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Posted by M.W.Pearson on May 3, 2003 04:45:29 UTC

Tim wrote:
"Perhaps you mean power
it is not logical that evolution would favor cheaters, liars and thieves.
If it did so humane society would be in much worse shape than it is. but the strategies employed in the power struggles of mankind, yes history would support that. even there i would agree It is like "one brief shining moment" when cheaters, while they may prosper, at least do not prevail."

We should differentiate between
"Evolution as the statistical map of inevitable change"
and "Evolution via random mutation and natural selection"
or even "Evolution via random mutation, natural selection and artificial selection."

Human society, following the latter two definitions of evolution as its guide,
tends toward natural dominance games rather than
these ethical improvements you seem to appreciate. Evolution IS what is naturally
occurring, but IS NOT what is responsible for
the recently elevated condition of human society.

Improvements are the product of (need some way of saying "real honesty")
somehow creating a temporary bulkhead against
nature's basic aimlessness.
Evolution does not tend to make life "better."
What makes life better is something higher than
mechanics -- such as "intention" -- which has not
been claimed for natural evolution by real scientists.
We can make evolution work better some models of
regulating ethics, but there is also a danger of
screwing up and making society worse. Humans have not been very successful as social engineers. Yet nature has a record of savagery too. The U.S. Constitution is a fairly successful creator of improvements for those inside the bubble, but at a cost to those outside it. Tough problem.

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