Monday, February 24, 2014

The Tao of Darwin

My good netfriend, Bob Wallace, is frequently critical of evolutionary psychology, or evo-psych. I
really hope he means to be critical of erroneous applications of it, rather than the science itself, because I've been a big advocate of evolutionary psychology ever since I read Sociobiology many years ago. Essentially, it extends Darwinistic evolutionary theory from the purely physical/biological realm to include psychology and behavior. Anyway, I've been meaning to ask Bob to revise and extend his remarks on the subject so I'll know where he stands. Maybe he'll read this and do an essay on Evo-Psych.

I've been saying for years that there's two good ways to explain human behavior — the Biblical way, with original sin and free will granted by God, and the Darwin way, or random variations filtered by natural selection. All other theories I've heard of don't work, and that includes all forms of liberalism from Karl Marx to Bill De Blasio.

In the following piece, Vulture of Critique goes all Pleistocene on us (which is several times more intense than going medieval) with an Aesopian tale, retold by Edgar Rice Burroughs, with a tad bit of Kipling in it, that explains, well, celebrity, xenophobia, and witchcraft, and will entertain you while offending feminists. A trifecta if I ever saw one. The drawing on this quibcag is by our own Baloo, meant to be an illustration the psychological difference between the sexes, while posing as humor.

The evolutionary psychology of celebrity, xenophobia, and witchcraft


Imagine a primeval jungle glade inhabited by a troupe of chimpanzees, some 40000 years ago. The females hoot and whine at their offspring. After the baby chimps have been weaned, they only recognize their mothers because their mothers pick lice out of their fur. Males constantly test each others’ status, but the biggest, fiercest male gets most of the fertile mates. These chimps know how to use tree branches as clubs, but they don’t understand that they can hold onto a useful club for longer than it takes to hit something. The smartest chimp sometimes reflects on his memories and speculates that sometimes long clubs are better than short clubs, but he cannot make the others understand this idea.
Now imagine a hunting pack of six primitive male humans invading the glade. The chimpanzees have larger muscles and sharper teeth. The chimps’ voices are shrill, harsh, intimidating – they shriek and gibber incoherently. There are thirteen strong male chimpanzees in the troupe; they all raise their clubs and wave their arms to threaten the intruders.
The male humans move more quietly. Their shouts are brief and incomprehensible to the chimpanzees. But each of their shouts has an occult power – each of their shouts is a meaningful word. The human leader shouts tactical orders and reminds his followers to remember the plan that he has taught them. The human followers shout for help or call their comrades by name. The humans work in pairs – one male uses a long club to hold the chimps at bay, and his parter uses a short, heavy club that can crack skulls.
The chimpanzees don’t stand a chance. These seemingly frail humans coordinate their attacks, but the chimpanzees cannot communicate with each other. When a chimp is in trouble, it can’t signal to its comrades for help. When the chimp leader sees an opening that should be exploited, he can’t tell his subordinates what to do. The chimp leader is horrified by the fact that he could beat any of the humans in a one-on-one fight, but a mere half-dozen humans can beat him and a dozen of his strongest followers.
The males have some measure of power due to their muscles and clubs, but the most important power of male humans cannot be seen or held in one’s hand – it is the occult power of words, carried on invisible air exhaled from human mouths. It is small wonder that the deity of the air is typically male.
It so happens that the raid was led by Ugluk, the son of Warga-Many-Whelps, but the males don’t care about his name, nor do they have much respect for his long-winded speeches about the future. They care that he invented the long-club-short-club partnering tactic. Ugluk eloquently talks about his plans for a Sharp Pointy Extra-long Aggressive Reach-weapon, but his followers just call it a S.P.E.A.R. and demand that he stop talking so much and get down to manufacturing prototypes of his hypothetical “super-weapon.”
Change the scene in your imagination. Imagine the camp of the human tribe, before the male hunting party returns. The only males are children and a few old men who are waiting to die of premature old age and infected wounds. There are dozens of women, in three discernible stages of life – numerous maidens, a plurality of mothers, and a few old crones. Few of the crones survive to old age; childbirth is a very risky business, and any disease can be deadly. (Now it gets really interesting. Read the rest HERE.)

4 comments:

  1. No girl walks out of the house looking good without conscious effort. The no-conscious-effort girls are the bottom of the barrel and they've given up -- or they have a man they despise and they haven't bumped into a more appealing prospect lately that they think they have a chance with.

    Aside from that (which I'm sure misses VoC's point a bit), VoC is right on target.

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  2. Wallace calls Hitler a leftist. I wouldn't ask his opinion of the weather.

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    1. This is a near-universal misconception on the right, spawned by Goldberg, partially, and also by the Nolan chart. And there's a grain of truth in it. Just a grain. You and I both know that Hitler was a man of the right. It's up to us to make that clear to others. In almost every other connection, Bob Wallace is dead on accurate.

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  3. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, in his magnum opus, "Leftism Revisited," pointed out in excruciating detail that Hitler was a leftist and Nazism was leftist. Being that Erik was Austrian, and around during WWII. he knew of which he wrote.

    Of course, the leftist Jewish Bolshevists of Russia killed far, far more people than the Nazis ever did. Everyone has heard of the Holocaust but how many have heard of the Holodomor?

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