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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Survival of the friendliest?

Seriously? In the age of Trumpian hostility?

New book on deck.

Came to it by way of Digby's blog. Stay tuned. I am reminded of my prior riffs on Tomasello.

Also, "Kindness?" And, more broadly, is there in fact a "Science of Deliberation" that minimally necessarily assumes "civility" if not "friendliness?" Again, "nature may be red in tooth and claw, but it is not merely so."

Cooperation is the key to our survival as a species because it increases our evolutionary fitness. But somewhere along the way, “fitness” became synonymous with physical fitness. In the wild, the logic goes, the bigger you are, and the more willing you are to fight, the less others will mess with you and the more successful you will become. You can monopolize the best food, find the most attractive mates, and have the most babies. Arguably, no folk theory of human nature has done more harm—or is more mistaken—than the “survival of the fittest.” Over the past century and a half, it has been the basis for social movements, corporate restructuring, and extreme views of the free market. It has been used to argue for the abolition of government, and to judge groups of people as inferior, and then justify the cruelty that results. But to Darwin and modern biologists, “survival of the fittest” refers to something very specific—the ability to survive and leave behind viable offspring. It is not meant to go beyond that...

Hare, Brian. Survival of the Friendliest (p. xvi). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
We shall see.


Finished it. Great fun. Compelling argument.

I am also reminded of my prior riffs on "Tribalism."

More to come...

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