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The Theory of Everything - Blame Darwin

by rdf Mon Dec 29th, 2008 at 05:06:25 AM EST

The human race is afflicted with the desire to make sense out of the world. Since the world is complicated the human mind tries to simplify by finding common features that explain it all.

I'm going to give my theory of "everything" right after I review some of the most popular ones of the past. Now by "everything" I actually mean human behavior. There have really been only two popular theories.

promoted by afew

Man springs from evil

This is the source of all guilt-based views of the world. The most explicit expression is to be found in the traditional Judeo-Christian tradition starting with Adam and Eve. Other cultures had variations, such as the Pandora story of the Greeks.

The belief that man is basically evil leads to a variety of social structures which all have several things in common. There is said to be a subset of mankind who is exempt from this innate evil, its usually royal rulers, clergy or others in authority. They are all wise and good and act only on behalf of their followers. Notice that even the terminology reflects this thinking people are part of the "flock" or subjects.

Man is perfectible

This view acknowledges man's inherent weaknesses, but thinks they can be overcome by various means. The theological take the form of performing good works on earth (variously defined) to, at least, achieve perfection in the afterlife. The political takes the form of retraining people so that the new attitudes will be passed on to future generations. Marx's followers were fond of this idea. The "scientific" uses the ideas from plant and animal breeding. The most horrific example being the rise of eugenics as practiced by the Nazis and other groups seeking cultural uniformity.

Once again, since a vast undertaking is required, it is essential that the details be left up to the leaders. History hasn't proved any kinder to these leaders than it has to the other group. The Kings of England and France don't have a better record than Stalin or Hitler when it comes to providing a prosperous and secure environment for their followers.

Other repercussions

These basic views of human nature became modified with the rise of science and the industrial revolution. If we take Malthus as an arbitrary starting point we see how the ideas of human nature start to leak into the new field of "economics". His theory of supply and demand is framed in terms of the evil model of human nature. People will not be able to control their "base" desires and this will, inevitably, lead to overpopulation and the consequences of this.

Darwin was influenced by this line of thought and adopted it for his theory of evolution, in terms of the competition for resources between individuals and species. There was no direct evidence that it was competition that caused evolution, it can just as easily be as the result of changes in the environment or even random mutations. There are plenty of examples of species co-existing with no change for long periods of time. They are in equilibrium with each other and the environment, there is no "competition". The coelacanth is thought to have existed for millions of years.

From Darwin it was a short hop to Herbert Spencer who misunderstood Darwin's theory which works on a species-wide basis and adapted it to human nature as "survival of the fittest". This, in turn, has led to any number of variations on economic theory. The rise of psychology and allied fields at the beginning of the 20th Century led to theories which pinned the evil inherent in humans to a variety of mental functions, including "unconscious" ones. The latest in this series is the new work trying to discover how "rational" decision-making is. If humans are not rational actors as classical economics assumes then we must revert to mechanisms which lead them in the "right" direction.

Capitalism is an outgrowth of these theories. People are motivated by self interest, only through competition can the best outcomes be obtained, authoritarian leaders (even "benevolent" ones) can only make things worse by getting in the way, etc.  

To summarize: Malthus' belief in human moral weakness, led Darwin to hypothesize the same thing for the rest of the natural world, which led Spencer to make an evolutionary theory into one of economic behavior by individuals. This led to other like Marx and Freud to posit ways to overcome these limitations. In the most extreme cases it led to the worst examples of totalitarian regimes the planet has ever seen (Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and it continues to day in Africa and elsewhere). These theories all have one thing in common - they are wrong because they oversimplified too much.

A new theory

What all these have in common, even the ones that claim a "scientific" basis is that they are far from the kinds of theories that one finds in the physical sciences. The rise of Newtonian mechanics and what followed inspired social philosophers into thinking that their theories could be as unambiguous and exact. Analogies to mechanical processes are still commonplace when discussing social structures.

My theory of "everything" is that there is no theory of everything. People are complex and no broad-brush explanation is going to be useful. Most theories are inspired by people who have a particular viewpoint and are looking for justifications for why it is right. There are as many cases where people have been shown to support altruism and community involvement as there are where they appear selfish. That one set of behaviors is ignored while the other is taken as the only motivator of human behavior is just wrong.

Many societies have been based upon cooperative, not competitive, models. This is true of human and animal societies. Social insects are the most extreme case in the animal world, but wolf packs and even groups of whales hunt cooperatively. Societies not based upon industrial production frequently have more of a communal structure. Frequently there is a group of elders or similar which makes decisions rather than the more popular pyramid structure seen in western society.

A functional democracy is also the opposite of the Spencerian dog-eat-dog model. People have to work collectively and select leaders to work on their behalf. Such leaders are not supposed to work for their own benefit, in fact if they do this, it is seen as a breach of trust. They are also supposed to be replaced regularly without any interruption of basic social structures. The losers in an election are expected to yield to the will of the majority when it comes to decisions to be made, but are expected to continue to try to persuade others to change their opinions in the future. This is all self-sacrifice for the general good.

Now, obviously, the democratic model has worked fairly well for several hundred years. In addition the number of countries adopting it has increased steadily throughout the period. These facts stand in stark contrast to the continuing belief in the quasi-Darwinian view of nature. Why these contradictions are not noted more is a puzzle.

The world is approaching a real Malthusian situation, for the first time ever, on a global scale. There are those who feel that the spoils should go to the strong. The US military establishment has created contingency plans on how to deal with the rise of Russia, China and threats to world oil supplies. They have not developed plans on how to get along with other countries. Given that we have lost every "war" since the end of WWII, it seems unlikely that their plans will work in the future either. We haven't even won the metaphorical wars on drugs, poverty, terrorism, crime, etc.

It is time to abandon the Darwinian view of the world and adopt a more comprehensive one. One which appeals to people's better nature, their desire to make something of their lives and to leave the world a better place. Motherly love is the unchangeable part of human nature, not selfishness.

So... What can you predict with your new theory?

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 01:16:13 AM EST
Martingale, could you please explain your sig?
by Ralph on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 11:46:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi Ralph, sorry for the late reply. I'm don't visit ET as often as I'd like, unfortunately.

The sig is the mathematical definition of a martingale, a type of random process that is similar to Brownian motion, as written in LaTeX.

I explained it more fully once, but I can't find the comment in the archive :(

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:10:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is shorthand for "the expected value of X at time t, given all the information available at time s (prior to t) is the (known) value of X at time s".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:15:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your earlier explanation is here. You have to "search the archive". Content older than 30 days is archived.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent, thank you. Regarding something else, does ET have the ability to show recent replies to comments? I remember that feature at kuro5hin years ago, it was invaluable for carrying out conversations over days and weeks. I didn't find this kind of thing in the ET settings.

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:34:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you use firefox, that's a feature of the latest version of TribExt.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:36:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, pity! I normally browse in text mode (w3m), and only use firefox when absolutely necessary. Was that feature disabled in the scoop source, then?

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a fork of the scoop codebase. I am not sure of the exact lineage. There are plans to include all of the TribExt features in a future "ET 2.0"...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 08:58:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt that the fork has actually cut out the relevant code, though. TribExt alone couldn't do the necessary mysql queries on the client side, it most likely calls the perl functions via the cgi interface. Somebody must have simply removed or commented out the macros from the some of the templates, I bet.

Hmm, let me have a quick look.

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 09:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, I was wrong. TribExt actually runs an ordinary search, and then scrapes off the comment urls from the returned html page.

$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Wed Jan 7th, 2009 at 09:25:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Now, obviously, the democratic model has worked fairly well for several hundred years. In addition the number of countries adopting it has increased steadily throughout the period. These facts stand in stark contrast to the continuing belief in the quasi-Darwinian view of nature. "

Er, no.
If your premise is correct (that the democratic model has worked fairly well), then a Darwinian view of the world would exactly predict that an increasing proportion of countries would adopt it.

Social insects are perfectly consistent with Darwinism (and even with the "survival of the fittest" phrase which Darwin was not responsible for).

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 01:53:10 AM EST
Evolution is caused by two types of radiation: background and cataclysmic. Radiation can change the speed at which cell clocks for division work, and can switch on or off different sequences of DNA. Both of these throw up variations in the organism: some background, some cataclysmic.

Most of these variations do not survive to generate. Some however are better adapted to the ecosystem they are born into. Organisms do not adapt, they are adapted randomly.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 04:21:12 AM EST
Oh I love thid disry..

Coming from complex system theory and loving mythology... me loves it...

Oh and I agree too... the new theory seems like, at least, a more useful way to look at the world... not to mention that the others are scientifically false in the sense that can not accomodate the data we have on animal ecology, human anthropology.. and lately even princeton economic...-nod to PK :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 09:38:46 AM EST
European Tribune - The Theory of Everything - Blame Darwin
It is time to abandon the Darwinian view of the world and adopt a more comprehensive one. One which appeals to people's better nature, their desire to make something of their lives and to leave the world a better place. Motherly love is the unchangeable part of human nature, not selfishness.

Darwinism is about "what works".

Until now the protocols which govern our relationships have created institutions eg governments and corporations, and codified relationships between these institutions and the citizen/customer/victim.

These protocols evolved in a way that "worked" for those in positions of power to institutionalise the complex, centralised, hierarchical system even now breaking down around us. There was no grand "plan", shadowy Illuminati, or intelligent design. Instead, generations of individuals have acted incrementally in pursuit of self interest and when making choices have always chosen the path of self interest.

I believe that partnership-based enterprise models are becoming increasingly pervasive because "they work" better than the conventional model. They may operate as frameworks for self organisation rather than as institutionalised "Organisations".

In fact I think that the furry little Partnership mammals now emerging will come to replace the generation of lumbering institutional dinosaurs which have consumed their own environment. They are doing so because they will "out compete" them and beat them at their own game.

Capitalism will be hoist by its own petard: it was not long ago that I read in the UK of complaints by MegaCorps active in environmental waste disposal that a "Not for Profit" firm which won a major municipal contract (beating their bids) did so "unfairly" because they were not having to pay dividends to shareholders....

This is the "Co-operative Advantage" which is the freedom from paying returns to rentiers, because capital requirements may be fulfilled by stakeholders, rather than credit institutions or shareholders.

Partnership frameworks will IMHO enable "Peer to Peer" credit and "Peer to Peer" investment/ unitisation to spread virally because the value proposition to users will be as compelling as was Hotmail, Napster, Facebook and all the rest.

So I think that Darwin was correct, but that is no bad thing, the reason being that IMHO Ethical is in fact Optimal.

So my view is that a new - inherently co-operative and mutual - networked Peer to Peer generation of finance will emerge - at immense speed - and render the previous generation redundant.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 10:15:35 AM EST
When I hear about the "Co-Op Advantage" I remember the Berkeley Co-Op, which began life with an big stash of free capitalization from membership fees, established several supermarkets in Berkeley and Corte Madera, California, offered marvelous services, babysitting areas, classes, dieticians, honest information without marketing spin.   They failed.   Safeway had better management and cheaper prices, and so,  too many co-op  members shopped at Safeway.
by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 12:32:35 PM EST
Co-ops don't exist in isolation of course.

The pricing and affordability aspect can, I think, be addressed in the context of local (mutualised) credit/ community currencies, which have never been done right yet, although Switzerland comes close..

The management problem arises from the inadequacy of the "enterprise model" of co-operatives, which are all too often just Genetically Modified Corporations, with the same "principal/agency" conflict as Corporations between owners and management, but with limited possibilities for management incentives.

What is needed IMHO is a partnership between a management consortium and a customer consortium: a Cooperative of Cooperatives, or partnership of partnerships.

This is IMHO quite straightforwardly possible using as a framework  new tools such as US LLC's and UK LLP's.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 01:06:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The happy, harmonius, cooperative and prosperous society, which studies war no more,  and builds no walls,  will inevitably be invaded and conquered by its barbarian neighbors.  It  would indeed be a wonderful thing to invent a society where virtue is to everyone's advantage, but I know of no examples,  in life or even in literature.

I don't think Darwin invented anything, he just discovered what was already there.  Evolution...change in species over time...was a fact, richly documented in both the old debris of the natural world, and contemporary organisms.  But what did it mean, how had it come about ?   Darwin provided an answer, and we have no better one even today, the evidence that Darwin was fundamentally correct continues to accumulate.  

I recently took 3 courses,  in Biology, Botany and Genetics, at Napa Valley College, and Darwinian theory completely permeates these disciplines,  they are simply incomprehensible without it.

To "Abandon the Darwinian theory of the world"  ??  would be to abandon our comprehension of it. - the world.   I would happily abandon the distortions and twistings  visited upon Darwin, but not the core accuracy.  You don't abandon facts.

by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 01:38:30 PM EST
Yes, "which have never been done right yet" is surely correct, and perhaps dispositive.  Meanwhile, we have to live in this silly old competitive world.
by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 01:43:44 PM EST
Meanwhile, we have to live in this silly old competitive world.

....which is falling down around our ears...competition is about to re-invent itself, I suspect.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 02:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't these sure beliefs in human greed and competitiveness be a result of most effective canny propaganda? Have-nots are convinced that they have to compete with each other for every gran, while the haves enjoy nice exchange of favours...
by das monde on Mon Dec 29th, 2008 at 12:17:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If only it were merely falling, one could get out of the way. Mine is more exploding beneath my feet.

Luckily, I live in Ecotopia..

by greatferm (greatferm-at-email.com) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 02:40:09 PM EST
I think you are conflating two things: evolutionary theory (sometimes still called "darwinism") which tries to explain how biological organisms evolve, and "social darwinism", which took Darwin's insight and misused it to try to prescribe how society ought to be organized.

Social darwinism is of course based on the naturalistic fallacy: just because nature is organized in a certain way, it does not follow that it (or human society) ought to be that way.

It is not really central to your argument, but your post betrays some misunderstandings about evolution:

  1. The "struggle for existence" is not usually between species but between individuals within a given species. And it is not just a struggle to survive, but to reproduce and hence get your genes into the next generation.

  2. I don't know how much "direct evidence" there was for competition in nature in Darwin's time, but there are a lot of studies have been made in the last 150 years demonstrating this.

  3. A change in the environment will immediately set up an evolutionary pressure to adapt, and this is not so much a pressure to adapt better to the environment, but to adapt better than your competitors. Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a prime example.

I'm belabouring the point a bit, but creationists, in particular in the U.S., have sometimes tried to use "social darwinism" to show that evolutionary theory is evil, or even to disprove it. Therefore it is important to point out that the two have very little in common, except that one was inspired by the other 150 years ago, and while evolutionary theory has become the theoretical foundation of biology "social darwinism" has been almost completely discredited.

Real capricorns don't believe in astrology.
by tomhuld (thomas punkt huld at jrc punkt it) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 05:32:01 PM EST
No, Darwinism is fundamentally and spectactularly wrong - in the sense of being no more than half the story at best. It's also a product, rather than a cause, of Victorian ideas about competition and 'fitness.'

Fitness is entirely self-referential as a concept. Whatever survives is fit. There is no other definition of fitness that makes sense in a Darwinian context. But social Darwinism still persists in seeing eugenic selection - and let's be honest about what we're talking about here - as a genuine good for society.

Academic Darwinism is as much political as scientific. It's using a very contingent and historical world view based on notions of 'better' and 'worse' as a starting point for a narrative about how the natural world works. 'Fit' and 'less fit' are already dangerously close to being moral positions. Naive ideas of fitness are very close to fascism, and there's a good case to be made for a significant Darwinian influence on fascist politics. In fact fascism is a kind of default position in social darwinism - it only stops being a default position if it's attacked forcefully.

So why was Darwin wrong? Because individuals matter much less than ecosystems. The idea that individuals compete is an egocentric human misreading of what actually evolves - and it's always the system as a whole. Individuals are components within that, not the main attraction.

Within any ecosystem symbiosis and overt co-operation are at least as much of an evolutionary driver as competition. Not only would all multicellular life, and possibly also all unicellular life, be impossible without symbiosis. But a small change in one part of an ecosystem can destroy multiple evolutionary niches and the individuals that live in them far more effectively than individual competition can.

This isn't a trivial process, but it doesn't match Darwinian ideas about competition. Nothing needs to compete to create a catastrophe - it just needs to stop working or to change for some other reason. That reason doesn't need to be catastrophic or dramatic. But all of this detail gets bundled into 'the environment' which is seen as something separate from the species which live within it.

So Darwinism gets this emphasis wrong - instead of accepting the primacy of interdependence and the fact that even competing individuals rely on symbiotic relationships, it pretends that individual action is always central.

This means practical naturalism is atomised and theatrical, with individuals supposedly 'competing' against a static background which can largely be ignored, except when it changes in a very dramatic way. (E.g. dinosaurs wiped out by a meteorite.)

This isn't just the opposite of what really happens, it's a very dangerous and unhelpful way of looking at the natural world. It builds in a bias for peering intently at trees, when the forest as a whole is the real organism - metaphorically and actually.

It's only in the last few years that there's been acceptance in Darwinism that sometimes cooperation can actually make a difference. It's probably going to be another few decades before holistic naturalism starts to be taken seriously as a useful view of the world.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2008 at 01:36:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, TBG, for this fine and insightful summation of the current situation regarding Darwin's legacy. The whole controversy surrounding "Creationism" has likely seriously distracted from needed efforts to address the problems you have cited.  In fairness to Darwin, he did propose a very useful and fruitful theory.  Science is a social endeavor and all scientific theories are affected by attitudes prevalent in the society in which they originate.  This is a subtle but significant effect and is much more difficult for many scientists to understand than are divergences in observable data from predictions arising from theories.  In the 60s a grad student in Biology invited me to a lecture on Godel's incompleteness theorm and also urged upon me the writings of Ayn Rand.  Godel made sense to me, but not Ayn Rand.  That was certainly not the case for all biologists of that period.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Dec 30th, 2008 at 01:09:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TBG, I think with a lot of what you are writing here you are attacking a straw man. In fact what Tomhuld says stands, you've just spoken straight past him. You've even proved his point by continuing to conflate (modern) Darwinism and Social Darwinism. Indeed it's significant that you keep calling it `Darwinism', when the modern system is more properly termed `neo-Darwinism', to reflect developments in genetics subsequent to Darwin's time. All these complaints about `competition' or `fitness'--even someone whom you presumably consider some kind of intellectual arch-enemy, Dawkins, talks about `fitness' being a nebulous and ill-defined concept (I can't find you the exact reference, but it's in The Extended Phenotype.) Whatever you are attacking is long dead.
But otherwise I don't have the energy to engage in this, and unfortunately you are also beating up on one of ET's most despised bogeymen, `The Darwinist' (see what trouble arises whenever Dawkins gets mentioned.) Easy points, and lots of cheers from the home crowd. Hopefully one or other of the site's (regrettably, very few) defenders of (neo) Darwinism (indeed, scientific rationalism in general) can find the time to step up to the plate. Where's Ted Welch when you need him?
by wing26 on Wed Dec 31st, 2008 at 10:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently many who read this diary think it has something to do with the theory of evolution. It doesn't. There is no scientific debate about the theory of evolution.

Darwin, however, anthropomorphized his findings based upon what he had read by Malthus. "Struggle for existence" is not a scientific observation, it is a metaphor.

Darwin started social Darwinism by straying from the observable into the realm of philosophy. It doesn't matter that those who deny the scientific theory misunderstand it or misrepresent it for their own purposes. This is all part of the same philosophical outlook that mankind (and all of nature) is in a continual state of battle.

As I said originally, it all depends upon which evidence you chose to focus on. Are the lion and the antelope in a struggle for existence or are they part of a steady-state (when functioning properly) ecosystem? How about people and the corn plant?

My point is that the metaphor of "struggle" has mostly overwhelmed the metaphor of cooperation and altruism and that this doesn't have to be the case.

It is an especially inappropriate metaphor now that we are really entering a period of struggle, where the natural environment is struggling to survive against the forces of overpopulation and overconsumption by humans. We can set against one another as we have done in the past or we can look for a better way.

Attributing only the worst characteristics to humans is not going to make the task any easier.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 06:22:22 PM EST
Well, I think the fact that several people misunderstood you is a clue to whether you expressed yourself clearly enough ;-).

I'm also not sure if you have the right culprit. Firstly, while Darwin may have overemphasized the "struggle" bit, a lot of later evolutionary studies have dealt with cooperation between individual organisms or generally between species. Reciprocal altruism is a well-known phenomenon in social species like our own, so there are biological grounds for optimism.

Secondly, rulers have painted "the others" as enemies as long as there have been rulers. You don't need Darwin or Spencer for that! I believe the cure for that is education and information. Teach people to recognize when they are being manipulated. Point it out when politicians are pressing our buttons!

There are very good arguments for choosing cooperation instead of struggle, but we have to make those arguments.

The European Union is a very good example of cooperation, but even here there are demagogues trying to frighten people into thinking of it as something threatening. It is very depressing to see that in the Irish referendum campaign a lot of the arguments really hadn't progressed much since medieval times.

Real capricorns don't believe in astrology.

by tomhuld (thomas punkt huld at jrc punkt it) on Sun Dec 28th, 2008 at 08:31:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
[T]here is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

(For "but" read "except insofar as.")

Surely it is useless to assign notions of "good" or "evil" to entire species or populations. The tiger lives by predation. Is that "bad" or "good"? Neither.

Those who become interested in biological entities may study them and publish theories, but such theories do not change the tiger, or the lamb, or the human. The natural world, including our species, has no personal motivation, no morality, no responsibility. The world just is.

by Ralph on Sun Jan 4th, 2009 at 12:21:37 AM EST

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