Re: "the species' immune system"

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 09:38:08 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> Michael S. Lorrey wrote,
> > Exercising restraint in the face of danger is actually more brave than just
> > blazing away. However, each has its place. I would not want a bunny lover in
> > command of a SEAL unit, for example. Elite combat unit members should be
> people
> > who have no compunctions about shooting who they are told to shoot, when they
> > are told to shoot them, with no compunctions or remorse. I would be worried
> > about having such a person in the White House, on the other hand. 80% of the
> > military, and 95% of the general population I would not trust to watch my back
> > in combat. The nuclear button is such an abstraction from actual killing that
> it
> > is rather a testament to how restrained most people are that they can be
> trusted
> > with the trigger. I am not worried about missile crews pushing the button, I
> am
> > worried about them NOT pushing the button when it is needed.
> It seems to me you have an adroit and accurate perception of what it takes for a
> military unit to function effectively (as "the species' immune system" as it
> were). Looking at it in this way, it seems we have a use for military force.
> Then again, perhaps we can transcend violence. What do you think?

I'm not sure. Claims of archaeologists et al indicate that primitive homo
sapiens was actually higher in intelligence, on average, than his later, more
civilized bretheren, as idiots got killed off quickly in the wild. Primitive
does not mean stupid. Once man developed agricultural society, his diet suffered
significantly, impacting life expectancy, average intelligence, etc., while
retarding evolutionary pressures to weed out low IQ individuals. Improvements in
diets this past century is generally credited with the increase in IQ commented
on this list. There has also been a concurrent increase in violence, on both a
wholesale and retail basis. I don't know if this can be attributed to a rise in
IQ, dietary improvements, or due to economic and population pressures, ethnic
intermixing, etc.

It may not be a linear or asmptotic effect, but more of a bell curve effect as
is seen in things like population growth versus education or standard of living,
or per capita pollution versus standard of living. These things are a bit beyond
my own research, so I leave it as an exercise to the reader...

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