Friday, 10 September 2010

Chapter Two - The Selfish Gene, (And other feeble excuses made up by men).

Back in the 1960s at when the Women’s Liberation Movement was going strong, women libbers were claiming that men and women were exactly the same. They claimed this for two reasons-
1. Men previously were claiming that women were not as intelligent as men. In fact in the 19th century male scientists “proved” that women had smaller brains then men. The idea that perhaps these male scientists might be a little biased never crossed anyone’s mind. After all scientists are above human failings like emotions, bias and prejudice. These super humans can see the facts logically and clearly without human emotions. So of course they cannot possibly make a mistake, can they? They were also claiming that women were too emotional to make sensible decisions. After all women would get too emotional to make rational decisions like ordering hundreds of thousands of men to die in the face of machine gun fire. Or use gas warfare, as a more efficient way to kill and blind people. Like they did in the First World War.
2. In the 1960s the fashionable scientific theory then was that it was our upbringing that made us what we are. So Feminists seized on this and claimed it was only cultural bias in the way we brought up children that made the sexes different. Great theory, but somehow in practice it didn’t work out like this. Feminist mothers and schoolteachers worked hard at treating little boys and girls exactly the same. So little Johnny was given a doll to play with, which he immediately took apart, or used as a football. While little Mary was given a train set, which she didn’t know what to do with. No matter what Feminist mothers did, they found that the majority of little girls still liked playing with dolls and the majority of little boys still liked playing with toy guns.
Since then it has become clear that the sexes are very different. Scientists have discovered that the brains of men and women are not the same and are wired up very differently. Also the latest fashionable scientific theory is that, “it’s all in the jeans”. Genetics has taken over as the “theory of everything” to do with human and animal life. This then means a man cannot behave like a woman or a woman behave like a man, unless they have the genes within them to make them that way.
So is that it? Is it impossible for men and women to be different because it is programmed in our genes? Will this mean that men always want to compete and fight each other and try to blow up the world with nuclear bombs? And will women always be nice and kind and end up at the bottom of the heap in our competitive world? Well not quite. In the “nature verse nurture” debate there is surprisingly a third possibility. That both our genes AND the way we were brought up could influence our behaviour. We could even be influenced by the way we choose to think. (Which is a very revolutionary idea that politicians and marketing people don’t want to hear). After all we are supposed to be the most intelligent creatures on this earth, aren’t we? Well you would think so, but from the crazy way we run our world, a case could be made that we are the most stupidest animal on this earth. After all although we are very clever monkeys, we seem to use to use our brains to mostly find better ways to inflict, pain, hate, violence and suffering on each other. We are so intelligent that we can produce a space ship that can fly to the moon. Yet we are unable to find a solution to far more important problems like world poverty. To quote UN statistics.
1 billion people live in 'extreme poverty' and 2 billion people live in 'poverty'. 17 million people die every year from easily preventable causes, of which 11 million are children- that is 30,000 children dying each day from hunger and preventable diseases. 800 million people are hungry. 1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 2 billion do not have proper sanitation. The world's richest 1% of people earn as much combined annual income as the bottom 57%.
Why are we so stupid that we have all our priorities so completely wrong? In that we put our best brains and trillions of dollars into finding better ways to kill each other. Yet in comparison we put hardly any intellectual or material capital into making this world a better place for ALL people to live in. We are also supposed to have free will. (Though not if the politicians can help it). Yet few of us seem to use it and we follow the herd like sheep. In fact throughout history people who are slightly different from the norm are persecuted and have even been murdered for this, “crime”.
The biggest problem with the nature v nurture debate is that it is also very political. In no way should political leanings get in the way of scientific inquiry, but then, science is practised by human beings. So it means that the belief that it is, “all in the jeans” is a powerful argument for conservatism. Which means that human nature is the way it is because it has been programmed in our genes. Which in turn justifies the status quo, which is war, capitalism and poverty. Those who advocate nurture are looking for social change and are mostly feminists, pacifists or left wing activists. So in means in recent years the scientific beliefs that it is only genes that determine our behaviour has been used as a very powerful argument for the forces of conservatism. Though as I will explain later in this book this argument is a two edged sword.
The Selfish Gene theory by Richard Dawkins is presented as a very powerful argument for conservatism and capitalism to the degree it has become a standard textbook in American universities. As it claims that the only purpose in life is for gene to reproduce themselves, and we all compete with each other to ensure it is our genes that produce the next generation.
Reproduction is the most important instinct all animals have. To the degree it will take precedence over personal survival. As in the case of the octopus. When the mother lays her eggs she will slowly starve to death looking after her eggs until they hatch. Some female insects die when they lay their eggs and the first meal the larvae has, when they hatch, is the body of their own mother. In the case of some species of spiders, the female eats the male after they have mated, (apparently sex gives her a appetite). The praying mantis also has similar habits. While the male is mating, the female have been observed to eat his head, yet the headless body will continue to mate. Which is a confirmation of what many women say about men.
“Their brains are in the end of their penis’ ”.
Although these instincts seem to be brutal, it still makes sense because if any species of animal is to endure, then it has to ensure its offspring will survive to adulthood.
This then is why in most species of animals the mother has very powerful maternal instincts. In the evolutionary theories invented by neo-Dawinists they always focus on the power and strength of the males. Yet the most important factor in the survival of any species is the behaviour of females. To be fair the Selfish Gene theory does acknowledge the role of the mother.
He is willing to accept that except for some species of birds, it is females who have most to do with ensuring the next generation will survive and go on to reproduce again. Whist for many species the male has very little to do with helping their offspring and in some cases will hinder and sabotage the efforts of the mother to protect and care for her young. Yet Dawkins seem to see this as a clever strategy by males in putting all his efforts into passing on his genes to as many females as possible.
So what is the role of the male in survival of the species? In most species of birds the male bird behaves like “a new man” in that they help to make nests, and sit on eggs and feed the chicks. This is not the case in most mammals, which is what we are. Male lions have been witnessed killing cubs whom he hasn’t fathered. Lionesses do most of the hunting in prides but the male lion will use his larger size to bully the lionesses away to feed first, or even steal the food completely from the lionesses. In spite of the fact, it is far more important for the survival of the pride, and his own off spring, that lionesses take priory in feeding, if she has to suckle young or is pregnant. In many mammals the only job the male does is to impregnate the females.
Of course we human males are not like this, are we? If we get a girl pregnant we always stick by her and help look after the kid, don’t we? Well, some of us do. A very large number of young men leave girls who get pregnant and refuse to pay maintenance. After all, the child might not be his! And anyway it wasn’t his idea to have children! She should have taken the pill or something. Why can’t she just get an abortion? I mean he had nothing to do with it, did he? All he wanted was a bit of fun and certainly not being saddled with a screaming brat, the rest of his life.
In most species of mammals the females are more than capable of feeding and protecting her young herself. Even in herd animals except in the case of buffaloes and cattle the males don’t get involved in protecting the young, and will run off like everyone else if approached by a predator. So if males don’t do much in caring and protecting of the young, what do they do? It seems what they do best, is fight each other.
Fighting seems to be the common pastime among most types of male animals. We have animals like stags, bulls and rams that every spring goes in for bashing their heads together. Or giraffes who also use their head as a weapon as they swing it on their long neck. Which makes boxing, and the damage that can be done to the brain by being punched in the head, seem quite sane and sensible. So why do male animals go in for head banging and inflicting damage to each other? According to evolutionists it has something to do with the male sex drive.
In the “survival of the fittest” theory, it is important that only the strongest male animals mates with the females. So the instinct for males to fight each other is a test of strength to ensure that only the strongest will pass on their genes to the next generation. Though this theory doesn’t always work out in practice. Studies done on the coyote show that although male coyotes will fight each other for the privilege of mating, the females will not always pick the winner. Some females have been observed driving off the winner and mating with the loser. Clearly this is a case where coyotes need someone to teach them how the theory of evolution works.
If we take all the knowledge we have on the observation of animals in the wild and apply it to human behaviour we can see a similarity. It was once normal for non-Christian kings and tribal chiefs to have more than a hundred wives and hundreds of children. Which makes sense, in evolutionary theory, because he would be the alpha male in the community. So would have a desire to pass on his genes to as many offspring as possible. In this way, he is not behaving much differently from a stag or lion who have a harem of females and tries to mate with all of them.
Many alpha males in the animal world have territories, which they fight for against other males. Again we see similar behaviour among humans. Kings, and tribal chiefs, would also have territories that he would claim as his, and fight other kings or chiefs who trespass on his borders. It is even possible to make out a case for genocide using this argument. Lions will kill cubs that are not his when he takes over a pride. So it would also be “normal” for conquerors to kill and wipe out those who are not the same race as themselves. Which is what happened when Europeans invaded the Americas and Australia, where the native people were slaughtered and very nearly wiped out.
So that’s all right then. It is “normal” for men to fight each other, have wars between countries and even practice genocide. Which is great if you are a psychopath and enjoy killing other people. You can kill as many other people as you like, and it’s all right, because it is all about the survival of the fittest! If you are the sort of person who is a bit of a wimp, because you actually care about others, then there is a real problem with these theories.
In recent years neo-Darwinism has used genetics to back up theories of the selfish gene. According to his theory the whole of life is basically selfish. Now this as a purely erudite theory confined to ivory towers of the academic world. Unfortunately such theories tend to leak out into real life. Where it tells people it is perfectly all right to be selfish. Then we have social Darwinism, which can be used to justify all sorts of selfish and brutal behaviour. It was taken to the extreme by the Nazis who used the concept of the “survival of the fittest” as one of their justifications for practicing genocide on Jews, Slavs and Gypsies.
The problem is that men who do take a very masculine point of view invent these theories. We hear about, “man the mighty hunter” theories where at one time scientists claimed that it was Stone-Age hunters that caused the extinction of Mammoths and other giant animals of the Ice-Age. Now this theory has changed and it is accepted that it was rapid climate change that caused this mass extinction. At one time when male palaeontologists found the sites of human settlements in the Stone Age they would concentrate on flints used in hunting. It was only when female palaeontologists also began to excavate these sites that they began to notice other stones that would have been used to grind up seeds. (Stones that male scientists had previously discarded as being of no importance). So we can see that the masculine attitudes of male scientists and academics can greatly influence their theories and what they discover.
As men are naturally competitive and think that the whole of life is a game of winners and losers. It would make sense that men see evolutionary theory the same way. They would concentrate on any competition they see like a predator going after a grazing animal, and totally ignore any example of co-operation. Like the way bees and plants work together, in that the plant gives the bees pollen, while the bee fertilised other flowers by transporting the pollen from flower to flower. Or plants producing fruit for animals to eat, then the fruit has seeds inside them that are planted in the ground when the animal defecates. Or birds that feed off the hides of large grazing animals, who allow them to do this, as the bird get rid of troublesome insects. There are as many observations in the wild of life co-operating with each other, as there are of life competing against each other. Also in any competition, no forms of life can afford to become winners. Predators that become too successful can end up making extinct the animals they feed on, and in turn will become extinct through starvation.
Neo-Darwinian theories tell us that male animals have an instinct to impregnate and pass on his genes to as many females as possible. This then makes sense of young men’s desires to “sow their wild oats”. It also makes sense of why many young men have a very cavalier attitude towards birth control. Where many men claim that, “having sex with a condom is like having a shower in a raincoat.” I know when I was a young man in the 1960s I was told of a trick to fool young women. Apparently these young men would cut the bottom off condoms. Then in the half-light of having sex in the back of a car the girl would see him put on the condom ring, not realising that the bottom half was missing. The problem with this was that illegitimate children were still a very big issue in the 1960s and abortion was still illegal. I do wonder about the tragedies caused by tricks like this with young pregnant girls being thrown out of their homes to fend for themselves, for “disgracing” their parents. But then as explained to me, “any girl who has sex before marriage is only a whore or slut”. So that’s all right.
Its strange how people never worked out the inconstancy of this? It was a taboo then that young women didn’t have sex before marriage, but the attitude also was there was something seriously wrong with a young man who was still a virgin by the time he was 18. With whom were young men supposed to have sex with? Prostitutes, “sluts” and “whores” of course. These women made young men feel like “real men” and were rewarded by being treated with contempt and derision.
These sorts of attitudes are even more tragic in Africa. Many young men in Africa refuse to use condoms, which allows Aids to flourish in that continent. Causing deaths to millions of people. But not to worry, these young men have found the prefect solution to the Aids problem. Apparently if you have sex with a virgin, it cures Aids. Yea really! What is more, the younger the girl the better it works. You don’t say! So of course it means men with Aids are perfectly justified in raping pre-adolescent girls. I mean you wouldn’t want to stop men from being cured of Aids would you? All right it didn’t work the first few times they tried it, but perhaps they haven’t done it enough times. Or the girls weren’t young enough, but keep at it and it will eventually work. Won’t it?
In the meantime, what about the young girls being given Aids by these men before they are even teenagers? There is a deafening silence about this, but then as evolutionists will explain, men have a powerful instinct to pass on his genes to as many women as possible. So the poor boys can’t help it. There, there. (Though it has to be admitted that condoms as not as easy to obtain in the African bush as they are in any Western town or city. Also recent research shows that Aids also may be carried by contaminated needles when vaccinating the population for other diseases).
The irresponsible attitude of many men is also fuelling the Aids epidemic in the West. It seem there is a type of man who has the mentality of a psychopath and will use their penis as a genuine killing weapon. In that, they are aware they have Aids or HIV and yet will knowingly infect other men and women and will get very offended if it is suggested they use a condom.
The very irresponsible attitude of many men towards women, children and other men puts doubt on another theory invented by academic men about the Stone Age. The theory was that, not only was man, “the great white hunter”, (even in pictures of Stone-Age men in Africa he was painted as white up until very recently), he was a good husband as well. The man went out killing Mammoths and presumably carried it to the cave on his back to feed his family. He also protected his wife and children by fighting off Sabre Tooth Tigers and Giant Wolves. (What a man). The reasoning why Stone Age man would do this is because he had this instinct to pass on his genes so he needed to protect his women and children to do so. This attitude doesn’t seem to have been passed down to many modern men, who do their best to get out of paying child support. Also this theory assumes that men in the Stone Age were married or pair bonded. Marriage, and pair bonding, is an idea invented by religions like the Christian Church, (The Muslims allow men to have many wives as did the Chinese up until the communist take-over). The Church also need laws, taboos and social censor to enforce marriage. If marriage or pair bonding was natural for us, the Church wouldn’t needs to force us to marry and stay faithful. (Which large numbers of people don’t do). The reason religions enforce customs that women remain faithful to one man, is that it is the only way a man can be sure that the children of women he lives with are his.
With the break down of marriage in recent years we find men who are happy to live with and support women with children who are not his. Clearly this in another case where these men need to be re-educated about their desire to pass on their genes. Perhaps if they are taught neo-Darwinian they will, “naturally” kill the children their partners previously had with another man and then force her to become pregnant with this sperm.
Now anyone reading this book might get the impression I disagree with Darwin’s theory of evolution. I am not against the theory that says that one species of animal evolved from another. That has been proven in the fossil record. The problem is the means by which this happened. Theories like, “the survival of the fittest”, “nature red in tooth and claw”, or “the selfish gene” are just reflections of a very competitive, masculine point of view. If a man is competitive, aggressive and selfish in his attitude then he will naturally want to claim that the whole of life is like this, as it justifies his belligerent behaviour. In much the same way as a bigoted and intolerant priest will want to claim that god is very judgmental and punitive, for the same reason.
“The survival of the fittest” and “selfish gene” theories are not the only shows in town. There is another theory around that doesn’t go against evolutionary theory but takes it from a completely different point of view. This is called the Gaia hypothesis.

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