Re: virus: Re: Rationalism

Twirlip of Greymist (
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 19:01:03 -0800 (PST)

/> The unit of evolution is not the individual, its the genes. An alcoholic
/>can pass on their genes quite well. My mother did. In fact, I've know
/Let's evaluate this theory if children were allowed to drink/do drugs.
/They would and do drink/take drugs to excess if adults did not control
/their behavior through physical force or memetic transfer of
/"drinking/drugs are bad". It just isn't easily explained from a gene
/perspective. Our genes should want us to drink only to the point that we

A much simpler explanation in this case: alcohol and cocaine were not
part of our evolutionary environment. We don't have defenses against
them (chemical or behavioral) because on the timescale of genetic
evolution we haven't needed any.

/But that doesn't explain why everyone would want so much to do them in the
/first place.

Luck, probably. Some plant produces a chemical (opiates, cocaine) that
resembles chemicals in the brain. Zzzt. Alcohol (partly digested
sugar) is just annoying.

/inhibits procreation of the gene, then why doesn't drug
/addiction/alcoholism eventually become extinct? And is it really just a

It might become extinct. It's hardly had the chance to do so.

/What about gang/mob psychology? How do we explain in genetic terms
/sacrifices made in interracial gangs? Is everything that cannot not be

People evolved in small communities where they were related to most
other people they'd see. It is expectable that most of our behaviors
would have evolved under kin-selective pressure. Then in biological
blinktime we've become reorganized into these much larger and more
diverse societies. Mental adaptations (genetic or memetic) that
propragated their hosts just fine in the evolutionary environment may
well seem maladapted now.

/And perhaps most importantly, is this group stating that there is no
/meaning to life other than the meaning of gene-creation? This amorphous

I'm not sure what _that_ means either. I don't think there is any
inherent meaning to the universe. The universe Is. I continue being
because I want to. What the evolutionary pressures behind that will to
live are doesn't matter; it is in my core nature to want to survive. If
you don't share that, c'est non la vie.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

But 'twas beyond a mortal's share/To wander solitary there:
Two paradises 'twere in one,/To live in Paradise alone.