Re: Evolution in action (was: Re Kidney-nappers)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 12:57:30 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 9/10/97 9:21:43 AM, (Arjen Kamphuis)

>Total freedom often means the law of the jungle, were murdering (or at
>least killing) competitors for recources is the smart thing to do.
>If I kill all competitors before a job-interview it would be murder. But if
>I allow somebody to starve to death that could have technically been saved
>with a minute financial offer from me, it's OK (especially is the person is
>living far away). From a Darwinian viewpoint ther's no difference between
>the two.

In a social animal, like humans, these two behaviors have markedly different
Darwinian fitness. Other humans will cooperate with someone who lets other
people starve; but they will avoid, imprison, or even kill the murder.
There's also the issue that it's far riskier to kill another applicant in
the office bathroom than to allow a North Korean to starve.

>Of course in a true 'Darwinian Economy' optimising use of resources would
>mean elimination all non-productive individuals (like ants). After that all
>individuals that aren't productive enough given their consumption of
>limited recources). So after we kill all physically- or metally chalanged,
>unemployed and elderly we give IQ-test to all 5-year olds, score below 110?
>Kill them to. Then up the minimum by .5 point per year. Combined with
>automation of simpler work we should see some dramatic increase in the
>standard of living of smart, hardworking people.
>Very optimal, very efficient.

With humans, probably very *sub*optimal. A critical part of optimizing human
production is improving their systems of social interaction and
communication. We do not differ markedly from 35,000-year-ago human
physically or in innate IQ but our society is vastly more productive, from
being set up differently. The society you describe would greatly curtail the
possibilities for friendly, cooperative interaction between humans and hence
likely be far less productive than the current one.