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HUMAN NATURAL SELECTION (WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH)

February 10, 2013

From: hsethknight@hotmail.com
To: knl1@st-andrews.ac.uk; dsrogers@stanford.edu
Subject: END OF MESSAGE
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:32:40 +0000


From: hsethknight@hotmail.com
To: martin_riess@spiegel-qc.de; spiegel@spiegel.de; artikel@spiegel.de; dmassey@princeton.edu; abo@lemonde.fr; abo@monde-diplomatique.fr; canellos@globe.com; editor@standard.co.uk; letters@latimes.com; ogcstaff@npr.org; editors@prospect.org; letters@charleskrauthammer.com; letters@csmonitor.com; letters@economist.com; letters@guardian.co.uk; letters@nytimes.com; letters@observer.co.uk; letters@washpost.com; kingc@washpost.com; rtyson@yoafrica.com; chamandeny@aol.com; catalunyaplural@eldiario.es; vnavarro@vnavarro.org; opinion@elperiodico.com; dgoldman@macrostrategy.com; digital@lavanguardia.es; solg@elpais.es; redaccion@lavanguardia.es; reggio@arrakis.es; victoria.prego@elmundo.es; suscripciones@cincodias.es; investors@grupoclarin.com; expansion.com@expansion.com; comunicacion@intereconomia.com; john.muller@elmundo.es; jcruz@elpais.es; javier@javierdelapuerta.es; opinion@abc.es
Subject: FW: HUMAN NATURAL SELECTION AND AGRICULTURE-GIVE IT TO ME, BABY; GIVE IT TO ME, BABY!
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:28:06 +0000


From: hsethknight@hotmail.com
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Subject: FW: HUMAN NATURAL SELECTION AND AGRICULTURE-GIVE IT TO ME, BABY; GIVE IT TO ME, BABY!
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:23:45 +0000


From: hsethknight@hotmail.com
To: knl1@st-andrews.ac.uk; dsrogers@stanford.edu
Subject: HUMAN NATURAL SELECTION AND AGRICULTURE-GIVE IT TO ME, BABY; GIVE IT TO ME, BABY!
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:15:28 +0000

Sir,
It seems obvious to me in my thorough understanding of Darwin, that the concept of Natural Selection applied to human populations after agriculture would, by even then, imply, in fact, a serious misunderstanding of Darwinism; that the complexity of human groups in progressively more urban-like settings (because only agriculture and the domestication of animals could historically allow for this) would eliminate from human experience the force of human Natural Selection itself, that is the persistent and massive death of individuals, because of tabu, guilt, morality, and probably compassion, which are all prerequisites in whatever primary way, of socially complex human groups and civilization itself.

Although human culture as a result of Man’s power’s of reasoning and logic (particularly cause and effect) would have begun long before agriculture proper to intervene in the mechanism of biological evolution as understood in terms of the relationship between genetic consistency and variation (all in Darwinism except for the terminology), and the steady rush through time of individual death; and that Natural Selection even before agriculture was already subject, to some extent, to the power of Man through reasoning and his possibility of picking up even a stick or protecting himself from the cold.

Clearly, human culture as we understand it today-no other mammals have anything comparable-and specifically, elaborate religious understandings of existence are all coincidental with agriculture and the full domestication of animals; and it is human culture after agriculture that effectively staves off nature itself, in a biological sense, removing Man from the forces of biological life, in its evolutionary or diachronic aspect, on Earth.

And genetic variation in the form of mutations can-you see this, don’t you?-never become dominant, barring of course “bottle neck” situations resulting from massive human mortality in the form of natural disasters (an episode of volcanic irruption in Iceland is supposed to be an example of this) or maybe disease.

And that Man as a species, then, has effectively defied life itself as it is understood on this planet be removing himself, in this way, form it.

But what would have been, really, a force of natural selection in human populations?

The most important, in pre agricultural human groups and in inter group situations, would be the consumption of humans themselves as a source of food; and this would have been originally within human groups in a systematic way, but probably, it would seem, in extra dire times in terms of available food.

And it would seem very probable that this would later become a way of relating to other human groups; groups that would hunt and fight with each another with the purpose of attaining food.

What other force could have originally bore down on human groups in the form of a natural predator, contributing in a Darwinian sense, to the genetic configuration of human beings as we understand them to day, being the motor of that configuration the massive and consistent death of individuals?

And it is in the manifestations of agricultural man, and especially in the Book of Genesis (and also later the Tanakh and in Christianity itself) where cannibalism can still be found, but in the form a syncretic, psychological presence, as human (and animal) sacrifice as simulated, ritualized cannibalism, and as a direct, ritualized metaphor in the ‘body and blood of Christ’.

As is commonly understood, other cultures also include human and animal sacrifice understood also as simulated, human cannibalism.

But of special importance for Western Culture is the anthropological understanding of the Old and New testaments as the anthropological artifacts that they are!

And here I give you Darwinism and genetics tied directly to human social evolution as is observable in the anthropological understanding of Religion and, specifically the three Semitic variants of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

And all the successive inferences-and there are many and quite serious-that follow from this, need to be understood by society and brought into the scientific-intellectual ken of humanity.

You can imagine, beyond your particular technical field, the value this would have for world society as whole, yes?

Harold Seth Knight

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