Over believing in evolution

Recently I was in a conference involving a talk about bio-mimetic design, which is essentially utilizing nature inspired ideas for engineering applications.

One of the lecturers mentioned three interesting points, which may be relevant to some of recent discussion in the androsphere (see Heartiste’s post about female athletes becoming male-like…):

1. It is common for bio-mimetic engineers (and almost everyone else) to believe that nature design is “optimal” (e.g. a fish shape is optimal for swimming in water), while it might be optimal, it never optimal with regard to a single parameter, but a wide array of parameters and biological limitations acting on the organism.

2. Many species are still significantly evolving and hadn’t reached the optimal configuration yet.

3. Even when species reaches some kind of stable optimum (e.g. sharks) there is no guarantee it is a global optimum, only a local one (look for global and local maxima if you don’t get this point).

In conclusion, while the evolution point-of-view (and specifically evolutionary psychology) indeed can be used to understand our world, and is a powerful weapon for fighting equality/individualism/morality dictated by progressives, it has limitations.

With regard to the discussion in the androsphere on female athletes becoming male-like, my view is that both men and women are optimized to running, fighting, etc… however for men this parameter is more significant compared to women, and thus their bodies are adapted accordingly. Since the best female athletes represent an optimization for strength/speed/etc, their optimization is more like men and they thus are more manly.

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7 Responses to Over believing in evolution

  1. Pingback: Local maxima | Selfcentered

  2. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You 8.26.12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  3. Also a good point is that evolution means that they very well could have been optimal for past conditions but not for the changing present ones. As such, the “haven’t reached optimal” can very well be a species that is optimally adapted to….. well, adapt optimally as needed to quickly changing environments and instability.

    Obviously humans are optimally adapted for our past social and technological conditions, and the current movement in the ‘Sphere is a social evolution to find that optimal balance for the current conditions.Human social evolution is a great example of these concepts – but our biological evolution is unable to keep up.

    • dicipres says:

      That’s a good point. Social evolution is maybe allows a faster way to change, more rapid and aware than biological evolution. Today, individualism/feminism/sexual revolution are about tearing down the social contract created by social evolution. Without social contracts whats rule us is our hind-brain. When everybody is a nihilist the hindbrain is the king.

      Also, your point that “As such, the “haven’t reached optimal” can very well be a species that is optimally adapted to….. well, adapt optimally as needed to quickly changing environments and instability.” should be true for a species that has constantly rapidly changing environment… The very rapid societal changes humanity currently experiencing is unique to our time, IMO.

  4. “Social evolution is maybe allows a faster way to change, more rapid and aware than biological evolution. Today, individualism/feminism/sexual revolution are about tearing down the social contract created by social evolution. Without social contracts whats rule us is our hind-brain.”

    It’s true. Personally, I think the rapid social evolution we’re experiencing as a race is an inevitability of consumer driven economies and free reign commercialism. When technology is allowed to advance as quickly as ours has, there’s no way for society to cope with it other than trying to evolve socially just as quickly as the technology is. While this can lead to dynamic brilliance, it also means that we will constantly be balancing on an evolutionary knife edge where any number of independent variables can drive us into massive issues. It is one of the things that makes humans great while also making us the greatest danger to ourselves and to changing the whole planet with climate change and extinction. Life will go one if we fail, but it would be drastically different.

    I doubt any force of nature or human driven could change that structure though. It would likely take a massive, world wide event for humanity to ever change to a more conservative structure in how it researches and implements technological and social change.

    • dicipres says:

      I agree with everything but “rapid social evolution”, I believe that a better term is that we are facing just a “rapid social change” due to a wide variety of reasons. I would call “rapid social evolution” when cultures are disappearing due to lack of reproduction, due to emerging of a non sustainable cultures. While we seem to be closer to than point (Europe is dying…?), I not sure we are there just yet.

  5. tgrwhite8974 says:

    Evolution is continual. A species is always looking for a competitive edge and when it gets one then another species will have adapt to try and get ahead.
    Think of it like the market, which tends towards effiency if all things stay the same, but all things are in constant flux determined by an unmeasurable amount of external stimuli which means effiency can never be achieved so long as the market is dynamic.

    Humans though have a hard time thinking in dynamic terms and instead rely on static models with only limited (usually one) variable(s). This is where all the silly thinking about climate change comes from and why relying on models to predict something as complex as the climate is doomed to failure.

    Finally, with regards to the absurdity of the Darwinist theory being used for everything as a catch all explanation read ‘darwinian fairytales’ by David Stove.

    P.S. For a laugh read Stove’s essay “On the intellectual capacity of women.”

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