virus: Beyondism (a case of parallel memetic evolution?)

David McFadzean (
Tue, 7 Jan 1997 23:56:31 -0700

I just came across this at a web site called "Stalking the Wild Taboo"
( Reproduced here for your
illucidations and edification...

A Concise Beyondist Catechism

Taken from Beyondism: Religion from Science
by Raymond B. Cattell
Praeger, 1987

Let us sum up concisely the principles discussed in this book,
in logical order.

1. That evolution is the prime process visible in the universe,
to which we have to conform, and should do so in good will.

2. That human evolution proceeds ultimately by natural selection
among groups, which determines and is determined by natural
selection among individuals, genetically and culturally.

3. That natural selection among groups and individuals requires
as a precondition adequate variation among groups and individuals,
genetically and culturally.

4. That one important factor in group survival resides in the laws
that govern its internal structure and the desirable mutual
behavior of individuals. The evolution of the best interindividual
ethical values is therefore based finally on the processes of
intergroup differential survival, the competitive conditions for
which must be maintained. The ethics of a particular group are
fixed, additionally, by aiming to survive in relation to its
particular aspirations and circumstances.

5. Historically, "revealed" religions are attempts to congeal the
naturally, evolution-derived ethical systems and to aid their
practice by priesthoods, rituals, and imaginary after-life rewards,
etc. Historically, they made the imperialist mistake, however, of
extending the within group derived values of any single group to
universal values among men, thus conflicting with (2) above.

6. The spiritual life of Beyondism arises, in part, like that of the
other religions, from genetic urges unsatisfied in everyday life,
unavoidably in any culture with genetic lag. Beyondism differs in
shaping those desires explicitly to logically indicated evolutionary
needs rather than, as in revealed religions, inventing subjective
beliefs to meet and fit the accidental frustrations.

7. Beyondism necessarily regards many beliefs and practices of
revealed religion as inadequate or misleading. For the notion of
a loving father God, it substitutes faith in the purpose of evolution.
It regards mankind as no "apple of God's eye," but as one species
among millions, in a universe that is neither favorably nor
unfavorably disposed to us. Our individual immortality is also
restricted to what we pass on to the life of our group. This greater
emotional austerity of Beyondism will slow down its universal
acceptance, but develop a new sense of spirituality.

8. There are six main entities to which an individual's ethical
values can be functionally oriented: fellow group members, the
group government, other group governments, members of other groups,
individuals committed to a Beyondist Ethic, and, above all, the
Evolutionary Purpose. Each of these objects calls for precise
alignment of its loyalties, in a situational hierarchy among them.
For example, a man's ethical loyalty to his own group exceeds that
to members of "mankind" generally. However (a) the injunctions of
the different "object" ethics are different, mostly, in kind, and
(b) circumstances put emphasis on the primary survival of all groups,
if the total existence of man is threatened. The rose diagram of
ethical values (Figure 8-1) should answer many ethical questions
now troubling teachers and religious-political parties.

9. The only ultimate test of the fitness and progress of a group's
culture-genetic make-up is whether it survives, historically. However,
just as individual eugenics avoids the cruelty of in-life selection
of failures, so the disasters of cultural death and genocide among
groups can be lessened by foresighted changes based on objective
health measures understanding the comparative morbidity of cultures
and races, akin to a medical watch on individuals.

10. The cultural and genetic evolution of groups are alike in that
variation -- largely inaccessible directly as to evolution of
desirability -- must occur in both, followed by natural selection.
The process is well understood in genetics, but has new, as yet
unorganized, principles in the evolution of cultural elements.
Culture changes by the mechanical and social inventions of leading
persons, and by borrowing (willing or forced) from other cultures.
As Graubard (1986) points out, "exceptionally radical inventions
are the work of exceptionally gifted individuals." In addition to
the direct molding effect of inventions, there are side effects
from their interactions with economic, population, meteorological,
etc., material pressures. Cultural elements survive on their own
merits, independently of the genetic group using them, and show
continual elaboration, though there is interaction of survival with
the genetic suitability of the group, and the group's situation.

11. Being the work of superior intelligences, culture, as a whole,
is likely to demand more complex adjustments from the general
population than they are genetically suited to make. This discrepancy
we call genetic lag. it has some correspondence to the difference
between the instinctual reactions of the old brain and the
adjustments made possible by the cortex. Genetic lag is the cause
of many social problems.

12. The saying that "man adapts his environment to himself instead of
suffering selection from environment," is a half-truth since his
cultural adaptations are to environment. His cultural developments,
however, are of two kinds: "p-culture" which adapts as outlets for
his frustrations, as in poetry, music, and drama, and "r-culture"
which actually fits him to environment, as in engineering, medicine,
and science. The convolutions of p-culture may be training for
r-culture, as well as for temporary emotional adjustment; but it is
primarily by r-culture that he survives.

13. Eugenic measures seek to reduce the genetic lag; but the adjustment
sought is partly to the universe generally and partly to a particular
culture and its situation. The discrepancy of genetics and culture
arises largely from the movement of culture by "inventions" (mutations).
An adventurous society will deliberately create genetic mutations to
see what they will do toward creating a new culture. Evolution is thus
an interaction of genetic and cultural mutations, each shaping, by
survival contributions, the other. Genetic advance on a broad front
is dependent on man's adventuring beyond horizons. The spirit of
adventure is therefore a central value in Beyondist ethics, and
contrary to many "universalist" revealed religions.

14. Beyondism calls for an examination of the internal rules of
progress, and concludes first that a substantial freedom for
individuality is required. In revolution, advanced and atavistic
groups (detesting culture) operate together. In reaching the same
"revolutionary" changes by evolution, lesser genetic lag is
probably a precondition. When ethical rules are scientifically
derived from social research, egoistic, antisocial individualism
can be treated in distinction from creative individualism. The
id constantly chafes for "human rights" rather than duties, and
rights are not "God given," but, truly, contractual and
situationally fixed by the conditions of group survival.

15. Beyondism calls practically for a vast increase in social
research, with such objectives as making national comparisons,
defining ethical systems, clarifying the ethical and cultural
values of each group, and so on. For each group should follow
its own divergent adventure, racially and culturally, in
cooperative competition with a world federation of groups, each
with its own sociobiological research institutes.

16. The spirit of Beyondism is one of common human adventure, of
risk taking, and of an austere acceptance of nonsentimental
alues, and the constant existence of tragedy. Our situation in
the universe is more precarious than we commonly accept, and it
behooves us to evolve in intelligence, and secure command of
possible environments at the fastest possible pace. With every
gain of security, from science, much of the gain has been socially
lost to further support of science by expenditures in sentimental
support of trivial id demands. We have to control suecorant behavior,
just as every instinct needs control, away from unbounded "social
welfare" into knowledge-producing support. If survival is the final
test of ethics, our ethical values, and the political practices
resulting, need serious re-education, e.g., toward a simple even
income tax, and the acceptance of direction by qualified elites,
democratically watched.

17. Since Beyondism sees survival to be as dependent on genetic as
cultural bases, one change of present values indicated is in an
altogether more enthusiastic pursuit of eugenics. This involves the
acceptance of genetic individual differences, without envy or
malicious obstruction, and of better education for the gifted.
Probably a positive eugenic condition could be most simply established
by an ethic of more children from the socially more successful.
The mechanics would require some economic laws, since a bright
child, going to college, is decidedly more of a family economic
burden than one of average intelligence. The particular goals of
eugenic selection can be democratically set by the needs of each
society and its ideals. One of the main sources of antieugenic
thinking and dysgenic practice is the absence of school education
of the voting body particularly in biology and statistics.

18. Races formed in the past, due largely to geographical isolation,
are of only transient and esthetic particularity and importance. The
genetic groupings (races) of the future will arise from self-conscious
selection by each cultural group. Their development requires regard
for the efficiency of language barriers and for migration control
considerations. In a long term view, the genus homo sapiens would
be wise to split, by conscious segregation of ideals, into more
than one species. This may involve "genetic engineering" or become
achieved as a side result of solar system colonization.

19. The main cultural development that Beyondism requires is a quite
unprecedented increase in support of socio-biological research. Many
ideas in this book are "promises" of advance, and it is hard, for
example, to substantiate such views as that the advance of culture
occurs through restriction of sexual activities, by any indubitable
present evidence of relation. The research institutes that need to be
set up are both national in roots-attending to the particular national
adventure-and international, obtaining laws of social effects by
cross comparison of national cultures. The issues to be investigated
are as mind-boggling as the most sophisticated problems in, for
example, modern physics. Scientists in sociobiology will only rarely,
with special selection for truly genius level of talent, be able to
make the needed progress.

20. Beyondism is a coherent system of beliefs that scientists can be
expected to understand and, in the main, support. At this point in
history there has been a startling increase of interest in the bearing
of psycho-biological discoveries on human organization. If a sufficient
body of scientists and others can be brought together, in sufficient
accord, the time has come for the development of an actual Beyondist
organization to begin affecting political, educational. and economic
decisions. An appeal is accordingly here made for Beyondists to get
together in a fellowship of discussion.