Posts Tagged ‘Evolution’

Dying Of A Broken Heart Is The Evolutionary Thing To Do

September 11, 2022

Is dying of a broken heart an evolutionary trait? Yes. Because it saves energy whena person’s utility to the group has vanished. The sudden death of Queen Elizabeth drew attention to this: one day she commented on a dark cloud coming to a photographer, as she could see a storm gathering in the distance, from her Balmoral castle in Scotland… a few minutes before receiving the new female Prime Minister, Liz Truss. The next day the Queen was dying. 

WHY WOULD DYING OF A BROKEN HEART BE EVOLUTIONARY ADVANTAGEOUS?

Survival of the fittest means also not just the fittest individual, but the fittest group of individuals. With human species, old individuals didn’t bring the bacon in, but brought in how to bring the bacon in, and many other pieces of wisdom only revealed in the fullness of time…

In other words old individuals such as Queen Elizabeth, the elderly, weak and difformed could still bring irreplaceable know-how which prehistoric people needed to survive. 

However, such Old individuals tend to die readily when their heart is broken. And not only them, but younger ones too. 

Why? 

How and why did the broken heart trait evolve? 

Because the “heart” is an indicator of happiness. That happiness flows, in part, from the social need the individual feels to be personally filling up. A broken heart indicates one has lost social utility.

True happiness also flows from satisfying animal needs: hunger, thirst come first.

However, for the old, many of these animal needs stopped being so pressing, for a number of reasons, including sensory failure and other basic mechanisms failure: for example, there is less hunger and thirst to satisfy when one feels neither hungry nor thirsty.  Cuddling is probably still an oxytocin enhancer, but a cat will do.

What remains in older age is the need to fulfill a social function. In prehistoric society that meant the old teaching to the less experienced. A broken heart, though, indicates that this function is not fulfilled anymore. The old one has just become a mouth to feed. Short in food yet pragmatic, many North American Indian tribes left the old to die in the wilderness.

Queen Elizabeth at 96…

Charles III was amply prepared, the queen, undermined by infirmities didn’t have the love of her life by her side, Philip, who died at 99, after driving until 98 (and causing an accident when he was blinded by the low sun). Philip, an authentic war hero (he played a crucial role as a commander in a crucial sea battle against the fascist italian navy), was of great counsel and the queen may have felt out of her usual depth advising all including Prime Ministers and family members, now that she had lost her sounding board.

The queen had lost her utility, her broken heart told her, so she died.  

Some have professed to want the queen to die an “excruciating death”. They are typically employed, not to say owned, by the plutocratic establishment so called “universities” which has put them in charge of stupidifying the youth. The idea was that she should suffer for the enslaving empire (except slavery stopped being lawful in England in 1066 CE… when England was really born and not just a Viking playground anymore). However, we do not choose how we were born. Queen Elizabeth had a dignified life and made pretty well out of it. Could she have done better according to my own criterions? Of course, but that’s from out there, Africa, America, and in insight.

I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” Dr. Uju Anya, an associate professor of second language acquisition at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “May her pain be excruciating.” 

Anya knows no history: none of the alleged crimes happened during Elizabeth’s life.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest man in stock market capitalization, then quoted Anya’s tweet and tweeted back: “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better?” 

I don’t think so,” Bezos added. “Wow.” 

Later Carnegie Mellon said Anya’s hatred “absolutely do not represent the vie of the university“…

But Anya’s Deep State satanic influencers who direct that her and her ilk be employed in making the youth better, Pluto’s way, saw hatred through division. Anya does her job well. However hatred, in this day and age, in its ultimate expression, is nuclear war. Anya then pushes for it by glorifying misplaced hatred, and teaching that this is the righteous way.

Elizabeth never did that. That made her a better role model than many a “humanity” department has to offer nowadays…

Patrice Ayme

Elizabeth Philip was her man when she met him, and she was 13…

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P/S: I am of course against the monarchy, an institution obsolete already 25 centuries ago. However, it would have been better if the British-Indian Raj had kept Elizabeth as queen (no silly wars between Muslims and Hindus, killin millions, as happened). The preceding essay is just about a broken heart, and one must recognize that, given her karma, as an individual, except for not expressing herself clearly on the question of Brexit (she was against it), she did a very good job… Whatever her job was supposed to be.  

Monarchy keeps on reappearing. In Britain, it’s constitutional… Yet, all the way down the Eighteenth Century, it could be nasty. 

Queen Anne, upon accessing the throne in 1701, immediately declared war on France (Louis XIV of France had recognized earlier the rightful heir, James III ,the “Old Pretender”, as rightful king of England and Scotland (September), prompting Parliament to legislate for an oath requiring a public abjuration of the Stuarts’ claim to the throne). Queen Anne, upon dying in 1714, was succeeded by someone from… Hannover (Germany). It’s British plutocracy which rules…

Last time a monarch intervened, in England, with a veto against parliament was Queen Anne in 1708, when she blocked the reestablishment of a Scottish militia by the London Parliament in Scotland, “An Act for settling the Militia of that Part of Great Britain called Scotland”… the fear of the Queen being then that Scotland would join France in battling England…

It is the ongoing exercise of the veto power of the monarch which precipitated the US war of independence, because George III kept on refusing “assent” for many laws proposed by local governments in America…

Tyrant Putin is a monarch, but he doesn’t have the excuse Elizabeth did, to have inherited the charge… so that makes him technically what the Greeks called a tyrant (from unique in Greek)…. besides his advertised desire to bury the world in radioactive ashes if it doesn’t accept Kremlin suzerainty.

No Stress, No Life! We Stressed, Therefore We Exist

November 25, 2021


Our ancestors were so stressed, one could say stress was their natural mental state: should they fail, they would be eaten... which was even more stressful. Our ancestors were also very smart, and getting even more so perpetually. Handling stress ever better had everything to do with it… What is “stress”? The notion started as the stress tensor in mechanics and blossomed through an emotional metaphor invented in Middle Age France [1]. Since then “stress” has taken negative connotations… but that is from superficial interpretations of what stress brings.    

It turns out that stress brings everything. The construction of a heart’s valves inside an embryo requires (mechanical) stress (published November 2021, peer reviewed). Actually all morphogenesis is about stress entangled with genetics. Thus stress can be a good, and so constructive, that we owe out existence to stress. 

Thus, when people deplore “stress” it is rather strange. And actually we see plenty of people deliberately engaging in stressful activities, like climbing mountains without any safety except an excellent neurology (I have engaged in this myself… all too much). It is as if stress was necessary to live a full neurological life. And it is! Without enough stress, of the right sort, people miss out big on all what life can be. I generally over-stress myself, several times a week… So-called “weekend warriors” would know what I mean…

That traverse in Yosemite on the Half Dome north face regular route has no protection (except if one wants to stuff mechanical devices in the crack, but that would require much more effort and time, and a supplementary belay at the end of the ledge…. That sounds safer, and yet, the more time and belays, the more one is exposed to things which can go very wrong, like a hail bearing, lightning streaked thunderstorms, and, if not that, one may have to spend one more night on the mountain exposed to the elements, discomfort, thirst… BTW, I was there… But with a rope. Not that one is not in extreme danger, as one could get killed falling, rope or not rope, by the shock or the rope breaking, or the partner following… So one is very stressed. No false move, no moves generating fatigue, etc. Besides, in the interest of speed, one needs to be real concentrated, one is one mile off the deck here, all in one long day, and did I mention quakes? I experienced once a 6 Richter quake in Yosemite… By the way, the climbing just above the visible flake is very hard if one does it free, especially “on sight”. 5-13/8 something delicate face climbing (sometimes it can be aided… not always if one does not have the necessary equipment… which I never brought…) Memories of past stress is a delightful thing… most of the time, but not when one got nearly killed in a very blatant way, of course…

Thus, when people complain about “stress” it may be just from having not enough stress. Maybe stress is like sex: it needs to conclude. In the wild, though millions of years, stress was about being versus horrible death, being eaten alive. So “stress” means fight or flight. Now “stress” may mean one is sitting behind a desk, as one’s prospects in the oligarchy collapse.

But not just that: fight or flight is good… because it stresses the physiology. And even more, stresses the psychology… And that’s good, to live life in full, the way our species is ( the so called “phenotype”).   

Let me explain more: suppose one never exercises. Could one stand up? No. 

Astronauts coming out of the ISS are put on stretchers. Does that mean that standing up is injurious? No. It means simply one gets injured by standing up, when one has not stood up enough. This holds true physically, just as it holds true for human rights.

Prehistoric people were subjected to continual stress. It is as natural as streams of photons. But, without natural light, animals do not learn to see correctly. Same with stress.

Reality inflicts stress on the mind. That’s how and why the mind learns.

And wisdom is? Wisdom is not a being, but a process, embracing better the nature of reality. To embrace better one needs to have better neural networks… and that requires energy to build those networks (and demolish older ones, not as appropriate…)

And it is intrinsically stressful, to force new neural networks, one has to be motivated by fear, greed, thirst, hunger and other strong emotions… and yet, a good thing; the brain needs to exert.

Developing embryos, such as this zebrafish, rely on physical forces to sculpt them into the correct forms, as they grow. 

Morphogenesis and neurogenesis need stress!

No stress, no life!

No stress, no mental supremacy! [2]

Thus, no humanity!

Va de retro, sleepy minds!

Patrice Ayme

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[1]. Stress, starting circa 1300, was used to mean “hardship, adversity, force, pressure,” through Old French  estrece “narrowness, oppression,” meta-imaging from Latin strictus “tight, compressed, drawn together,” past participle of stringere “draw tight”.

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[2] Black Lies Matter types object deeply to lots of words and notions, especially “supremacy”… They apparently opt for a world where all are inferior… except their masters, of course, the ones who own media and universities… So I added “supremacy”, just in the hope of stressing them out, as a community service, to help them improve their otherwise opposite-of-supreme minds…

Truth: From Evolutionary Psychology. Significance Is A Dimension of Truth.

November 9, 2021

A modern tendency is to proclaim truth as a new practice. Science, we are constantly told, was just invented, most scientists are living today, etc. This smacks of the usual self-glorification of any age, and any place, by the vainglorious critters partaking in it. 

In truth, there is nothing new about the truth being at the core of society and humanity. Humanity was evolved by truth. Human beings are truth machines. 

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/fundamental-reason-for-democracy-better-thinking/

In the savannah in the past, for millions of years, being wrong meant being eaten. Being wrong, big time, meant you didn’t get another chance, your genes would not contribute to future evolution. Nowadays being wrong does not have immediate dreadful consequences: you can keep on contributing to the gene pool. Being wrong just means you voted for an idiot, you don’t get immediately eaten… Long term, the consequences of being wrong can be horrible, but it takes so long, people barely see the connection. Instead, being wrong, or even being a lunatic brings the comfort of being part of a stampeding herd, and getting the instant impression of being right. 

So being wrong, also known as fake news, systemic bias, racism, sexism, nationalism, can propagate and multiply, as it does not have adverse consequences: an example is Nazi Germany (thanks, Nazi cretins, for providing us with a drastic example!)

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Germans helped Adolf Hitler’s genocidal cretinism for more than 12 years with no consequences adverse enough for them to see the error of their ways, and stop. In the end a five million man army invaded Germany from the west, while a couple million Red Army soldiers attacked from the east, over a land ravaged by, and dysfunctional from, Anglo-American heavy bombing.

Thus, this modern life has decreased the main impetus for fostering truth. During the evolution of humanity, false evaluations of reality turned us into Meals Ready to Eat. The main impetus for figuring out the truth was the will to immediate survival. Truth was a way of life. New science was a slow consequence, it accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years (how to make tools, weapons, clothes, fire, cook vegetables, etc.)

Nevertheless, paradoxically, as it is now, we have never needed, as a species, truth, and especially new and better truths. The survival of humanity has never depended as much on producing new truths industrially… New knowledge, in particular new science has become the key to survival of the species. Because we have a non-sustainable civilization… It can only become sustainable if we master some science-fiction technologies we do not yet have.

Establishing an independent Department of Truth is thus not a joke, and not just a civilizing mission, it is key to survival of intelligence from Earth. 

The Truth Department would not exert censorship. Its primary mission, instead, would be to evaluate any prominent proposition in the various dimensions of truth… Not just veracity, but the potential significance of a proposition, its potential consequences on other propositions, its potential impact if true, its potential impact, if false, logically and emotionally, etc.

By the way, the methodology I suggest would help science itself. A recent long article in PNAS (Proceedings National Academy of Science) shows that big scientific fields are ossified and why. The main culprit is the MENTAL and COGNITIVE FASCISM that a morass of overproduction of low creative quality papers end up causing as a way to foster careers. So it is not a question of fake news in the sense of FALSE news, but a question of too many news trying to present themselves as news when actually they are just repackaging and reinforcing an increasingly narrower global consensus view, because the foundational papers, thus the foundational ideas get quoted ever more, and thus accepted as eternal truths. 

(I could give examples in physics of mental fascism caused by a failure to classify ideas according to their significance and importance. Einstein’s opinion that photons are localized in space while translating is thoroughly NOT proven experimentally… Yet, few physicists question it, nobody tries to confront it experimentally, that potential grave error informs all of modern physics… With a dreadful influence, in my humble opinion, as it implies the multiverse, and the mismanaging of wave function collapse in Quantum Mechanics, among other disasters)

How would the formal introduction of significance as a dimension of truth help truth and science? When a new paper appears, as it is, peer review mostly checks for veracity… Or plausibility if the authors are famous. Significance, if and when it is given some importance, has no formal place. However, I propose to make potential significance a major dimension of truth.

So it was in the jungle: a tiny sound, or motion, or lack thereof, would have been evaluated carefully by prehistoric men in its potential consequences. So not just truth, but potentialities consequential from putative truths, were major neurological and cognitive activities. 

None of the preceding, the many dimensions of truth, and their potentialities, should in any way interfere with parrhesia and isegoria… two pillars of democracy, as the Greeks saw it. Far from it: parrhesia, the ability to speak frankly (in total contradiction with the fascist “cancel culture”), and isegoria, the right to address the assemblies equally (which is completely violated by the so-called “representative democracy” regimes) are indispensable, and the core of real democracy and its ability to generate truth from debates…

But finding the new and better truths is so important that we need all the help we can get. Making truth assist a part of governance would be more of what has long been done, ever since engineers advised leaders, and that happened well before Archimedes’ role during the siege of Syracuse…

Patrice Ayme 

 

Well, that’s only one interest of art… One of the dimensions of the interest we bear towards it. Another is an interest we already have in DREAMING… Namely imagining, in our minds eyes, new possibilities, new potentialities, exactly as what happens with the hidden dimension of truth I promote, namely its significance, or POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE…

EVIL POWER, PLUTOCRACY, Collapse, Civilization

September 21, 2021

BEYOND GOOD And EVIL, THERE IS NECESSITY…

Why do civilizations collapse?

Invasion, internal collapse or an ecological calamity, or a combination therefrom.

Invasion and internal collapse are two aspects of the same thing: evil exerted by men on other men.

There is a name for it: PLUTOCRACY… Evil-Power, in the most general sense.

Plutocracy, not even the climate calamity, is the greatest threat to humanity, always has been, and always will be… Plutocracy, in its full sense of Pluto-Kratia, Evil-Power… Not just wealth-power… Why? Because plutocracy is designed that way. Plutocracy is not just a crime of opportunity. It corresponds to a deeper instinct (for want of a better concept or word).

Plutocracy musters an instinct of apoptosis of humanity, killing excess or rogue humanity… Plutocracy is not just a wealthy oligarchy. It is a deliberately evil oligarchy, keen to impose mass death, whether it realizes it, or not.

Humanity, as it evolved, enshrined into genetics, epigenetics, even phenotype, deep mechanisms which enabled it to survive as a species. And what is the greatest danger to humanity?… Ecological destruction, as inflicted by… humanity itself.

That is how evil arose. That is how evil generated by humanity against humanity arose: as a control mechanism. Humanity, to control humanity, has to destroy the excess of humanity.

The Nazis had a related similar idea, the Lebensraum, the “vital space”. The Nazis claimed Germany needed more of it, so they would kill the humans (or, as they put it, sub humans) to the east, and grab their territory. The idea is not new: chimpanzees do it, they attack the valley next door and kill the chimpanzees there… we have to thanks the very Christian primatologist and ethologist Jane Goodall for this revelation. All over known primitive societies, the members of the society are typically called “men”… and non-members are not. The Nazis unwittingly solved their imaginary problem of too many Germans in too small a place, by killing even more Germans than Jews, thus diminishing the insufferably high density of Germans…

The evil exhibited by Nazism was nothing new. Only its absolute scale, in reduced time, was new.

This is a warning: a plutocracy driven collapse can be remarkably rapid, thanks to modern technology.

The collapse of Mayan civilization has several of the entangled characteristics of rogue plutocracy above: The Maya engineered ecological devastation so great, a mega drought ensued. That was followed by a succession of even greater ecological devastation and wars, to struggle over the dying resources in the following generations. When the exploited masses finally understood their elites and their gods had betrayed, they decapitated the elites, and burned down the society.

The apparition of exploiting oligarchies is caused by the exponential function. Only fierce taxation of the wealthiest, absolutely, as the Roman Republic did it, prevents it. Interestingly the government of Xi in China seems to be recently engaged in exactly that, cutting down the power of the financial, business, celebrity, and even Communist Party elite. They learned well… part of the lesson.

In any case, the plutocratic phenomenon is always in ambush of civilization.

As plutocracy is the power of evil, it may even consists in something as simple as bringing on a nuclear proliferation arms race, as Biden just did. War is the continuation of plutocracy by other means.

Power in a few hands naturally attracts individuals with a greater Dark Factor…. who thus end up in control. The Dark Factor entails a mentality maximizing one’s individual utility — disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others — accompanied by beliefs which serve as justifications. This is why the rise of the fascist Roman empire of Augustus and his family was accompanied by mass unemployment, etc.

The Dark Side enlightens the evolution of humanity

Conventional psychology recognizes the existence of these evil traits, and there again, this is nothing new: original sin is a core belief of Christianism. Lack of empathy, taking pleasure from causing other people pain, narcissism (excessive self-absorption), spitefulness relate to psychopathy, Machiavellianism (the belief that the ends justify the means)… they may not seem as extreme as serial killings, or mass murdering ideologies… But behavioral links between these traits are well-known. It’s not called sadomasochism without good reason.

What was long view as a mystery is why these traits arise: apoptosis is the answer. Apoptosis means falling from… As leaves falling off a tree: there is a good reason for it, the killing of a surfeit function…

A particular Conquistador, Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán, originally a bodyguard of Charles V, and his personal envoy to counterbalance Cortez’s power and collaboration with the Natives was made Vice Roy of new Spain, and launched several unprovoked wars Mesoamerican nations which had collaborated with the Spaniards against the Aztecs.

In particular, the Spanish were received peaceably in Tzintzuntzan by Tangáxuan II, the cazonci of the Tarascan state, which largely coincides with the modern state of Michoacán. Tangáxuan gave Guzmán presents of gold and silver and supplied him with soldiers and provisions. Nevertheless, Guzmán had him arrested and tortured, to get him to reveal the location of hidden stores of gold. There was no more gold, so Tangáxuan could not say anymore. Guzmán had him dragged by a horse and then burned alive on February 14, 1530.

Guzmán then became again bodyguard to Charles Quint. He adamantly defended, until his natural death in 1561 CE, still a Charles V bodyguard, his destruction of independent Mesoamerican nations, even when allied to Spain. Gory, yes, but the only way to make Christianism triumph, he insisted.

The world we have is built by evil. However, it is time to quit the habit: evil is best exerted at a distance. However, please remember that the fundamental reason for evil is ecological: cutting off the excesses of humanity, reducing its ecological footprint. Nowadays, we have the biggest ecological footprint, ever, so, evolutionary speaking, we are in need of the biggest, or, let’s say, we may be stalked, by the biggest evil, ever. Watch the US president peddling weapon grade uranium…

Patrice Ayme

CULTURE DRIVES HUMAN EVOLUTION

June 20, 2021

In the most advanced species, evolution is culturally driven. Far from being solely blind, and driven by chance, evolution can be smart and willful. A restricted theory of evolution called “Darwinism” promoted that idea, which originated with Lamarck, as soon as it claims that mate selection is driven by choice… And that choice will itself be driven by cultural values, in advanced species. This is why evolution has been accelerating since cultural species have evolved.

Culture is so strong that zoos trying to save species in extreme danger of extinction have discovered, to their surprise, that rare animals tend to adopt the culture of animals of other species they see, or hear, at the zoo. So zoos are now trying to save animal cultures, not just the species…

Evolution by chance dominates the simplest species of animals, but the apparition of powerful brains change everything…

Indeed, there are CULTURAL SPECIES. One could say an animal species is advanced if it is cultural. By definition, cultural species can’t survive without culture

What is a cultural element? Figuring the reality of that element from communication with other animals, in contrast to figuring it out by oneself.

The notions of cultural species and intelligent species are distinct. Cephalopods are very intelligent, but their mental achievements as a species are limited, because they have to learn everything through personal scientific experimentation. Bees, although individually much less clever than cephalopods, can exploit far fetched resources, thanks to cultural communications (their famous dances which convey where exploitable flowers are).Bees, as a species, can do much more than cephalopods, pollinating much of the world of terrestrial plants.   

Humanity is the supremely cultural species. Not only this, but humans have been created (by evolution) to discover as much truth as possible, in all directions imaginable. We are truth machines.

For more than a million years, human supremacy has been fed by truths and the alternative to supremacy has been extinction: most human subspecies were exterminated (whereas Denisovans and Neanderthals contributed to today’s human species in mergers and acquisitions).

Humans are truths machines, so obsessed by truth that, when they don’t have it, they make their own. Humans kill for truth. It is an official fundamental belief of a religion followed by hundreds of millions: unbelievers shall be killed. Truth is that important.

It is likely that life evolved on Venus, for billions of years. The planet seems to have had oceans for three billion years, computer models show. Then a runaway greenhouse killed that biosphere. Right now, the situation of Earth is cataclysmic: recipes for many sorts of extinction have been applied and are simmering…Truth is not an option now, it has become the crucible of existence. And how do we get to truth? Through culture.

The way out is supreme, vastly superior thinking. Immensely not just progressive, but progressed thinking. Truths unveiled. Cultural supremacy running amok.

We are the scientific species. We have been doing science for two million years. Interestingly, the latest archeology reveals that full bipedalism preceded huge brains by hundreds of thousands of years, and maybe millions of years. This means that we got huge brains because there was a demand for them, and they presented an opportunity… and that opportunity arose from the way of life our ancestors had chosen… culturally. In other words, the cultural choice of bipedalism made intellectual demands which in turn imposed a superior, more diverse way of life which gave an advantage to superior intelligence, and superior brains provided an advantage they would not have had if bipedalism had not been chosen. Yes, supremacy everywhere: some evolutionary paths are superior to others and bring the extinction of inferior ones. 

Just as superior culture provides an evolutionary advantage, inferior culture brings extinction. An excellent example is Nazism. Nazism may have brought the death of 15% of native German speakers. Thus culture enables us to also go the other way, down the drain. And not just as the Nazis did.

Darwin famously wrote in 1879 that “the rapid development as far as we can judge of all the higher plants within recent geological times is an abominable mystery” . By “higher” he meant angiosperms, the flowering plants. Since then the mystery has become much more abominable. The solution? Culture! A recent invention of evolution… At least in insects…

Flowers are cultural achievements. Flowering plants would not exist without the culture of pollinators. Evolution had to wait billion of years for intelligent pollinators to appear before it could grace the universe with blossoms… 125 million years ago

An argument exists, which holds that Neanderthals, faced as they were with a more difficult life, needed bigger brains… as observed (they seem to be a fifth of a liter bigger). Humans beings could do later with inferior genetics and smaller brains, because human culture became so superior, it could act as a crutch to the more dim witted.

The Earth biosphere is all primed up for several extinctions in a snap geological instant at this point. Only superiorly intelligent culture will save us, and others. It’s not just about smarts anymore, it’s about survival. But smarts have always been, ultimately the final solution for survival.

Humanitizing lore, traditional humanism, love to oppose the world of “culture”, and the world of those who don’t have it. That’s racism and class supremacy in disguise, and also an illusion. In truth, flaunting a restricted culture is a trick to hide that culture is, first of all, a tool and also… a weapon. 

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” said Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, who completed six years of graduate studies beyond high school to become a teacher, third in his class. The leaders of the Chinese Communist Party were smart and worldly (some of the principals, Chou En Lai, Deng Hsiao Ping, had been educated as workers in France by French Communists, themselves quite smart).  

Culture has grown guns. Culture was always about Lebensraum, vital space, to use the Nazi expression. Not just this, but wild chimpanzees seem prone to evolve the culture of going to the next valley over to massacre the neighbors.

Here is most of the conclusion from a review article, Long-term gene–culture coevolution and the human evolutionary transition, by Timothy M. Waring and Zachary T. Wood (2 June 2021) from the Royal Society:

….”group-level cultural evolution is more adaptive and more rapid than genetic evolution in humans. This difference has caused an increasing fraction of human life to be mediated by culturally evolved group-level practices and technology, and a decreasing fraction by genetic traits. Available evidence suggests that this trend is ongoing and accelerating. We note that both cultural and environmental change are far from equilibrium… We speculate that, in the long term, culture will continue to grow in influence over human evolution, until genes become secondary structures that hold human biological design blueprints but are ultimately governed by culture. If genes hold culture on a leash, culture is dragging them straight off the trail.”

The idea that culture and intelligence drive biological evolution in advanced animals originates with Lamarck. In a way, it is obvious, and was already well-known by the Greeks who made artificial selection of horses, and a mix of artificial and natural selection of cattle, one of Greece’s main economic exports, 25 centuries ago. The philosopher Xenophon, the first economist, retired as a horse breeder.

Even strict Darwinism in the most restricted and naïve sense, held that individuals select mates in the selection of the fittest… Thus even strict Darwinism assumes that intelligence was a driver of evolution. Recent studies on monkeys show that the females can be very subtle in their choices.

Life perished on Venus. This will not happen on Earth. Cultural intelligent life on Earth is getting ready to spawn throughout the universe… or at least the galaxy. 

Whether this cosmic expansion has merit or not, is besides the point: it is happening, it will happen, it is a force which cannot be contained, even the oldest state, China, is all for it … and this cosmic expansion is the expansion of culture… culture is the exact opposite of basic and base instincts. 

Thus, criticizing this cosmic expansion, this expansion of culture, is criticizing what is most human, what made us most humans. Far from a noble critique, then, attacks against cosmic cultural expansion denote the base aspiration of becoming sewer stew again. It is not just hypocritical, vulgar and sadistic, but it is bound to fail, because, remember, culture, superior culture, is the supreme weapon.  

The preceding lofty considerations may seem not to have practical consequences. But they do. We don’t know why Venus became hell, with a 460 degree centigrade ground temperature and the pressure a kilometer down an ocean. Several probes will be launched to figure all this out: Venus has become a much bigger mystery than Mars and a poignant one: Earth’s sibling was steamed alive…

However, it is clear that, one the present trajectories with various forms of pollution, Earth is heading towards hell at an amazing speed. Just in greenhouse gases, we are at a density not seen in twenty million years (only 5 millions if one looks only at CO2, neglecting NOx, CFCs, etc…). And there are several other types of pollution and attacks on going.

We have to evolve out of that incoming holocaust. Culture will do it: we know how to modify genes, even to bring rejuvenation. Dramatically superior culture is the only way out, and it should give the boot to tragic inferiority.

As the Romans did not say, and it is because it was not a Roman proverb that their culture failed:

If you do not want evil, prepare for higher culture: Si vis ne malorum, para superior cultura.

Patrice Ayme

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Animalism Is Not A Humanism

February 24, 2021

More Is Different. Similarly, Humanism Is More Than Animalism. Identifying Humanism To Animalism Is Incorrect, And No Way To Progress.
All advanced animals, including squirrels, have consciousness (by definition of “advanced”). But animals have more or less consciousness, and much more, or much less, can be very different. Studies on worms have shown that as little as three neurons can endow a worm with apparent free will: three neurons, free will. But of course worms do not have consciousness and free will as we do.

An analogy will help the wise: an isolated ensemble of very few particles is endowed with, and controlled by, quantum properties; however an ensemble of many particles, with few exceptions (Bose-Einstein condensates) is a classical object: more is completely different. The quantum description vanishes, the classical description replaces it. Similarly and for the same reason, from quantum to classical, or a variant thereof, the animal description disappears and the human description appears.

In the end, we are completely different from squirrels.

Now, of course, should one be a Nazi one may want to consider people to be no more than animals, so the Nazis elevated animals to the level of humans, to better exterminate the latter. After all, one exterminated insects with Zyklon B, and, having identified people to insects, the Nazis could then exterminate the former like the latter… with the same insecticide!

Our ancestors 60 millions years ago, resembled squirrels, but they ate insects. Our descendants became ever more brainy, in great part because of their carnivorous diet and habits: running after potentially dangerous prey while clinging to branches requires much intelligence… while squirrels, content to much on nuts, a less demanding task neurologically, stagnated neurologically. A quick look at evolution tells us that squirrels are probably 100 millions years away from civilization (should all of their deadly competition, namely primates, magically disappear; with primates to eat them, squirrels would never get there, to civilization, because predators tend to stay smarter, and primates are dozens of millions of years of intellectual superiority over squirrels).

To claim ever more intelligence makes no difference in grounding morality should be a well-known pitfall.

Civilization’s progress ever since there are animals and they think, is called humanism.

Animalism is not a humanism. Sentient mussels are not conscious chimps. Much more mind is completely different.

Patrice Ayme

Magnolia (named after French botanist Magnol), Monterey cypress, Luna… Berkeley CA, 2/23/2021 Do other animals appreciate beauty? Some apparently do. But surely not as much as humans do.

***

P/S: this is the second essay on the “Animalism Is Not A Humanism” theme in a few days. What is going on? There is obviously a deep propaganda campaign launched suddenly by the plutocracy promoting the opposite, namely that animalism is humanism. Plutocrats are animals, but we should think of them, all of a sudden, as human (that seems to be the secret message supposed to imprint our subconscious: you are just an animals, thus we are all equal, rich or poor, commander of the world, or not). This time the spark to my reaction above, a comment which I sent to the New York Times, was an article in the New York Times 2/23/2021, today… in the NYT’s philosophical series called “THE STONE“. My comment was blocked, as it put the plutocratic newspaper to shame. Here are extracts of the NYT’s article, with comments I add now (those were not sent to the plutocratic propaganda paper, naturlich!):

Humans Are Animals. Let’s Get Over It.
It’s astonishing how relentlessly Western philosophy has strained to prove we are not squirrels. By Crispin Sartwell; Mr. Sartwell is a professor of philosophy.

If one were to read through the prefaces and first paragraphs of the canonical works of Western philosophy, one might assume the discipline’s primary question to be this: What makes us humans so much better than all the other animals? Really, it’s astonishing how relentless this theme is in the whole history of philosophy. The separation of people from, and the superiority of people to, members of other species is a good candidate for the originating idea of Western thought. And a good candidate for the worst.

[Patrice Ayme: As I explained, more is different; that’s a well known idea. One snowflake doesn’t make an avalanche, and cannot behave as one; many snowflakes make an avalanche, a completely different agent; one neuron does not make a civilization, dozens of billions of trillions of them, entangled, over the fullness of time, do. The transition from quantum to classical mechanics is the best example; that analogy is a hard data point great philosophers did not have before: Quantum Physics, in full, dates from 1924…

The so-called “philosophy professor” Sartwell pursues: The Great Philosopher will, before addressing himself to the deep ethical and metaphysical questions, pause for the conventional, ground-clearing declaration: “I am definitely not a squirrel.” This is evidently something that needs continual emphasizing.

Rationality and self-control, as philosophers underline again and again, give humans a value that squirrels lack (let’s just stick with this species for the time being), a moral status unique to us. We are conscious, and squirrels, allegedly, are not; we are rational, and squirrels are not; we are free, and squirrels are not.

We can congratulate ourselves on the threat averted. But if we truly believed we were so much better than squirrels, why have we spent thousands of years driving home the point?

[It is of course not just “Great Philosophers who make that point. People eat squirrels casually; when they eat Mr. Sartwell and his ilk, they thank the gods, at least so I have been told…]

Sartwell: One difficult thing to face about our animality is that it entails our deaths; being an animal is associated throughout philosophy with dying purposelessly, and so with living meaninglessly. It is rationality that gives us dignity, that makes a claim to moral respect that no mere animal can deserve. “The moral law reveals to me a life independent of animality,” writes Immanuel Kant in “Critique of Practical Reason.” In this assertion, at least, the Western intellectual tradition has been remarkably consistent.

[Here Sartwell mixes up things. Mortality is one thing, morality, another. We may all die tomorrow, it does not mean our morality dies with us. That rationality gives us some of our dignity is one thing; love, or even hatred, gives us dignity too. That advanced animals are rational cannot be denied: reason is what the brain produces. That reason endows an eagle with dignity cannot be denied either. If an eagle behaved like a rabbit, it would have less dignity… Now Sartwell speaks of Kant, professor to slave traders, a philosopher extolling the slave trade, and who is to reason what the slave trader is to commerce… Kant was deeply immoral, and his law most noticeable, is slave trading. kant is to the western intellectual tradition was lung cancer is to breathing…]

Sartwell: “The connection of such ideas to the way we treat animals — for example, in our food chain — is too obvious to need repeating. And the devaluation of animals and disconnection of us from them reflect a deeper devaluation of the material universe in general. In this scheme of things, we owe nature nothing; it is to yield us everything. This is the ideology of species annihilation and environmental destruction, and also of technological development.

PA: Humans became humans because they ate meat. Otherwise we would have big bellies like chimps, gorialls and all too many Americans have. Meat gave superb nutrition, allowing to shorten the gut. Gorillas and chimps know this, and try to kill preys as much as they can. But they are not superb killers as the evolving members of the genus Homo became. Pure veganism is NOT healthy. This being said I look forward lab meat… But then why should there be cows around? Is not a world without cows poorer? Supposed I was on a lonely planet, and god would lend me Sartwell for 20 years as company, until She made Sartwell disappear in a cloud of smoke. Should there be Sartwell, or no Sartwell? Is it moral to have Sartwell? Did he suffer?

A paradox is that the animalists tell us to stop eating animals to be like animals. But animals eat animals. Even cows do. So if we would be animals like animals, we would eat animals like the animals do.

Sartwell: Further trouble is caused when the distinctions between humans and animals are then used to draw distinctions among human beings. Some humans, according to this line of thinking, are self-conscious, rational and free, and some are driven by beastly desires. Some of us transcend our environment: Reason alone moves us to action. But some of us are pushed around by physical circumstances, by our bodies. Some of us, in short, are animals — and some of us are better than that. This, it turns out, is a useful justification for colonialism, slavery and racism.

PA: The USA is the world’s top exterminationist country. How was that done? By having Hollier-Than-Thou Puritans, such as professor Sartwell, treating native Americans as if they were animals. Sartwell is still at it, indeed, a century later, in the guise of the opposite, just as the Puritans were. What he is doing is attacking reason… And this is exactly why he did not publish my comment (which was the part above before my name).

Then Sartwell accuses Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Hobbes, Descartes, and Freud of opposing “nature” and “reason”. But of course reason comes from nature, as we do, in us and the rest of animals. I have myself attacked Aristotle as a plutocratic philosopher, and he was a plutocrat himself (the person who Aristotle put in charge of his estate was no less than his friend Antipater, the plutocrat who defeated Athens and turned her in an official plutocracy where only the wealthiest could vote…).

Sartwell: “Socrates divides the human soul into two parts. The soul of the thirsty person, he says, “wishes for nothing else than to drink.” But we can restrain ourselves. “That which inhibits such actions,” he concludes, “arises from the calculations of reason.” When we restrain or control ourselves, Plato argues, a rational being restrains an animal.

In this view, each of us is both a beast and a person — and the point of human life is to constrain our desires with rationality and purify ourselves of animality. These sorts of systematic self-divisions come to be refigured in Cartesian dualism, which separates the mind from the body, or in Sigmund Freud’s distinction between id and ego, or in the neurological contrast between the functions of the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.

PA: So Sartwell even accuses neurology to distinguish higher thought production and panic centers such as the amygdala… The ratio prefrontal/amygdala being presumably unfair to squirrel, and thus favorable to my culinary instincts orbiting roasted squirrels…

Sartwell finishes in a trainwreck:”I’d like to publicly identify this dualistic view as a disaster, but I don’t know how to refute it, exactly, except to say that I don’t feel myself to be a logic program running on an animal body; I’d like to consider myself a lot more integrated than that. And I’d like to repudiate every political and environmental conclusion ever drawn by our supposed transcendence of the order of nature. I don’t see how we could cease to be mammals and remain ourselves.”

This of course mixes everything up, although some of the points are correct… Of course we are not classical logic programs, we are quantum, so we have consciousness and free will. “Mind-Body Dualism” probably originates in the duality between Quantum and Classical. The “Quantum” is wholly about the integrated whole, accomplished through entanglement… We are out of nature, nature herself becoming transcendental, and of course we don’t necessarily have to have boobs to be, or stay human… Humanity has long transcended much of humanity and will transcends some more very soon… Including aging, which has a pervese effect on all of human culture…

***

P/S 2: I value squirrels: I had a pet squirrel in Africa, for many years. I also had a parrot, Mimi. I got more attached to the parrot, though. She was very argumentative… when she didn’t want to go back to her cage, for the night, she would fight. As her wings were not clipped, she would fly around like a dragon from Game of Thrones, threatening all sorts of mayhem, just for show… Unfortunately, after years of fun and games, she died from avian flu of some sort, creating great sorrow.

Feb. 23, 2021

REMORSE: When WILL To TRUTH Bites Back

February 20, 2020

Abstract: Many human emotions make sense when analyzed in the context of humanity’s purpose… which is to establish truth. Humans are truth machines.

Where does this strong emotion, remorse come from? From the Will to Truth, and, more specifically the will to moral truth. Remorse entices humans to obsess So remorse is a good thing, a teaching attitude. Individuals and societies should practice it more. 

***

Emotions Such As Remorse, Which Ground Morality, Are Grounded In The Last Billion Years:

Morality, considered in its most fundamental way, is revealed to be a neurological, a neurogenetical (in the sense of genesis) aptitude to manage optimally the ways which enable the survival of the species… This neuroethics is more or less automatically inherited (in ways science has not fully elucidated yet… but research as deployed here should help). Automatic systems such as walking: when one has two legs, one ends up walking on them, as long as one is in “human” circumstances (that is not stuffed in a small cage; having other walking humans around helps).   

Thus, all and any trait of fundamental moral etiology is grounded in the old ways of our ancestors, some living hundreds of millions of years. A lot of our neurological biochemistry works so well, it has not changed since our fishy ancestors.
***

WHAT IS REMORSE?

The feeling of remorse consists more specifically in deep regret or guilt for a moral wrong committed. Morality (from “mores”, the old ways in Latin) is what insures group survival[1]. For example, the Nazis violated the old ways, the mores, so at least 8.5 million Germans died (that was about 10% of all Germans) [2]. 

So remorse addresses wrongs against the ways which insure group survival. Remorse is the motivation, the spur for much truth seeking of a social nature

***

An Example: Afghan Remorse:

The USA has been officially at war in Afghanistan for 18 years, the longest US war, ever. In truth, the order of attack was given on July 3, 1979, by “Democratic” president Jimmy Carter. The cynical excuse to justify the attack was to harass the Soviets, allied to the Republic of Afghanistan with Muslim Fundamentalists (the true reason, laying below, was even more sinister…. It was to insure no Franco-Russian sphere of co-prosperity would grow in Central Asia).

But that immoral war, initially launched, by Carter, for the indefensible reasons, in the most abject way (advise Muslim Fundamentalists to attack schools for girls)…  is not the subject of this essay. Instead the subject of remorse is.

From the New York Times: “My Friend Lives Inside the War on Terror. Listen to Him.”

“A moment of moral reckoning came when Specialist Murphy had to conduct a body cavity search of a college professor who could barely walk without a cane, during his prison intake for some unknown crime.

“And here I was in my United States Army uniform and here was this very sensitive looking grandfather-type guy, and just the … I don’t know. It kind of was one of those moments where I was just taken aback and I just was affected.”

All the while there were nightly mortar attacks. Rockets, too. There were ambushes at the gate and explosives on the roads. 

But MORAL INJURY — the damage to the soul caused by participating in something unjust — has a wide blast radius for anyone with a conscience. The ambiguity of military operations since 9/11 are fertile ground for moral injury. Average Americans may feel guilt or shame for the conduct of the war on terrorism — the pardoning of war criminals or the indefinite jailing, without trial, of men at Guantánamo or the civilian casualties caused by drone strikes — but it can be devastating for those who are a part of it.

To keep from being desensitized, he told me, he resolved to learn all his prisoners’ names and listen to all the questions they had for him during the twice-daily head counts.”

Moral injury? A good concept, because it reflects reality. Human beings are made prone to moral injury, so they can be hurt, and, hence, learn from it. 

***

SEARCH FOR TRUTH REQUIRES REHASHING THE PAST:

Human beings with a normally functioning mental machinery tend to relive past events and to regret their actions. Some sneer that it’s useless to relive the past. But of course, if such were the case, all literature would be of no interest and be gone. Besides, we would never examine our lives, thus, according to Socrates, would not have lives worth living. 

Less amusingly, and more fundamentally, if we didn’t revisit the past, we would learn nothing as learning consists into backtracking over what one thought one knew, finding all the inputs which preceded the errors, and proceed to the probable truth by systematic elimination of failing logic or bad data. Those who can’t revisit the past, can’t learn. When one can’t learn, one may suspect it has to do with inability to revisit the past.  

Some call learning by trial, error, and rehashing what went wrong, the “scientific method”, insinuating “science” is new. We the smarties have been doing science for 500 million years, it’s our home. Humans, who are truth machines, do much more of science than our beastly ancestors. Thus we thrive from much more equity seeking and remorse… among other apparently weird, very human behaviors.

***

WW 2 Hirohito riding proud with fellow criminal army idiots

An Example of Insufficient Remorse: Japan

Japan declared war to all of South East Asia in a period of half a century, concluded by the two atomic explosion, and the immediate threat of a third atomic strike. The Japanese invasions killed up to 50 million people, most of them civilians. By contrast, Japan suffered around 2.5 million dead… most of them Japanese troops which died of starvation. US bombings of Japan, conventional or not, killed less than 700,000… Thus, however horrifying the death toll was for Japan, it’s not commensurate to the death toll Japan inflicted to the the rest of the world… And in particular Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia (to put the aggressed countries in chronological order).

Germany, starting in 1945, recognized its crimes against humanity, through remorse which brought genuine atonement (see below; atonement took decades: top Nazis like von Manstein stayed influential for decades, preventing recognition of the German resistance against Hitler).

As he was preparing his 1952 speech at a ceremony to commemorate Japan’s return to independence with the end of the U.S. occupation, Hirohito insisted that he “must include the word remorse”. Hirohito was in excellent position to express “remorse” as he was nominally in charge. Hirohito felt that, instead of surrender, he wished he had been able to end the war earlier. He also privately expressed horror at the atrocities committed by the Japanese military, according to the documents. But he also said that the military was so powerful that he couldn’t influence it.

Hirohito wish to express remorse was relayed to then-Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, who advised against it. However, since then, the present Japanese emperor, grandson of Hirohito, has expressed “deep remorse”. However these things take time to percolate down throughout society. The switch of Japan from nuclear to massive coal, presently underway with the complicity of Australia, shows that Japanese remorse doesn’t go far enough yet.

More of the same Hirohito riding high. The problem with such plutocrats is that they ride on hubris, and with hubris they blind the peasants. Clearly the imperial position, symbol of hubris, per se, should be cancelled in Japan (in China too: they justify each other…

)***

EQUITY BRINGS TRUTH:

Experiments have shown monkeys attach an overwhelming importance to truth: submitted to unfair situations, they can cut the Gordian Knot by attacking the experimenter. Why is equity so important to primates? Because being just insures the survival of the group, by making sure they all get taken care enough. Thus one would expect all social animals with intelligent societies to have a developed sense of equity. There is some evidence of this with, say, lions, wolves, hyenas.

Now equity has the equal sign therein: before having some equity, one needs to have some truth (to find out what’s equal; hence the power of equations!) Without truth, no equity. Conversely, much truth is socially, culturally derived (monkeys and apes don’t discover all by themselves foods and pharmaceuticals in the forest: they learn it from their parents, elders…). So equity and truth are entangled.

***

Atonement is Jewish, Remorse, French:

Remorse is often conceptually entangled with “atonement”, particularly in the USA, of course… Atonement is any change of attitude to create unity, to make many “at one” (at-one-ment).    In other words, “atonement” is a more primitive form of psychology than true remorse. To survive, the monkeys need to be “at one” (Latin adunare “unite,” from ad “to, at” (see ad-) + unum “one.”). Atonement is tribal, something monkeys and other advanced social animals (say wolves) have plenty of practice, to constitute the group which will allow them to live. 

Unity is most major in the USA, otherwise they would have none (since Americans are immigrants who came from all over the world, the US traditions use every possible tricks to create unity). Translating “Day of Atonement” gives Yom Kippur in Hebrew, the most sacred celebration of the Jews.

In a country such as France, an old instinct says that survival comes from mental diversity, not “atonement”.  Indeed, France got its unity from diversity! (Now Britain and the USA, descendant states from France are also ruled by that notion… historically to a lesser extent, but they caught up…)

Hence is France atonement is practiced only very reluctantly, to the point that the notion, this side of Vichy, is not even conceptualized…

In a country such as France, one would expect only a fascist government to set-up a day of atonement, repentance, etc. Right, this sort of thing happened in the Middle Ages… Times of great theological fascism and plutocracy, indeed. And that’s precisely why the late Middle Ages have bad press nowadays. Also then, in the Middle Ages, the Pope would go once a year to the Synagogue in Rome and try to persuade the Jews to convert to Catholicism: a fight of universalism, as Catholicism means just that. Catholicism proved more universal than Yom Kippur: there are barely more Jews now than under Rome, whereas the Christo-Islamists have multiplied like rodents (there are more than three billions)… Christo-Islamism expanded, precisely because it celebrated universalism, that it, to some extent, diversity, rather than Jewish atonement, unity as necessary, to plaster over the fragility

***

True remorse is more specifically human, it rises above the herd to question the lonely conscience. Nostalgia and a capacity to sit away from oneself, let others be, and, more generally, listening to life speaking for itself, are not far behind. 

Want the truth? Learning to bite back at your own soul should be part of your arsenal!

Patrice Ayme

***

***

[1] Medieval Latin remorsum” a biting back or in return,” noun use of neuter past participle of Latin remordere “to vex, torment disturb,” literally “to bite back, bite again”

Medieval Latin phrase remorsus conscientiæ (“remorse of the conscience,” 

 

One could also say, some Medievalists, obsessed as they were with words, have got to think about it, that re-morse is uncannily close to re-mores (refurbishing one’s mores…)

***

[2] These are minimal numbers. I use spanking new statistics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_casualties_in_World_War_II

Notice that includes 5.5 million dead young men, the soldiers, presumably the best stock of the German “race”…

 

We Eat Meat Therefore We Think, Thus We Are

September 30, 2019

Man self created above ape, thanks to the trick of eating meat (and making war to predators) in a much more effective fashion than chimpanzees could. That was no mean feat: in some cultures, chimpanzees are obsessed with meat, and can eat more than a pound of it a day, every day. They chose to cling to the trees. Our ancestors, instead, went where chimp didn’t try to dare go before; the savanna. Now we have Moon, Mars, Europa, Enceladus to go to.

So evolutionary speaking, the creation of the human species adapted to the ecological niche of the carnivorous, savanna ambling killer ape we created for ourselves. Yes, it was red in blood, claw, and tiny weapons. So important are weapons and meat eating to creating thinking, this is so true that Homo Floresiensis, who derived directly from Homo Erectus (and not the Homo Antecessor then Archaic Homo Sapiens route) was found with plenty of tiny but extremely lethal weapons.

I meat therefore I think: not even tragic, and certainly true.

A way of life creates a way of metabolizing food. Rats, when they exercise more, synthetize  vitamin C more. Not so humans, who don’t synthesize vit C: they are supposed to pick it up inside fruits, because our ancestors ate fruits from tropical trees, for dozens of millions of years.

Now massive meat eating has characterized the human ancestors and driven their evolution, for more than 5 million years. So it’s very unlikely that human physiology has not adapted to that fact: our deep human physiology is carnivorous. Hence not eating meat is healthy… simply because it is, literally, inhuman. 

For million of years, no human population had a vegan diet, for the good and simple reason that it kills (from lack of vit. B12, L Carnitine, etc.). Not even gorillas, chimps or orangutans, or even bonobos have it, either. All love meat, and need it.

We need to get re-acquainted with reality. Our reality. Our conquest and control of the planet, now our true and good spaceship Earth, arose from our creator, evolution. We have been master of our destiny. We now need to control what drives evolution, survival.

“God” is another word for sorcery… without the magic.

The magic was in the meat, and the culinary arts.

Patrice Ayme

***

P/S: The preceding is related to an article in the New York Times:

Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice.
The evidence is too weak to justify telling individuals to eat less beef and pork, according to new research. The findings “erode public trust,” critics said.

By 

Sept. 30, 2019

Public health officials for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of concerns that these foods are linked to heart disease, cancer and other ills.

But on Monday, in a remarkable turnabout, an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice, a bedrock of almost all dietary guidelines, is not backed by good scientific evidence.

If there are health benefits from eating less beef and pork, they are small, the researchers concluded. Indeed, the advantages are so faint that they can be discerned only when looking at large populations, the scientists said, and are not sufficient to tell individuals to change their meat-eating habits.

Philosophy Suggests That Advanced Homo Is From Eurasia

April 27, 2019

The spark of a correct guess is often drowned into a sea of wrong guesses. I am going to give here an example of the philosophical method, the method of the artful guesses, used in paleontology, on human origins. The official story goes this way: man originated in Africa, nothing to see, let the professionals do their work. it’s probably wrong.

But a philosopher will say this to a specialist: how do you know that man evolved in Africa? Usual answer: because that’s where the fossils are from.  My counter-objection: conservation bias. And a philosopher would add: why did man evolve so fast? Usual answer: natural selection (as if there was another… even human selection is natural, Homo being part, a meta part, but still a part of nature!) My counter-objection: how to we know there was no accelerator of evolution?

At this point our friend the official paleontologist of the old school will become suspicious: accelerator? And the philosopher will point at technology, the companion and extension of Homo. To live in the most hospitable regions of East Africa, once one has found how to limit losses due to ferocious animals, one doesn’t need technology absolutely: one can just frolic in the buff.

Not the case in Europe, which, for most of the last 2.7 million years was too cold to live without clothing, fire, shelter, etc. And europe was probably Homo occupied for at least two million years (date at which varied Homo Ergaster fossils were found in the Caucasus, a place quite cold in winter in Dmanisi, Georgia. Hominid fossils as well as stone tools were found throughout the 1990s. The fossils looked similar to those of Homo erectus. But in 2000, an unusual jaw was found; its size and shape didn’t quite match H. erectus or any other known hominid that lived about 1.8 million years ago. So the team named Homo georgicus. Since then, more bones belonging to H. georgicus have been unearthed.

Homo Georgicus Female Looking At You Boy, 2 millions years across, and Saber Tooth Tigers Don’t Faze MeMore recently, a completely new Homo species was found in the Philippines, and some Australian researchers have started to claim the human occupation is at least 120,000 years old. Obviously, the hypothesis long-favored in China that human origins are from all over, is gaining ground.

And a philosopher will say: how come that was not obvious all along? Just look at a map, and think!

***

Out Of Africa? Not So Sure, Even If Anglo-Saxon Saint Darwin Proposed It:

Once an English gentleman passed by East Africa, found it quite old, and decreed that man came out of East Africa. n his 1871 book The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin suggested that the hominin group originated in Africa – an idea most anthropologists believe today, because beliefs are easier to remember. But Darwin also wrote that the group may have arisen in Europe because, at that time, fossils of large apes had already been uncovered there.

 

Now, indeed, the climate in East Africa; typical dry, high altitude, is prospitious for preserving fossils. So naturally very old hominin fossils were found there. It is a case of all the drunks finding all the keys below all the lamps.

 

Hominins are a group of primates that includes modern humans, more or less extinct humans like Neanderthals and Denisovans, our immediate ancestors, and more distant species such as the mysterious Homo Antecessor, Homo Erectus, Homo Habilis, and earlier species on extinct branches, including australopiths like the famous Lucy. It is harder to find their fossils in Europe, because the climate and soils there were harder for fossil conservation.

 

So what happens? Rare fossils are found in temperate areas, and many of them… don’t fit the “Out of Africa” story. For example one, just one, fossil found in Italy looks ancestral to some forms found in Africa. Fossils of a 7.2-million-year-old ape called Graecopithecus that once lived at Nikiti in Greece seems to have small canines, plus hominin-like “fused” roots to one of its premolars. In 2017, a team cautiously concluded that Graecopithecus might be a very early hominin.

Under this scenario, the 8 to 9-million-year-old Nikiti ape could represent a group of “proto-hominins” that gave rise to hominins in Europe, represented by Graecopithecus at 7.2 million years old. Hominins then would have migrated into Africa around 7 million years ago.

***

Conservation Bias Beware:

Conservation of things can introduce a “conservation bias”. An example: the Egyptian desert climate preserves old paint very well. However, Egyptians were not the only ones using paint in the past. The “Picts” of Scotland who confronted the Romans were called that way, the “Painted” (Picti) because they were covered with colors. Due to damp Scotland, those colors didn’t get preserved (although they beat the Romans)… Nor was the Picts’ writing. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t write… they wrote.

In general fossil are not conserved well in a wet, biologically active climate.

***

Impenetrable Africa:

Subtropical areas are one thing:  they typically have a wet season, are endowed with savannah park, and are easy to penetrate. Full tropical areas, though, are much less welcoming of human travel. A further problem is that most of the savannah park is crisscrossed by forest galleries, forests built around water ways. A simple forest gallery in Africa is more than a wall. It’s a chain of obstacles with obscurity, exuberant vegetation, tse tse flies, dangerous animals, snakes, spiders, crocs, ambushes… A forest gallery, with its profusion of trees and lianas, not to say leopards and giant carnivorous rats, can make hundreds of meters, and sometimes kilometers of nearly impassable jungle.

Forest galleries partition a lot of the tropics into small pockets which don’t communicate with each other.Hence the profusions of extremely varied languages in Africa. (In my quasi-native Senegal, six languages ruled, some tonal, others not; they are mixed, with pockets all over!)

***

Gigantic Eurasia, Garden of the Gods, Easy Travel:

But then look at a map: the regions of East Africa susceptible of maximum accelerated human evolution (temperate, high altitude reasonably wet) are a small fraction, no more than 5% of what Eurasia offered… Once enough technology to resist the cold had been invented. Then wet, temperate Eurasia, presented an enormous area in which human groups could evolve, trade, compete, exchange ideas. Moreover, as I said, to just subsist in Eurasia one was technologically spurred more than elsewhere… namely in the tropical areas.

Most of the world temperate area is located in Eurasia, and particularly in Europe. Very little is found in Africa.

Eurasia, instead is easy to travel across… if one is a Mongol, some would object. Indeed, there is a giant steppe from Hungary to Korea, and the Huns and Mongols used it, a lot. But they were not the first to do so. The Indo-Europeans did this, much earlier. From West of Mongolia, in the Altai, they could go west to Europe, south to India, and east to China. And they did. Not coincidentally, the first Denisovan was found at Denis’ cave, in the Altai.

It is known that many advances of Chinese civilization were launched by European types originating from the Altai, 5,000 years ago. I suggest the same mechanism of dissemination of people and ideas was at work already two million years ago. A hint is that Chinese scientists claim to have discovered human usage of fire, in China, 1.3 million years ago.

***

Conclusion: If one visited from another star system, one would find likely that humanity emerged in the largest continent, Eurasia. All the more as it was more challenging technologically, and the easiest to trade people, goods and ideas. Call that the anti-Tasmanian Effect. The Tasmanian effect is that an isolated society which has it all too easy, will devolve (Tasmania is temperate and got isolated after the last glaciation):

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/tasmanian-effect/

The anti-Tasmanian effect is that a maximally exposed mental maelstrom of a society will be most creative. But that carries over, with roughly the same mathematics to phenotypes: a maximally exposed phenotype maelstrom of an hominin population will be phenotypically most varied, enabling the evolution of most successful types, and thus becoming the main engine of evolutionary progress..  

Thus Neanderthals invented the burning of fossil fuels, 80,000 years ago in Europe (an interest of living in an extremely old continent rather than much younger continents or islands full of volcanoes). Europe was the best place to have a big debate on what were the best technologies, for two million years. Now, of course, citizens of nearly all countries can run air conditioning, talk and even see at a distance. But this is now. The most natural place for Homo species to evolve more was Eurasia. This is what philosophy says…

Science will follow and figure out the details, to be certain.

Darwin RIP…

Patrice Ayme

 

God As Evolution Abstracted

March 25, 2019

GOD, CREATION OF THE CROWN OF EVOLUTION

If God is all-powerful, God can’t be a prisoner of human logic, God is beyond human logic (Descartes, creator of analytic geometry, and Pascal, a creator of calculating machines understood this). Thus God can lift an unliftable stone. (Saint Thomas had a petty vision of God, considering God couldn’t lift an unliftable stone, as if God were subject to human logic… Something Saint Thomas actually decided, as if he could impose on God His own powers…)

The problem with evil is exactly the same as with God lifting the unliftable stone: God and evil co-exist, it’s nothing humans can understand: that exact argument is held by Allah Himself, God Itself, in the Qur’an. The very co-existence of a good God and Evil is a proof of the existence of God, as it shows something is beyond human logic, thus all-mighty.

Man, the genus Homo, torments other beings, because if Man can find pleasure in tormenting, Man will be enticed to exterminate other conscious beings, as needed, including oneself. Indeed the latter is fundamental not just to ecological balance, but to the survival of… the genus Homo. Thus the infliction of pain, just as the reception of pain, have reasons beyond the individual, the group, or even the species. It is the genius of the genus.

Representant of the Genus Homo Rules Over the World As the one and only God that Matters. The son of God is son of Man, indeed.

So what wisdom did super mathematician and physicist Pascal suddenly found in the God of Abraham (after a severe illness attacked his brain)? What did Pascal find in that apparently cruel, illogical, somewhat demented, sometimes smart and good, Creator? Well, the inner logic of our own ethology: we are all children of a creative process we are made to abandon ourselves to, because we have no choice: creation itself, biological evolution… our smart, all-powerful, evil and most generous Creator… a (probably) subquantum process we don’t understand, but which certainly exists, and has all the characteristics of the proverbial “God”.

In a way, then, inventing God was a preliminary to discovering evolution. We found God, Evolution, and it created us, by evolving us with all the smarts Evolution is capable of. So here we are, most thankful, and now consciously in charge…

Patrice Ayme
***

***

Notes:

a) In the most prosaic way, it was simply how late Roman emperors justified their God-like tyranny, as I have explained in many essays. The Christian God invented under the Flavian emperors was anti-Judaic, beside being pro-Caesar and pro-Roman. The Catholic God perfected and invented by Emperor Constantine depicted a God made in Constantine’s image. How convenient!

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/emperor-constantine-christian-terrorist-325-ce-fall-of-rome-part-x/

***

b) The short essay above was a comment to the New York Times (published!), on an essay “A God Problem
Perfect. All-powerful. All-knowing. The idea of the deity most Westerners accept is actually not coherent.” By philosophy professor Peter Atterton. With all due respect, the essay didn’t break any new ground on the subject (my comment did).

***

c) If God knows everything, and is all-powerful, deciding upon everything, why should we bother to gather knowledge? Thus the imposition of God (enacted by Constantine, see the essay linked above) was an imposition of a mood conducive to deliberate ignorance. And then what? Still another mood bathing We The People conducive to dictatorship, emulating

Democracy is first about knowledge. Those who block the transmission of knowledge block the inception of democracy. This has plenty of consequences such as addressing Pluto ownership of media or We The People not voting laws.

***

d) Nineteenth century German pessimist yet sleep-around philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer drew attention to what he called the “diabolical” in his work “On Human Nature”:

For man is the only animal which causes pain to others without any further purpose than just to cause it. Other animals never do it except to satisfy their hunger, or in the rage of combat …. No animal ever torments another for the mere purpose of tormenting, but man does it, and it is this that constitutes the diabolical feature in his character which is so much worse than the merely animal.

But then, if one claims man is bad, god is good, as God knows what it is like to want to inflict pain on others, the conclusion is, again, that God enjoys evil.

e) When Pascal died his servant found sewn into his jacket the sentence: “God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob — not of the philosophers and scholars.” That was before the discovery of evolution in full. In those more obscure times, scholars and philosophers had no idea of what biological evolution was capable of, indeed those intellectuals couldn’t know that the mass murdering God of Abraham was exactly our Creator… with the help of the occasional asteroid or super volcano.

f) I tried to explain that the concept of God is extremely coherent if one understands that it is an abstraction of our true creator, biological evolution. In that light, all the apparent incoherence, the badness, and the goodness, the stupidity, brutality and the benevolent intelligence all make sense. Now, of course that return to tyrannical nature was very useful to emperor Constantine, who imposed Christianism…


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