RE: virus: Un-natural De-selection

Brett Lane Robertson (
Sat, 16 Aug 1997 10:48:19 -0500

I follow some of the newer evolutionary theories which suggest that
there is a survival benefit to being cooperative (instead of

>So do I...However, as I think you pointed out yourself, this is not the
>place to discuss such things. I very strongly recommend
>that you join the Evolutionary Theory Mailing List, at


No, I did not say any such thing. You are responding to your own internal
voice (this may sound like a generalization or suggestion that you are not
mentally fit...I do not mean it that way and will try to show how I arrived
at this observation). The above statement--if you look at it again--is very
biased and threatening. First, who are you to suggest anything to me (this
statement is not written in defensiveness or threat, I am asking *really*
are you someone who has been empowered to make this suggestion to me--it may
or may not be a good suggestion--but why have you taken it upon yourself to
suggest it)? Second, why is this "not the place to discuss such things"
(again, a question relating to "fact" and not opinion: If this IS such a
place, what characteristics of this place determine this fact...I think you
will see that it is a statement based on emotion and not fact; and further,
that these emotions were elicited in you by someone else--they threatened
and you became someone who enforces those threats at the (perceived) threat
to your own sense of self).

What I have done is reveal something about myself (in a previous
did we get here)*. This could be a mistake from the view of someone who is
socialized not to think for themself. What could have happened is that you
noted things in my post which brought you closer to that part within
yourself where enlightenment comes from. You have been taught to deny this
"selfish" nature very strongly...which is obvious in the threat above (that
I will be ostracized from the group...that I should ostracize myself...that
somehow I should be worried or ashamed of myself). You are showing a part
of yourself that is "self" (attributing something to me that was *inferred*
by yourself). You are showing cooperation (saying that you "too" believe in
cooperation). THEN (for reasons unknown), you are "strongly" recommending
(an attempt to frighten, an attempt to control?...) that I leave. You have
shown no reason, you have shown only conformity (suggesting that this is not
the list for certain discussions), and defensiveness or control.

It would seem that this sense of your own threat to inclusion within the
group was first elicited by a statement where I suggested that evolution
followed some rules *beyond* competition. Richard came out with a statement
of threat similar to the idea that I am a heretic if I disagree with *his*
views and will be punished (though he tried to make me look foolish in
comparison to him...I think that I backed up my observations well). When I
explained my position, it was suggested that I reveal personal things about
myself which *might* make me look weak (I did). Upon realizing this threat
and seeing my personal "weaknesses" (actually upon seeing that I was just a
person and not a *god*), you became territorial and threatening.

We must be careful to avoid generalizations (that those who are not
"evolutionists" are somehow bad); .to avoid threatening and feeling
threatened ("strongly" recommending that I leave); to avoid statements which
are not based in fact (that "this is not the place" for undisclosed
reasons) avoid projection our fears onto others (attributing things to
myself that were not said--I think in reference to the idea that others are
competitive and I would like to see them cooperate [loosely translated by
yourself to mean...Brett thinks that this is not an appropriate list for his
views--which I carefully explained is not the case, but which you became
confused concerning]); to avoid using biased terms which could cause others
to join in threatening practices (to suggest the *evolutionary* mailing
list...which could be misinterpreted by others as implying that my
evolutionary theory is dangerous or inferior).

As to the statement "properly understood, all such theories are very firmly
based on natural selection (Robin)": This statement is obviously incorrect
as not *all* theories are *firmly based* on any one idea. The theories I
shared with the group are definitely not based on "natural selection" (I
should know, I have researched them and determined that their assumptions
are based on theories which are NOT competitive).

I assume that some will see this as a threatening letter. I hope that
everyone understands that within a group there are forces at work which are
stronger than the individual. These forces are what turns a group into a
"cult"...whereby incomplete philosophies are accepted at face value and
those who might lead these ideas on to a higher level are considered a
threat to the group hierarchy). No one is being accused of deliberately
trying to enforce ignorance, prejudice, or violence. I am merely pointing
out some group and individual mistakes in the thought processes which can
lead to an organization committing mass suicide should hale-bop return
unexpectedly :)

ps...some might suggest that I start my own list; but I do not have the
resources...THIS is a good example of a "virus", someone who uses the
resources that another has set up in order to spread his own memetic

At 10:40 AM 8/16/97 +0100, you wrote:
>Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

>>>And just how do the more complex lifeforms manage to
>>>influence the survival of the simpler ones?


>>I folow some of the newer evolutionary theories which suggest that
>there is
>>a survival benefit to being cooperative (instead of competetive)...

>So do I, but I think you'll find that, properly understood, all such
>theories are very firmly based on natural selection.

>However, as I think you pointed out yourself, this is not the
>place to discuss such things. I very strongly recommend
>that you join the Evolutionary Theory Mailing List, at


Rabble Sonnet Retort
Often the test of courage is not to die but to live.

Conte Vittorio Alfieri