Random Comments On Evolution

Yes, I know it’s extremely difficult for regular readers to fathom that I, myself, and me, would have random thoughts. It is, however credulous, true. On good days the random thoughts arrange themselves like toy soldiers into a formation to give me strength to wage a battle of wits with the problems of the universe. This very clever strategy is not without its shortcomings. No, I tell you true. There are actually long moments and hours when not a thing of sense wanders through my brain. I must sleep sometime.

Your cousin? or mine?

Hey cuz! How’s it hanging?

Anyway, on with randomness. This is probably somewhat less random than even a random number generator. You can call that RNG when you are hanging out with your programmer geek friends. blah, blah, da de blah….

First, a face palm for science

It has always struck me as odd (that is saying something) that scientists would so widely miss the mark with regard to human nature in respect of Neanderthals. One of the maxims that I think always seems to work is this: if there is a loop-hole someone will use it and share it with their friends. I know how hormones affect a person, be they male or female. If they can mate, it only takes a spring day, a smile, or the fact that it’s Tuesday for them to decide to try mating. If Neanderthals and modern humans could mate, even if only the physical act, they did. It’s not a maybe or some interesting theory. It it was possible, they did! No question. Did you ever see a Pittbull get picky about what kind of dog it tries mating with? Me either. Okay, so you still need evidence, but that’s like looking for evidence of why the sky is blue. We know it appears blue, we only need to show why. Evolutionary biologists you might be…. behavioralists? Not so much.

And another thing…

This whole deal where human apes are supposed to be more special than the other apes and other animals because of how we think. I’ve never quite understood the presupposition that this is true. I certainly never spent quality time with ALL the animal species in the world so I could only guess at such things.

Jane Goodall - Supporter of gorillas

Jane Goodall – Supporter of gorillas

It seems to me (Hello Jane Goodall and Ric O’Barry et al) that all the people who actually did spend non-trivial amounts of quality time with animals (mammals mostly) found that these creatures were far from near-stupid automatons. Now we have Chimpanzee Santino who is showing us that all these stupid human tricks are not so difficult as we pretend that they are, once you have the right motivation. Santino represents no huge jump in Chimpanzee cranial capacity, so that he can behave as he does indicates that the jump to human as not so large a jump as we imagine. Making that jump over hundreds of thousands of years is not such a huge feat. We’re not worthy! My dog is smarter than yours and my chimpanzee is probably smarter than your kid. So there….

Ric O'Barry - Dolphin supporter

Ric O’Barry – Dolphin supporter

And then there is this

(italics are mine)

6. Then, quite recently, modern man discovered intelligent thought, a rigid methodology and a mostly painful process. Totally unsung, it came from the artisans (not the philosophers), while seeking repeatable methods to build dependable products. It required the learning and application of provable knowledge and a rejection of that which could not be proven. The engineer was born, vilified by the intellectual from the beginning. The intelligent thought process is not entertaining, like art, music, sports, literature and philosophy, and it isn’t easy or fun. It requires a measurable and provable basis, thereby utterly destroying a lot of beautiful and imaginative thought. It requires a careful single logical step at a time, a seemingly terrible waste of a soaring and creative mind. It requires physical verification at every logic step, a terribly boring and rote procedure. And it takes a terrible amount of knowledge preparation. But it produces real and measurable results. And if something is really important, such as developing safe air flight, it is always used, indeed it is demanded. The education of our children, long an intellectual toy, must someday join the list of ‘important’ things that deserve the same treatment.The uncontrolled application of imagination and conjecture to an intangible basis, such as now exists in our modern social studies, is the direct inverse of intelligence and can only breed mischief.

Education of the human ape brain is no simple matter. In trying to accomplish this we have learned that we don’t actually know much and what we thought we knew was not really true. First eggs are good, then bad, then only the yokes are bad and so on. We knee-jerk our way into the future, learning hard lessons over and over again despite all the ways that we could write them down, share them, and not have to learn them again. Despite the numerous obvious cases against believing what feels good, we continue to do so and insist that our children learn what feels good instead of what is true. It’s a simple thing, statement X is true, statement feel-good is not. Why is there any disagreement? Clearly evolution has not brought us to the pinnacle of intelligence. It just seems that way from our vantage point.

Well, I’ll probably do more random thoughts but that is it for today.

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