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Is Darwinism for humans in modern society dead?

Old 03-12-08, 12:08 PM
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Is Darwinism for humans in modern society dead?

I wonder if modern society has eliminated Darwinism for human beings.

In the animal world - if there is a squirrel that does not collect enough nuts for the winter, or a mother bird that does not put her nest in a safe enough place - more than likely those animals will die - thus preventing them from passing on their genetic traits.


Now to Humans - For example we have a woman who is addicted to drugs / alcohol. She may or may not suffer from an addictive personality / low IQ / mental issues. She lives for drugs, hygiene is poor, her health declines, and she stops working. No matter how many times she cleans herself up she is back to drugs in weeks.

Darwinism, would say that this person would die off - thus not passing on this addictive trait / low IQ / mental issue.

However, modern society wants to "help" her. So they provide her medical attention, thus helping her stay off disease from her lifestyle. If she happens to overdose, they rush her to the hospital to be resucitated.

In addition, they provide her with free housing, food, and money from SSI. Therefore, there is no consequence to her deciding not to work and get high on drugs day in and day out. As a result, she gets pregnant many times over - and society pays for the delivery of her offspring, health care, money for food, and will even provide foster care if the parent decides they don't feel like caring for the child. This woman could get pregnant, deliver, and give away her children every nine months with absolutely no consequences.

This does not sound like "survival of the fittest." The result is that this unfit person is being able to survive and pass along a potentially undesirable trait.

I'm not a cold hearted bastard - but sometimes I think about this when I see cop shows were they rush people who are sickly junkies to the hospital every time they overdose.

So I open it up to the floor for discussion.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:20 PM
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One could argue that Darwinism is choosing humanity for extinction vs. other species. I believe this is true and one way or another we are engineering our own demise.
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Old 03-12-08, 12:20 PM
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so drug addicts have low IQs?...
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Old 03-12-08, 02:07 PM
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I think the OP made some great points.

We're too spoiled in society today. Everything becomes much "easier" and it be only fair that "life's fair". Each generation (parents) wants the next generation (their children) to have it better/easier than they did, and in the process, that "next" generation becomes useless because everything is handed to them, making life "easier".

I read an article in my local paper yesterday talking about the work "habits" of the 3 generations, Babyboomers, Gen-Xers, and the "Millennials" (completely new term to me)....basically stating the the "new" workforce are a bunch of emotionally scarred lazy-asses who are good at html-code and should be respected for it. They should be appreciated automatically and should be allowed to work with their friends, even though they spend, on average, 1.5 years at any given job.

Darwinism is no longer an issue because society becomes dumber with every day that passes. Left to their own devices, without the help of either their families or the gummy-mint, many people would be totally fucked.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CPA-ESQ.
Darwinism, would say that this person would die off - thus not passing on this addictive trait / low IQ / mental issue.
Likewise for childhood illnesses and diseases. All those kids were meant to die, but modern society intervenes with medical care to save them, to pass on their inferior genes to another generation.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:13 PM
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First let me say I wrote several papers on the subject.
Since we have included compassion, medicine and mechanical assistance into our cultures, this does lessen the impact of evolution as we know it. For example- glasses make people with poor eyesight perfectly capable. The lack of environmental pressures also softens “survival of the fittest” – we no longer have tons of predators, illness and the cold environment killing off people that aren’t adapted to those pressures.

Also the fact that humanity has grown to the point where isolation of gene pools is a rare occurrence (and it is essential to evolution) dramatic adaptation shifts (like skin color, hair color, etc) are a thing of the past.

The pressures of society can help push evolution. One would think that beauty, height, thick hair and intelligence would create new pressures and mold people into smart-CK models. The problem is that our societies are ever changing and the ideal change dramatically over time- the pressures don’t stand still long enough for people to evolve to match them.

As an animal in the world, we are constantly evolving. Mostly our role. If global warming turns out to be a great pressure on our survival, our species will change or die.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mmconhea
First let me say I wrote several papers on the subject.
Wow, the wonders of Otter continue to amaze me.

Some interesting points in this thread. With respect to MartinB's comments, I too am completely anti-"coddling," and believe that over-emphasizing "self-esteem" to the point of eliminating criticism and competition is a BAD thing, and leads to the referenced lack of skills and sense of entitlement that is increasing in our (American) society. Sort of a defeat of 'social Darwinism' that we are exacerbating through PC policies and attitudes.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:22 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it. This has been going on for maybe 100 years. It's only likely to continue for another couple hundred years. That's only about 15-20 generations, which isn't enough to have a strong effect on any species through random selection. The few thousand people that you're talking about, out of 5.5 billion people alive today, are an insignificant proportion of the species. Besides, most of us are still trying to get the best possible mate.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyquest
Likewise for childhood illnesses and diseases. All those kids were meant to die, but modern society intervenes with medical care to save them, to pass on their inferior genes to another generation.
Absolutely. I expect you to do your part and refuse antibiotics the next time you're sick.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
I think the OP made some great points.

We're too spoiled in society today. Everything becomes much "easier" and it be only fair that "life's fair". Each generation (parents) wants the next generation (their children) to have it better/easier than they did, and in the process, that "next" generation becomes useless because everything is handed to them, making life "easier".

I read an article in my local paper yesterday talking about the work "habits" of the 3 generations, Babyboomers, Gen-Xers, and the "Millennials" (completely new term to me)....basically stating the the "new" workforce are a bunch of emotionally scarred lazy-asses who are good at html-code and should be respected for it. They should be appreciated automatically and should be allowed to work with their friends, even though they spend, on average, 1.5 years at any given job.

Darwinism is no longer an issue because society becomes dumber with every day that passes. Left to their own devices, without the help of either their families or the gummy-mint, many people would be totally fucked.
and how exactly has this changed over the centuries?

1000 years ago we used to call this feudalism where you would trade your freedom to a lord for protection
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Old 03-12-08, 02:34 PM
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I asked my freshman English teacher this question. Little did I know she was an ethnic German Jew whose research interest was the holocaust. She interpreted my question as relating to Nazi eugenics and it went downhill from there.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:35 PM
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I remember this anti-drug ad in a comic I read a few months ago. It had this picture of a healthy young clean girl sitting in front of a garbage heap. The caption: Friends aren't disposable.

That is a view which I think is a positive for any society.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
and how exactly has this changed over the centuries?

1000 years ago we used to call this feudalism where you would trade your freedom to a lord for protection
I don't understand your point.

The change can be seen not even going back 1000 years. Look at the WWII generation (both my Grandfathers), we had teens lying about their age so they could go fight for something they believe in. Now we have lispy, limp-wristed "men" with ratty hair wearing their pajamas in public.* Quite a difference if you ask me.



*This is the actual example I dealt with...kid came into buy a Lexus, rather, his FOLKS were buying him a Lexus. He was 18 and Jessica Simpson stupid, rolling his eyes, ratty, "just got outta bed" look going on, keeping in mind it was 4pm. And no bullshit, he was wearing pajamas.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
I don't understand your point.

The change can be seen not even going back 1000 years. Look at the WWII generation (both my Grandfathers), we had teens lying about their age so they could go fight for something they believe in. Now we have lispy, limp-wristed "men" with ratty hair wearing their pajamas in public.* Quite a difference if you ask me.



*This is the actual example I dealt with...kid came into buy a Lexus, rather, his FOLKS were buying him a Lexus. He was 18 and Jessica Simpson stupid, rolling his eyes, ratty, "just got outta bed" look going on, keeping in mind it was 4pm. And no bullshit, he was wearing pajamas.
Don't believe the propaganda that everyone in past generations were saints. Don't generalize the occasional trust-fund kid you meet to everyone else on the planet.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by MartinBlank
I don't understand your point.

The change can be seen not even going back 1000 years. Look at the WWII generation (both my Grandfathers), we had teens lying about their age so they could go fight for something they believe in. Now we have lispy, limp-wristed "men" with ratty hair wearing their pajamas in public.* Quite a difference if you ask me.



*This is the actual example I dealt with...kid came into buy a Lexus, rather, his FOLKS were buying him a Lexus. He was 18 and Jessica Simpson stupid, rolling his eyes, ratty, "just got outta bed" look going on, keeping in mind it was 4pm. And no bullshit, he was wearing pajamas.
Did you run him over with a Lexus? If so, which one?
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Old 03-12-08, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger
Don't believe the propaganda that everyone in past generations were saints. Don't generalize the occasional trust-fund kid you meet to everyone else on the planet.
Trust-funders or not. What's up with guys wearing chick pants now-a-days?
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Old 03-12-08, 02:53 PM
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For all the strung out loser druggies and lazy people helped along by society today, there is (in my opinion) a much greater number of people who by all rights should have died much earlier than they actually will due to modern medicine and human compassion.

I think the scientific and technological advancements created by those people who "darwinism" would have killed off, have done far more for the advancement of our civilization and betterment of our lives than the dregs of society working in the opposite direction could ever do.

That is the new evolution.
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Old 03-12-08, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jonnyquest
Likewise for childhood illnesses and diseases. All those kids were meant to die, but modern society intervenes with medical care to save them, to pass on their inferior genes to another generation.
Good point.

While this idea is interesting to me, I don't much care for the original post. First of all, that stereotypical portrayal of drug addicts is offensive to me. I also don't like this drug addict example because I would argue that your poor, unemployed, drug addict is probably better at surviving than many people considered his better. I don't think many "successful" corporate monkeys could last a day on the street. But, besides that, I don't think it takes the concept far enough. You're still looking at Darwinisim within the context of modern society. This is an abstract application of the concept. Survival within our social institutions isn't the same as survival in nature.

I think it is more interesting to look at how human society as a whole has consistently taken steps to remove itself from nature and regards itself not as a part of nature anymore. In this sense, the drug addict in the OP is just as guilty of escaping natual selection as the grocery shopping suburban family of four. Johnnyquest's example applies as well. The fact it, a large portion of humanity would be fucked if the vast social institutions currently in place were to dissappear tomorrow.

Other posters have also addressed how this impacts our evolution going forward. I would tend to agree that civilization as we know it probably won't be around long enough for this situation to present itself.

If it does, I suspect we will yield adequate control of our own genetics to guide our progress. That, or we will journey to the stars, and space will present a whole new series of selective pressures!

Last edited by Nausicaa; 03-12-08 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Nausicaa
Good point.

While this idea is interesting to me, I don't much care for the original post. First of all, that stereotypical portrayal of drug addicts is offensive to me. But, besides that, I don't think it takes the concept far enough. You're still looking at Darwinisim within the context of modern society. This is an abstract application of the concept. Survival within our social institutions isn't the same as survival in nature.

I think it is more interesting to look at how human society as a whole has consistently taken steps to remove itself from nature and regards itself not as a part of nature anymore. In this sense, the drug addict in the OP is just as guilty of escaping natual selection as the grocery shopping suburban family of four. Johnnyquest's example applies as well. The fact it, a large portion of humanity would be fucked if the vast social institutions currently in place were to dissappear tomorrow.

Other posters have also addressed how this impacts our evolution going forward. I would tend to agree that civilization as we know it probably won't be around long enough for this situation to present itself.

If it does, I suspect we will yield adequate control of our own genetics to guide our progress. That, or we will journey to the stars, and space will present a whole new series of selective pressures!
Good post.

As for the suburban grocery store, it's just part of a bigger experiment. We're trying something that has never been done before since the beginning of the Earth. We are trusting our lives to other humans who we've never met, and never will meet.

Every time we turn on a light, we're trusting someone to not electrocute us. Every time we buy a bottle of liquor, we're trusting it not to be poisonous. We expect our groceries to be nutritious, our houses to be warm and dry, and our money to be accepted.

It's working. It's an incredibly complex web. But it seems to be stable. It's also pretty damn cool.

That cooperation has allowed humans to conquer the planet in six thousand years. Humans are munching up every species consisting of self-reliant animals.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:17 PM
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Nick Danger, Nausicaa,

I was being sarcastic/facetious. Not intended to be taken literally.

Save the children. Medical science is a good thing. That's how I really feel.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
so drug addicts have low IQs?...
That's a conclusion you chose to leap to, not the OP:

Originally Posted by CPA-ESQ.
...For example we have a woman who is addicted to drugs / alcohol. She may or may not suffer from an addictive personality / low IQ / mental issues....
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Old 03-12-08, 03:23 PM
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This is why I liked the movie Idiocracy so much, because even though it was a comedy, I can see their point. I am just glad I will be dead before we most likely kill ourselves off.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger
Every time we turn on a light, we're trusting someone to not electrocute us. Every time we buy a bottle of liquor, we're trusting it not to be poisonous.
This is what I use my wife for.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:34 PM
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Old 03-12-08, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred

I think the scientific and technological advancements created by those people who "darwinism" would have killed off, have done far more for the advancement of our civilization and betterment of our lives than the dregs of society working in the opposite direction could ever do.

That is the new evolution.
Wow - great point - I never thought about that before.
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