Friday 30 November 2007

Human Dynamics- Where We Are Evolving To

Sometimes, evolution produces a qualitative change.
Life is always pushed forward. Survival dictates it, the Red Queen dictates it.

Sometimes, a species finds a niche as yet untouched, a virgin life strategy.
The first land animals did that.

The first placental mammals, by evolving a new way of bringing young into the world, a way that meant that less energy needed to be spent on producing young, because more would live, they did that.

And we, we did that.
We invented a new life strategy.

Because how Man lives, how Man feeds himself, how Man breeds, is all new. It is different, so very different from every other species alive.

It is sometimes said that other animals are intelligent too. Dolphins, for example.
I'm sorry, but objectively, that doesn't hold water. For one simple reason. Our intelligence is different.
No matter what thoughts a dolphin has, no matter how great we can imagine their language to be, they cannot convey to eachother every last nuance of their thoughts. Their thoughts die with them.
Ours do not.

That is how we live. Human beings transmit and process information.
None of us here have met, yet do we not in some sense know eachother? Have we not all shared thoughts? And in some cases, it's scary. Because, Helen here, is bang on the mark, certainly concerning me. THAT'S how good we are, not just at SENDING information, but at RECEIVING it.

Hey, long after our lives have passed, these blogs of ours may still be read.
True. Think about it.

That is something new in the history of life. And it is what makes us special.
Because it is a whole new dynamic.

Collective species do well. Look at insects. The termite mound is a truly amazing thing. In proportional terms, it is a far greater achievement than most mammals can achieve. Except us. Because our dynamics allows us to take on the advantages of a collective species. Evolution is forcing us in that direction.

And no, that doesn't mean we will turn into some sci-fi horror, a species of mindless automatons.
Because we are very different. It is our evolving minds, our evolving consciousness, our evolving reason, that will unite us.
Because whilst there are always many points of view, there is only one reality.
Rational Man, will have less need of the concept of self.

It's the numbers game. The survival of our own genes, depends on how many other bodies there are to help us live, how many other bodies, ho many other variations there are for our genes to couple with. It serves you and I as individuals far better, should there be seven billion human beings, rather than six.

And evolution favours the fittest- the fittest to survive our increasingly complex world.
That isn't necessarily the muscle bound hulk.

It is the intelligent, the good communicators, but most important, the caring and the loving. People who are, in some sense NICE.

Because they bond people together, they benefit society. Thus, they tend to have children.

It really is true, likeable people are favoured by evolution more than unlikeable people.
But it goes further. The human species has harnessed sex in a way no other species has. For one, we tend to do far more of it, compared to most mammals. And unlike most animals, it serves purposes beyond reproduction. It is a bonding mechanism. It creates huge emotions in us, which set off our communicative faculties, that send our souls bonding in a tornado with that person we are holding in that post coital glow.

And more than that. I think most human beings are slightly bi-sexual. That doesn't mean that we all PRACTICE it, merely that the dynamic applies. We tend to pick our friends for reasons which would equally apply, were we making the choice for reasons of sexual selection. That's no surprise really. The dynamics of our species favour those who bond well. So those who use sexual dynamics and change the nature of them to form platonic bonds with members of their own sex, are favoured.

Taking it further, those with the highest sex drives, and for reasons beyond reproduction, are in fact favoured. The future favours the use of sex as a bonding tool. One can only surmise that our descendants will be even randier than we are.

I think that's what Love is. It's that dynamic which knows what our most important instinct is. That human survival is very much tied up with that soft caressing of a lover with limbs intertwined, but equally so in that rough hug that you give your mates when you meet them in the pub, in the synchronised chanting of a football crowd, in our desire to share our thoughts with total strangers on a medium this.

Human beings, the compulsive lovers, the compulsive communicators.

Surely our future can't be that bad?


Anonymous said...

Nice post. But - and I think I've asked you before - does that mean those of us who have not had children are not loving - not -err- nice? It is possible to give love in different ways, you know. I'd agree that most of us are, to some degree, bi-sexual though of course it is not practised usually - it can be as small a thing as liking the look of the same-sex person you are talking to. Then it might depend on circumstances, such as if you are in prison, you don't stop having desire, so - I guess - intense relationships form with the only people you meet. There are single sex institutions where homosexuality is rife but it might not be if the people were elsewhere. I was going to say something else but can't remember what !

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, that I agree love can manifest just in our need to communicate or to be in any sort of tactile relationship. It reinforces our need to be part of a group.

Anonymous said...

Very perceptive and thoughtprovoking as usual. I think it was our ability to create communities through the processes that you have described, communication and empathy that resulted in our colonisation of the planet in the first place. Before the cult of the individual sprang up we understood that survival depended on the precept that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Reading your posts always fires up my brain in the mornings, sorry if I tend to blather. Is that you in our fair brown land by the termite mound?

Anonymous said...

Sheley- I wouldn't quite say that. I think we conceptualised the driving consciousnesss in a way our primitive minds could grasp.

What we didn't realise, is the ideal we have of God, is something we ourselves are striving to be. I think we should just admit it, as Nietzche said.

Welshcakes- Absolutely not. Look at the dynamics of collective species. It boils down to mathematics, at the end of the day.
When I refeered to bi-sexuality, I simply observed, a lot of human interaction taps in to it. I'm a preety tactile person, the sort of person other blokes are comfortable putting their arm around. Most of my friends are inteeligent, good looking people, the sort of people, were I ti be female, I'd choose as a mate, and looking at the underlying dynamics, that's what they see in me. That's how we bond. The fact that none of us has ever slept with eachother, or even wanted to, the fact that (as far as I know) none of us has ever had sex with a member of the same sex is immaterial, human reactions are based on chemistry, and if I'm honest, I flirt with EVERYBODY when I meet them, male or female. To some extent I think we all do. It's the only real bonding mechanism there is, it's just we have evolved to see it differently.

Having said that, I'm firmly convinced that a hundred years from now, once STDs are eradicated and there are no taboos regarding sex between consenting adults, society will actually encourage promiscuity as a good thing, as a way of bonding people and bringing them together.

Paul- Pretty much bang on, yes, you seem to grasp my way of thinking, thanks for the compliment, it does mean a lot actually.
I'm actuaaly at a mates house responding to this, and I've just let rip on one of my impassioned monologues about moral judgementalists.

There are a lot of people who would class my actuall life as 'debauched', 'decadent', or whatever.
I really don't agree. It's wrong if it harms other people. My life certainly doesn't do that. I'm an ethical hedonist, and not ashamed of it.

No, that isn't me, I'm in the sidebar with my eyes blocked out.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought about man's success being based on his ability to communicate. Just think how recent are the sophisticated methods we take for granted. How the knowledge base of the whole of humanity has increased so dramatically because of this.

Anonymous said...

And no, that doesn't mean we will turn into some sci-fi horror, a species of mindless automatons.

Yes and no. Have you ever seen women stalking shoes at a post christmas sale? They're all screaming harpy's! Thats a bit extreme, but there is only so far that we can go so long as groups run the world. Groups are limited in thought and action. They invariably run in circles and by the time they decide to take action, the situation has changed.

Ok, maybe not invariably, but thats the way things happen when they're run by groups.

Anonymous said...

I am not successful - does this mean I am stupid? I only wondered... You may flirt with me anytime you like Mr Ingsoc....