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Jimmy

School shootings blamed on Darwin

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/biology_evolution/article6905259.ece

In America, where Darwin’s writings on morality and race have come under particularly intense critical scrutiny because of the enduring creationist debate, he has been accused of fostering moral nihilism and scientific racism, and even of promoting an ethic that found its ultimate expression in the Holocaust. Most startling of all, a connection has now been drawn between Darwin’s theories and a rash of school shootings. In April, 1,000 people gathered at sunset in Littleton, Colorado, to commemorate the victims of the Columbine high school massacre, 10 years on. Darrell Scott, whose daughter Rachel was the first of the 13 children to be murdered, and whose son Craig narrowly escaped being shot, cannot understand why so little attention has been paid to the motivation of the killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and their interest in Charles Darwin’s ideas. “Harris wore a ‘Natural Selection’ T-shirt on the day of the killings. They made remarks on video about helping out the process of natural selection by eliminating the weak. They also professed that they had evolved to a higher level than their classmates. I was amazed at the frequent references to evolution, and that the press completely ignored that aspect of the tapes.”

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Many people refer to the process of natural selection without knowing its ties to Charles Darwin and 'Origin of the Species, especially in the mid-90's. At least from my point of view, the Internet brought clarity to evolutionary theory, atheism, and skeptism, beyond mere titles to isolate oneself from certain social niches.

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All this shows is that these two sinister psychos had absolutely no idea what "natural selection" actually meant (hint: deliberate elimination of people on arbitrary criteria of weakness is not "natural") and what the theory of evolution is.

In that, they join the massive ranks of the so-called social Darwinists, who are always the first to ignore that Darwin himself would be the first to recuse them.

(Also: it's not survival of the strongest, it's survival of the fittest. The weak are the fittest. Look at big, mighty animals. Aurochs? Extinct. Mammoths? Extinct. Dire wolves? Extinct. Haast's eagles? Extinct. Rhinoceroses? Endangered. Big cats? Extinct or endangered. Polar bears? Endangered. Sharks? Extinct or endangered. Now look at small, puny animals. Pigeons? Everywhere! Field mice? Everywhere! Bunnies? Everywhere! Cockroaches? Everywhere! And so on. Evolution favors the meek, who are prolific, adaptable and have modest needs. Large, powerful creatures are actually a lot more vulnerable because they can't breed as much as smaller ones and they need a lot more food to sustain their existence. The really weak, those that are culled out by natural selection, are those like Klebold and Harris who can't fit in and get a mate to propagate their genes. They failed at evolution, forever.)

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In the future, all the surviving species will be the ones that can survive off of scavenging landfills. I'm pretty sure that will be the major evolution factor until our species is gone and has been ever since we invented civilization. Pigeons, rats, raccoons, monkeys, crows, and seagulls will become the dominant clades.

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These idiots need to take a class on population genetics. They clearly have no idea what evolution is.

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This thread is retarded. Everyone knows that Doom and Marylin Manson made them do it.

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Its not darwin's fault that natural selection in nature is true.. I guess the alternative would be to say 'even though natural selection is a real thing in nature, it would be best if society hid under a blanket of delusions, because that would make it less likely for anyone to think about natural selection and interpret it as a social-darwinist ideology'. Dawkins's's' opinion on this subject seems to be that studying evolution could help us learn how to avoid nature's 'red in tooth and claw' as applied to human society.

However humanity has a number of problems caused by their large brains. I suspect their ability to avoid natural selection (in many societies, the vast majority survive to reproduce) is accumulating all sorts of inheritable genetic problems in the gene pool since there isn't much selection pressure against it. However genetic evolution is slow so don't now how urgent the problem is. Perhaps dna as a technology in the future could solve it somehow. Though I don't really see how unless by preventing anyone who wants to to have their own child (implementing artificial selection doesn't require killing anyone hitler style, merely controlling who reproduces). That would suck too (though not as much) and have moral/political issues and probably be a pretty shitty society. But with constantly increasing human population and ecological devastation and such, humanity's future will probably get suckier and suckier one way or another.

In natural selection, species actually become part of the environment of other species, thus mutually exerting selection pressure on eachother, all evolving simultaneously as an interconnected holistic system. Artificial selection, on the other hand, pretty much selects only on imprecise & arbitrary human whim. Humans suck at it, like we selected wolves into a 'poodle' but probably ignored tons of minute details that nature would have paid keen attention too. Little subtle ways certain cells work etc. The columbine shooters probably didn't even select anything genetic, just cultural differences (nurture instead of nature). Besides they weren't 'selecting' (like making a giraffe neck longer; those who could reach taller leaves reproduce slightly more), just de-selecting (ie. what they 'selected' was EVERYONE besides the victims.. only they killed themselves too so.. they weren't selected).

There was a serial killer who mentioned doing his deeds because he stopped believing in god (possibly tied to knowledge of evolution) or something (forget who).

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Shooting people is not a form of random mutation or natural selection. Note "natural selection" that means selection through natural means i.e. environmental.

I'm so fucking tired of Creationism's connecting eugenics or race supremacy to Evolution.

kristus said:

Well. It's what Ray Comfort believes anyway.

Yah and the fucker just tainted the Origins of Species. I'd like to get a crack at that man.

Danarchy said:Pigeons, rats, raccoons, monkeys, crows, and seagulls will become the dominant clades.

They already are.

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Technician said:

They already are.

We're apes, not monkeys.

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Gez said:

All this shows is that these two sinister psychos had absolutely no idea what "natural selection" actually meant (hint: deliberate elimination of people on arbitrary criteria of weakness is not "natural") and what the theory of evolution is.

In that, they join the massive ranks of the so-called social Darwinists, who are always the first to ignore that Darwin himself would be the first to recuse them.

(Also: it's not survival of the strongest, it's survival of the fittest. The weak are the fittest. Look at big, mighty animals. Aurochs? Extinct. Mammoths? Extinct. Dire wolves? Extinct. Haast's eagles? Extinct. Rhinoceroses? Endangered. Big cats? Extinct or endangered. Polar bears? Endangered. Sharks? Extinct or endangered. Now look at small, puny animals. Pigeons? Everywhere! Field mice? Everywhere! Bunnies? Everywhere! Cockroaches? Everywhere! And so on. Evolution favors the meek, who are prolific, adaptable and have modest needs. Large, powerful creatures are actually a lot more vulnerable because they can't breed as much as smaller ones and they need a lot more food to sustain their existence. The really weak, those that are culled out by natural selection, are those like Klebold and Harris who can't fit in and get a mate to propagate their genes. They failed at evolution, forever.)


Where is the "like" button on DW forums? /me rates this post 5 stars. It's rare people speak about evolution accurately.

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'Evolution favors the meek, who are prolific, adaptable and have modest needs. Large, powerful creatures are actually a lot more vulnerable because they can't breed as much as smaller ones and they need a lot more food to sustain their existence.'

That's mostly just a reflection of the current, human-filled environment (humans hunt rhinos and possibly overfish thus indirectly affecting sharks etc). In the environment of the dinosaurs there were no humans so a t-rex's life strategy etc was fit for a very long time (but so were all sorts of different living strategies). But yeah small quickly reproducing things that can coexist with or even thrive in human civilizations like rats/roaches/pigeons (I think the latter used to live on cliffs so buildings were a substitute) might have more evolutionary longevity (due to quickly reproducing) and ability to survive an extreme environmental catastrophe (like humanity, who are currently causing the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs).

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Gez said:

We're apes, not monkeys.

A human is no less a monkey then a human is an ape. Apes are a superfamily of primates, more specifically "old world monkeys". We may have divided into both cercopithecoid (old world) and platyrrhine (new world) primates, but our order remains the same. We are both jumbled into the same loose label as "monkey". You cannot remove yourself of ones natural lineage so easily.

A human may genetically resemble a squirrel monkey far lesser then it would a chimp, but we are far more distant to a lemur then a Gibbon. We are monkeys.

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gggmork said:

'Evolution favors the meek, who are prolific, adaptable and have modest needs. Large, powerful creatures are actually a lot more vulnerable because they can't breed as much as smaller ones and they need a lot more food to sustain their existence.'

That's mostly just a reflection of the current, human-filled environment (humans hunt rhinos and possibly overfish thus indirectly affecting sharks etc). In the environment of the dinosaurs there were no humans so a t-rex's life strategy etc was fit for a very long time (but so were all sorts of different living strategies). But yeah small quickly reproducing things that can coexist with or even thrive in human civilizations like rats/roaches/pigeons (I think the latter used to live on cliffs so buildings were a substitute) might have more evolutionary longevity (due to quickly reproducing) and ability to survive an extreme environmental catastrophe (like humanity, who are currently causing the greatest extinction since the dinosaurs).

But what didn't go extinct after the K/T? The dinosaurs' large size was their undoing. The small dudes... the ones that could burrow in da mud and hibernate and/or slow down their metabolic rate survived.

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Note that some dinosaurs are still alive and well. For example, when you see a chicken, you see a dinosaur.

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Gez said:

Note that some dinosaurs are still alive and well. For example, when you see a chicken, you see a dinosaur.


That just gave me an idea for a movie: Indigenous tribes alive during the end of the Cretaceous. The whole movie would focus on their hunt--trying to bring down a brontosaurus. When they finally do, they start to run into problems with storing the meat for later, since they have enough to feed their entire tribe for the better part of a decade. They have to fend off other scavenging dinosaurs and other tribes, not to mention keeping all that meat from going bad.

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Many, many people fail to understand that in terms of evolution, we humans have changed the terms of the game. We've created an entirely new kind of evolution - the evolution of ideas. We're still evolving - in fact, we're evolving at a exponentially greater rate than most animals, it's just that our evolution is no longer solely dependent upon natural selection. For instance, people complain about how technology allows the weak and the feeble of our species to survive, but sometimes, the evolution of ideas allows those people to contribute far more to the future of the species than we could ever hope to accomplish through genetics alone. The extreme example is Stephen Hawking - from a genetic point of view, he's clearly inferior, even defective, and in nature, he would've been quickly removed from the species. However, his intellect has resulted in him making a far greater contribution to the species through his scientific work than he could ever hope to make genetically even if he were the most genetically fit person on the planet.

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Technician said:

What?

You could have some hackneyed Spielburgian reason for the two coinciding... it would just be entertaining to see primitive humans trying to hunt BIG GAME.

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Gez said:

(Also: it's not survival of the strongest, it's survival of the fittest. The weak are the fittest. Look at big, mighty animals. Aurochs? Extinct. Mammoths? Extinct. Dire wolves? Extinct. Haast's eagles? Extinct. Rhinoceroses? Endangered. Big cats? Extinct or endangered. Polar bears? Endangered. Sharks? Extinct or endangered. Now look at small, puny animals. Pigeons? Everywhere! Field mice? Everywhere! Bunnies? Everywhere! Cockroaches? Everywhere! And so on. Evolution favors the meek, who are prolific, adaptable and have modest needs. Large, powerful creatures are actually a lot more vulnerable because they can't breed as much as smaller ones and they need a lot more food to sustain their existence.)

I agree, but remember as species evolve, the cycle will move things up. Living things get bigger and bigger as time goes on. I think the things you named are just "too big" for their time. I'm sure the first small mammals and critters had a hard time at first. And I think many many many years down the road these big animals will be as stable as todays mice and such. Also, today, along with your pidgeons and bunnies, look at your primitive germs. They are EVERYWHERE.

I disagree with your statement "The weak are the fittest." These animals aren't weak, they are "meek", "prolific", "adaptable", and "have modest needs". Weak are the sick and dying animals of the herd. They get eaten up first.

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geekmarine said:

The extreme example is Stephen Hawking - from a genetic point of view, he's clearly inferior

Nothing is inferior from a genetic point of view. Nothing is superior either. Genetic is nothing but data storage.

Now the result of the expression of some genes can be advantageous or disadvantageous in a given environment. The process of natural selection does not favor "superior" genes, it favors genes whose expression means their bearer is more likely to propagate. Let's imagine a gene that causes you to die in horrible agony at age 40. But the same gene also makes you twenty time more fertile than the average human. This gene sucks, honestly, but people with it will make a lot of children, who'll carry it and propagate it, etc. It would be "superior" since it would win over other genes.

To take a less extreme, but more real example, a favorite illustration of why evolutive fitness is not necessarily "better" is drepanocytosis. There's a gene that causes you to suffer from anemia a lot. Sucks, doesn't it? It makes you less healthy than people without it, so this gene shouldn't thrive. BUT! It also makes you resistant to malaria, which is a disease that sucks even worse than anemia. So, you have an exterior condition (presence of malaria in the environment) that changes whether a gene is overall a hindrance or an asset. And what do we see, this gene is a very common among ethnic groups that originate from regions where malaria is a threat, and very rare elsewhere.

Survival of the fittest is thus entirely environment-dependent! And our environment is shaped by our society and our culture.

DuckReconMajor said:

I disagree with your statement "The weak are the fittest." These animals aren't weak, they are "meek", "prolific", "adaptable", and "have modest needs". Weak are the sick and dying animals of the herd. They get eaten up first.


Using "weak" instead of "meek" and co. was mostly to completely break the idea that natural selection favors might. What it truly favors is adaptability, so that a species can survive when its environment change, spread out in more ecological niches, and so on.

When you think about it, though, humans are very weak. We'd lose an arm-wrestling match against a chimp that's not even half our weight. We don't have fur to protect us from cold, or a leathery hide to protect us from bruises. Our nails are just good enough to scratch an itch, you try clawing some beast with them and the most damage you can do is to your own fingers. We can't bite very efficiently. And so on. So, to compensate, we made tools, clothing, weapons, and now we're on the top of the food chain.

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Gez said:
Sharks? Extinct or endangered.


Due to us, not because they are big. They pretty much are the top predator in the marine world and scientist predict that they will be around much longer than we will (put aside having been around longer than us in the first place).

Back on topic... blaming evolution for murderers is stupid, killing in the name of evolution is stupid, killing in the name in any deity is stupid, killing in general is stupid (unless it's DOOM). Seems like we're a pretty stupid species.

Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be Christian because of some Bible thumpers...

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PRIMEVAL said:

Due to us, not because they are big.

Tell that to the megalodon.

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