Professor Richard Dawkins’ Seminar at Science World 2011 Part 4

“Should doctors be Darwinian?” Professor Richard Dawkins visited Science World 2011 and presented some challenging new ideas about medicine and evolution to …
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  1. Ceenymeeny says:

    @PaulP567 In a social species such as ours that has developed complex
    societies and cultures, we must remember that while our biologicy can
    influence our tendency towards certain behaviors, our upbringing (parents,
    peers, community, etc) can have a larger impact on who we ultimately
    become. In the case of Hitler, he grew up in the Roman Catholic Church in a
    time when the Jews were scapegoated as the murderers of Christ. His
    community instilled upon him needless hatred that he acted on later.

  2. sulljoh1 says:

    @PaulP567 There are many theories. One of the most interesting is put
    fourth in Steven Pinker’s book, “How the Mind Works.” Pinker presents one
    model of the evolution of emotions that explains why emotions that were
    adaptive in human history today lead to tragedies like genocide.

  3. permypoo says:

    @PaulP567 Not all traits are adaptive and they may be by-products of
    another trait. Maybe our fear of the unknown was adaptive in a forest
    setting to avoid predation but it had the side effect of making us
    naturally racist later on when we ran into slightly different humans.

  4. Ceenymeeny says:

    @PaulP567 You might enjoy Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene. All throughout the
    book he uses birds as examples for the evolution of cooperative behavior
    and he points out that in every flock you will have a few outliers that
    don’t cooperate as often or not at all. The same can be said of any group.
    You’ll always have variation (in genetics, in opinions, in preferences,
    etc) in any sort of group. All behavior is to some extent Darwinian, in the
    sense that all things biological evolved. However…

  5. PaulP567 says:

    If it is the case that all physical development is Darwinian, and this does
    seem to be the case, then what about behaviour? If pigeons and wilderbeest
    behave in a manner determined by Darwinism (presumably) then human
    behaviour must also have a Darwinian explanation. So what of genocide and
    holocaust? Are these ‘qualities’ as Darwinian as love and compassion? And
    is the devising of nuclear weapons and the conducting of biological warfare
    also Darwinian? I think it must be. If not, what?

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