list of those unfortunate creatures that lives (lived ed.) a million years or so on this planet and then became extinct for they could not adapt themselves. It is not certain yet if the evolution of man from the ape was really a step in the direction of survival or a retrograde step. Only time will tell."

the Direct Perception of Truth Prof. P. Krishna