Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Social evolution

The tragic subject matter of baby killing is top of the news agenda at the moment. One baby every week in the UK is killed due to neglect or cruelty. So basically that means there are a lot of babies being abused which are not killed- fates worse than death.

From the point of view of someone fascinated in natural systems, like myself, this is a both a disturbing and interesting phenomenon. 'Domestic' Abuse is common in the rest of the natural world. When resources are in short supply- either the siblings or the parents will sometimes pick on, torture and sometimes kill the weakest specimen. When resources are plentiful and the parents can cope with the demands comfortably- this behaviour is less common.

In my opinion, this and all 'social problems' are a product of the environment which the animals find themselves within. When humans, like all animals are deprived of necessary nourishment- respect, love, care, status, value, food, territory, sense of fairness (whatever that means) etc. they start showing behaviour which is sometimes referred to as 'behaving like animals or monsters'.

In the words of one of Darwin's greatest apostles..... "As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian, believing that natural selection is, if not the only driving force in evolution, certainly the only known force capable of producing the illusion of purpose which so strikes all those who contemplate nature. But at the same time as I support Darwinism as a scientist, I am a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human affairs" (Professor Richard Dawkins in A Devil's Chaplain 10-11)

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