Aggression between members of the same species can be
seen as an adaptation to predation, groups that fail
to implement it eventually go extinct and individuals that
perform badly are also likely to fall victim to predation.
This effect no longer holds when a species uses technology.
Darwin has made one of the most important scientific discoveries of all sciences: how life evolves under the pressures of the environment it is living in.
The focus of Darwin was on plants and on animals. One of the most constant pressures that all animals and plants live under, is the proximity to predators, and the necessity to catch prey. An animal may not be a predator itself, but in almost all cases violent fights emerge, where the winner continues to live, and the loser ends up as food.
A rose develops thorns, because the plants which are more difficult to eat, will be chosen as food later, or will escape becoming food altogether. Those roses with the largest thorns will survive best, and those - even of the same species - that have smaller thorns, survive with more trouble. As a result, the roses with the largest thorns produce most offspring; unless the necessity to combat predators conflicts with other interests too much. The pressures from predation press all species to develop more and more lethal weapons in their body.
In exactly the same way claws, teeth, venom, etc emerge: weapons. Weapons which are a part of the body of the plant or animal. Even if an animal can be found which is not hunted, it will be very likely that somewhere in the distant past this animal has been under attack. Reptiles descended from fish, and even though a reptile might be found that isn't presently hunted, it is extremely likely that its distant ancestors were. The evolutionary effects of the predator/prey interaction are deeply embedded into all species. Including humanity, which descended only a relatively short while ago from monkeys/apes.
Many animals use a trick to adapt themselves quicker to predators. Suppose two groups of 100 animals, males and females, group 1 and 2. For instance wildebeest. We assume that children take to their parents. Both groups are under threat from the usual predators: lions, hyenas, crocodiles, etc. A wildebeest has horns, with which it defends itself when attacked.
Group 1 forms pairs one on one, where the wildebeest attempt to get children of average size. Large wildebeest will mate with small, and average sized wildebeest with another average sized. The chances are that the new generation will have a fairly equal size. The children look somewhat like their parents.
In the other group, wildebeest fight for the right to have children. Every male wildebeest attempts to get as many females under him as possible, and to defend them from attacks from other wildebeest males. Result will be that those wildebeest that are the best fighters, will have children, so that the children of this group will be the better fighters. In the other group there was no test for who is or is not a good fighter.
The children of both groups grow up in their own culture and with the instincts of their parents, and repeat the behavior of their group, for millions of years. Both groups will evolve into better fighters (use and shape of their horns, kicking, biting, etc), because in both groups the predators take out the weak fighting wildebeest more then the strong fighting wildebeest. In group 1 the worst fighters don't get children either.
However, the development in group 1 is much slower in the direction of good fighters. Group 2 is not waiting for the actions of predators, fighting is pursued immediately and it becomes established who has best chances on successful children. Where group 1 might only lose the worst 1% fighters as an influence on the next generation, group 2 only allows its best 10% fighters to mate, in addition to losing their worst 1% fighters to predators.
Ever since man threw its first stones to predator or prey long ago, man has had access to a completely new kind of weaponry. A kind of weaponry that is not stuck to the body, like thorns on a rose, or teeth in a skull.
This is having a fundamental impact on the pressures of evolution. Where it could take millions of years to improve a weapon slightly, this is now a conscious cultural creative process. Where it used to be necessary to fight in order to develop weapons quicker, to stay ahead of other animals doing the same thing, this necessity has disappeared.
Humanity became ever more powerful, until it was so powerful that even the weakest fighters were no longer routinely killed by predators, and suffer no setback from their weak fighting talents when finding prey. The predators are usually behind bars in a zoo, are on TV, or at least everyone can carry a firearm when exploring a wild area. The prey animals are waiting shrink wrapped in a local store.
Where the not talented fighters do not die as they used to from external factors, the aggressive still die at the effects of their own violence. In the distant past this was a small price to pay, and it were the worse fighters that died at the hands of the better. But because because the non-fighters don't die as they used to, two groups emerge: a group which fights over dominance, and a group which does this less or not at all. Although the domination-group attacks everyone, this group has in principle a higher frequency of violent confrontations, is more often spoiling for violence. The Darwinian (popularized) rule seem to have reversed, thanks to technological development: no longer `survival of the strongest', but `extinction of those seeking domination through violence/deception', `extinction of the strong fighters'.
From the above can be concluded, that strife to the death, fighting for dominance, fighting to control an area as large as possible, greed and lust for power, can all be reduced to behaviors which belong in an animal species that stimulates internal violence in order to improve its survivability in an environment where violent confrontations are the rule. It is morally "good" for your species to be an aggressive animal, to overpower your rivals when territory or children are at stake.
The situation for humanity changes more and more when technology improves. The less the technology depends on the physical body, the less useful internal violence becomes. Humanity has recently made a qualitative jump in this regard. Not only is internal violence no longer useful to develop our weaponry, our weapons have become destructive to such a level, that they have become almost the only thing which threatens us as a species today.
From being a necessity for survival, via something which was superfluous, internal violence has now become our greatest enemy.
In a way this situation is very elegant. If humanity apparently relishes so much in internal violence (crime, war), then she will probably destroy herself. Then only non technological animals remain, where this violence has its place, and can be enjoyed without the danger of a worldwide disaster when one wildebeest tries to take a patch of soil from another. Technology and war do eventually not mix, the choice is between one or the other. A world ultimately based on internal strive, is a world which fosters the psychology of war. It may only be a matter of time before such a psychology causes actual war, and the destruction of the only technological species on Earth.
The above also suggests, that a psychology of solidarity with all people, will be the only scientifically feasible foundation of a society of humans (society of technological animals).
Humanity would win the `battle for survival', if it stopped fighting.
Juli 2 2006
© Copyright Jos Boersema, hereby released into the Public Domain: you can distribute the material, and modify it.
Stage 1: Internal war is productive for the survival of humanity
Weapon: Emerged: Type: Destruction: -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * teeth/bite | since | body | ruptures in several | animals with | part | inches | teeth/mouth | | | | | Range: zero -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * fist | -same- | -same- | extravasation in | | | several square inches | | | Range: zero (1 meter) -------------+------------------+------------------+---------------------
Stage 2: Internal war works favorably, but is not necessary
Weapon: Emerged: Type: Destruction: -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * throwing | very very long | found object | Destruction of one stone | time ago | and muscle power | liter material | | | Range: 20 meter -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * club | very long time | crafted object | Destruction of one | ago | and muscle power | liter material | | | Range: 1 meter -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * speer | very long time | crafted object | Destruction of one | ago | and muscle power | liter material | | | Range: 40 meter -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * bow and | long time ago | crafted object | Destruction of arrow | | and muscle power | .5 liter material | | | Range: 150 meter -------------+------------------+------------------+---------------------
Stage 3: Internal war is mostly counter productive, and unnecessary
Weapon: Emerged: Type: Destruction: -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * chemical | before our | crafted object | Destruction of reaction | grandfathers | and chemical | 10x10x10 meter bomb | were born | knowledge | (variable more/less) | | | Range: variable -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * auto stone | centuries ago | metal and | Destruction of thrower | | chemical | .1 liter material "rifle" | | knowledge | Range: 100 meter -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * weapon gas | centuries ago | chemical | Destruction of | | knowledge | dozens of lives | | | Range: 1 kilometer -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * auto bomb | century ago | metal and | Destruction of thrower | | chemical | 10x10x10 meter "bomb canon"| ?| knowledge | Range: 50 kilometer -------------+------------------+------------------+---------------------
Stage 4: The end of internal war is a necessity for survival (war is MAD).
Weapon: Emerged: Type: Destruction: -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * nuclear | decades ago | chemical plus | Destruction of fission | | electronic | one area/large city bomb | | knowledge | | | | Range: global -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- * nuclear | decades ago | chemical plus | Destruction of fusion | | electronic | a region or more, bomb | | knowledge | potentially unlimited. | | | Range: global -------------+------------------+------------------+--------------------- ... ... ... | ... -------------+------------------+------------------+---------------------
From this theoretical perspective, humanity seems well behind in its necessary psychological adaptation. Ideally war has - and could have - ended before Stage 4 begins (as logic suggests). Continuing with war suggests that humanity has a deep desire to become a common animal again, something which is both proven and effectuated by continuing with warfare.
Defining the names: the name "animal moral code" is probably too wide, because not all animals may necessarily employ it, and because many humans do as well. A more precise definition could be ``moral code for beings living in a world where they must fight directly with their naked bodies as one of many species'', ``violent naked heterogeneous moral code''. In such circumstances, infighting, establishing domination hierarchies on the basis of the relevant parts of bodily strength for that species, will be a reason for success for the entire species. This `naked moral code' can be individualized as well: as long as domination is allowed to exist, those being dominated have at least a chance to dream of becoming the dominant specimen themselves ("the boss"). This way the `naked moral code' does not only create long term success in the species at large, but immediate meaning for all individuals, even those being subjugated or even destroyed in the process. `Everyone can dream of attaining power, and of subjugating many others.'
Because many humans subscribe to the ``naked violent moral code'', and sometimes even auto-generate an eco-system of violence in which only the most violent survive, the "human (homo sapiens) moral code" is a mix of the `naked moral code' and something which hasn't fully developed yet, and therefore is hard to define. One way to define it is as the negation of the `naked code' (naked as in non-technological). Then it is the absence of internal violence within the species.
Since natural evolution and the propagation of successful solutions doesn't stop (shouldn't stop?) after the `naked morality' has been overcome (if ever), there seems to be a grey area: competition. An reasonable answer to this may be in the two legs upon which natural evolution rests: death and popularity. In the naked animal world, both are important, and `popularity' often depends on the expected survival chances. Under the ``technical homogeneous (one species is technological) moral code'', if internal violence has been done away with, the absolute domination through technology over the rest of nature means that death is no longer a factor of life. Everyone survives, strong or weak. This leaves the `popularity' branch of evolution. Since `survival' is no longer a factor in defining how popular something is, a more general `creates happiness' factor would probably become effective. Survival itself has been a cause of happiness, so this more general `creates happiness' has already been there, but it was warped into the direction of survival.
The competition - to the degree this competition is popular itself, creates happiness - is simply carried out with an appropriate sense of the environment it is operating in. The practical result of this is, that diversity and competition under the technical moral code may be just as fierce. It does however not involve application of bodily violence and bodily domination, and restricts itself to the arena of `popularity'.
Remark: I can imagine the below argument is a little too much for some people. Just remember that it is all speculation.
Uniting all Religions and Science
The above argument, that a species formerly embroiled in violence because of predator activity, becomes peaceful once it discovers and develops technology, and ultimately either destroys itself when it reaches a level of technology that makes it capable of complete self destruction, or travel to the stars with this technology, can be applied to any Eco-system that is close enough to Earth's. Close enough to at least have objects to construct technology. Such ecosystems have not been discovered yet, but according to astronomy, this is a matter of time.
Most modern religions worship either one God "from heaven", "from the sky", or several. Most (if not all) modern religions proud themselves of working for the cause of peace. All religions are engaging their believers in many different rituals, which is perhaps not unlikely in the interest of peace.
Science builds up the idea that technically superior life is likely to exist in the universe (somewhere, given its size). Because of the general nature of the above argument, we can expect these lifeforms to become peaceful through their technology like us (if they have become aggressive in the first place). Or, if they do not, that they will destroy themselves sooner or later. Leaving us with the conclusion that life forms capable of star travel, are almost certainly peaceful among themselves.
The similarities between this picture of non Earth life, and the Gods of most modern religions, are striking to say the least. Highly technical life from other worlds (picture our potential future), may certainly fall in the category of having complete power over everything, and complete knowledge (all-mighty, all-knowing). Until now there was a moral gap between religion and science, where religion says these gods are good (at least most of them), but science didn't know either way. This gap is now closed.
Since Science itself worships truth and technological development, it too worships "the sky gods", at least in principle. Many modern religions do not allow their gods to be portrayed, or suggest they cannot be portrayed accurately; one might therefore venture to say, that they too worship a principle, "the principle of beings that can travel from star to star".
The theory of religious `heaven and hell', obviously fit in this, although with much more detail, credibility and freedom in reason, then in religion. In the evolutionary scheme, the animals with bad fighting skills are normally culled by predator species at a higher rate, and such animals can be expected to have a lower ranking in a pecking order established by violence. If even after a species - humanity - has conquered all other animals through technology, but remains so violent that it keeps killing the least violent members in establishing the pecking order - or perhaps in attempting to maintain the very existence of the pecking order itself -, then there may never emerge a change toward peace, there may never emerge an increasing reservoir of more peaceful yet surviving individuals. Effectively such a (theoretical) case, may doom the technological species to extinction in the long run. This would be hell. The opposite is obviously, that peaceful people emerge in ever greater numbers, while the aggressive go extinct. Effectively such a case would be able to handle technology capable of destroying earth, it may survive indefinitely, perhaps even after Earth has gone. This would be heaven, that's where humanity would be at (space travel).
A less positive similarity between religion and science may exist: both have not put forth the above rationale as dogma or discovery. Both have an established leadership which is very effective at shutting undesired ideas out, they train people in their school of thought (not so much thinking itself, but reproducing what teachers claimed *)). They are established high on the social ladder, have relatively more power and money then most (excluding other clubs floating on power like business, finance and crime). However, the discoveries here turn this ladder upside down: the higher someone is on it, the more of a long term failure for humanity it is (the more need for domination and status by putting others down and/or in poverty, the more like a simple animal someone seems to be). It is possible, that these positions of power have made it impossible for the clubs of powerful people, to discover, to contemplate, or to share these deductions if they believed them to be true (abusing these things to gain an edge might be possible, although this is opposing the theory itself).
*) It is perhaps not possible to teach someone how to think for themselves. The best way could be to tell someone a lot of nonsense.
Secular Interpretation: before the Christian revolution in the Roman Empire, the people there worshiped a variety of ideas at a variety of temples, and they worshiped their highest leader. They might have been a cynical people, who believed that all man wants is to build empires, using whatever deceptions. That was after all the way of the Roman empire. A resistance against this decadent empire existed (apparently), but people who are political enemies of Rome were crucified for it. It is easy to see how the story of Jesus would make him a Martyr, especially if it were believed he died willingly, not trying to flee. Because if he died willingly, he obviously could not have attempted to build a worldly empire on deception with himself at the top. He must have had true aims, and the willing death of Jesus would have been the only possible proof to the Romans that such a thing could even exist. The early Christians were murdered and tortured in Rome in public view, knowing that if they just said they would worship the Emperor again that was their only chance of survival. Many refused and died. This again proves, and is the only possible proof for a cynical people, that such a thing is possible, "that there are true and good people possible." This concept became and probably still is the center of Christianity: sacrifice for the greater good. This obviously gives hope that a better world is possible in distinction to the roman wars and power abuses; a better world for better people. The key then is the death of Jesus, and the early Christians, as proof. A "resurrection" of Jesus is then irrelevant. It only detracts from the sacrifice if Jesus knew about resurrection before the crucification because it casts doubt over the intentions of Jesus, especially if Jesus believed he would `rule supreme' after his death. That Jesus was willing to die is perhaps a matter of faith, the faith in Jesus. That the early Christians knew they were going to die is certain.
Islam has a wonderful story about how Jesus was taken from the cross, a short period after being on it, and brought back to live a long life in the East. This would not detract from the sacrifice if Jesus didn't know about the plan - a matter of faith. It makes the ressurection physical and not magical, suggesting that people willing to make the ultimate sacrifice are not doomed, but can be saved and survive beyond normal expectation.
Christianity can be seen as a positive change compared to the state of the roman empire. As everyone knows, the Jews didn't convert to Christianity. They had no need to in this interpretation, they already believed good people were possible. Much of the Christian religious content is derived from Judaism with Jesus in the role of "expected Messiah". In this interpretation there is no contradiction between Judaism and Christianity: Jesus and the early Christians saved the Romans from being cynical through the only proof positive possible. One might say: Christianity brought the Roman subjects to the same belief in human potential for goodness that the Jews already possessed. The Jews were already longer there, therefore their religion would be more detailed and competent. Christianity came up in a time when writing was routine, therefore what might have more easily fallen to the wayside in a time of oral traditions, all would have been retained literally forever in Christianity. Christianity was also heavily influenced by the Roman empire leaders who adopted it (possibly because it was the most effective defense). Christianity has a long history of crimes against dissenters, on the other hand it also removed a murderous culture of insanity in the South and/or Middle Americas, perhaps not unlike the old Israelites removed a murderous culture of insanity where they settled. Maybe that proves how much it was needed: imagine the worshiped concept wasn't peace and Torah (more Torah then Zeus or Tohr came up with), but war, wine and torture. There seems to be no divide necessary between secularism and Christianity. A secular faith in Jesus is possible, which nevertheless retains the moral implications. Perhaps it even makes the story more credible and stronger for some people.
Judaism, the law/religion of the first group of slaves that liberated themselves from oppressors, and instituted a moral society. With great success (apparently), they destroyed people's around them that sacrificed children to false gods.
Judaism is the root of Christianity and Islam, what would either be without it ? When the Romans worshiped their Emperor, man of violence, they took great joy is seeing people being tortured. Much later when some people in Europe came back from Christianity only to worship the old Nordic Gods again, Wodan, Odin, Tohr; their rule, war and torture have been among the most frightful the world has ever seen. About Mohamed is said that he brought equality to the arab world, and many other virtues. On what platform would Mohamed or Jesus have made their reform, if it were not for Judaism and its expectations, law and example ? If there had been anything better, why hasn't it surfaced and carried the day. Does that not mean that the virtue of Christianity and Islam also have to be counted unto the virtue of Judaism ? The books of Moshe contain anti-capitalist laws against making a profit from selling money, it sets precedent for distributing resources. Christianity, Islam recognize Moshe as a prophet, and are (therefore?) also anti-capitalist religions, just like Judaism. Is Judaism even a religion, it could be a philosophy with its unseen G.d.
The laws of Moshe Rabbeinu are just and wise. Still no country organizes its economy as good as Moshe did then. Moshe gave (passed on) a system of law, more then an individual code of conduct, an organization structure for a group/nation. Judaism rejects idolatry unlike any other religion. If only the laws (an concepts) had been followed, how much better the world would have been: incomparably better.
Islam's first supporters were apparently poor servants. Mohamed left his rich wife after having had revelations. Islam reduced tribal wars in Arabia, the insanity of idol worship, and even for profit money selling (still practiced today). It is a common theme with the `Abrahamic' religions, to root for and from the poor and oppressed, to create a new society of Justice. This fits beautifully with the theory of Technical Darwinism.
Buddhism seems to be a religion of peaceful escape. But where does that leave the world. One could be quite cynical: a prince of great wealth suddenly discovers the people are suffering, he then tells them: if you want to feel better, find a corner and breathe to yourself, then you'll feel better. Meanwhile the economic plundering of the people, which seems the obvious cause for the suffering, can continue. It seems to have little or no will to tackle the problem, and therefore, by taking away energy from changing the problem in the real world, contribute to the continuation of the suffering. Is the feeling of peace/wellbeing of the higher priests of Buddhism because they don't have to work ? Other then that Buddhism supports peace, which in principle is a good idea of course.
All martial arts aspects of eastern religions are obviously obsolete, especially since the gun was invented. Give me a machine gun and I'll defeat an army of them.
Seems to be an old-style multi-god religion. It may provide entertainment and some rituals that might deviate attention from infighting. The burden of building extreme temples and supporting large hierarchies of priests doing little of practical economic value, may put the people in proportional additional pain. I can imagine that multi-god religions are an offshoot of a certain type of philosophy, where behavioral concepts are researched by imagining a person who is doing everything according a concept. Different such imaginative persons may interact in a brain-simulation, and the wisdom be conveyed by telling such stories. It is easy to see how this can result in a philosophy that has a `magical person' for the major behavioral concepts. It is also easy to see how a form of democracy can spring from this: build a physical image of the `magical imagined person for war' and somewhere else for `peace', then suggest to the people they sacrifice some produce for either concept to express their will, and the strength of their will. If the people want war, they might sacrifice more to the "magical of war", and if they want peace desperately, more and more may come to sacrifice at the "magical of peace". The rulers would then have some way of knowing what the people want. Once the origins are forgotten it becomes dogmatic, which can easily happen because it is easier to remember the stories then the reason behind them, and it is easier to continue with services to the "magicals", and think they would actually exist in reality. It might also be that the rulers didn't want the people to think this way about the mythology, it might induce them to think for themselves.
This is all hypothetical, but it seems to be a reasonable explanation.
Religions seem to divert "subjugation to leader" toward "subjugation to idea". The rituals/rules divert the art of rule making and following from the usual "profit and power for the leader" to something else. It would no doubt depend on the conditions whether a certain religion acts progressive or reactionary. To "worship" a leader who is subjugated to an ideal of peace and justice, so that this leader can be held accountable, is progressive if the alternative is unadulterated absolutism. When at one time the introduction of religion could be progressive, at a later point the removal of a religion could be progressive, it depends on the circumstances.
Obviously the above rules for development can in principle be applied to other ecosystems, especially because they point to a possible cause of violence. When applying the above to a theoretical technological species somewhere else in space, we can expect that species that are able to reach our planet will in all likelihood already have adapted to a technical moral code.
1. To reach Earth, one has to not only be able to travel between the planets around the home star, but to reach other stars. This means that the species would have had extremely powerful technology for a significant amount of time -- probably enough time for it to self destruct before it can reach another star.
2. When a species becomes more technological, its science will probably develop as well. Therefore it may come to similar conclusions as above, and understand the limitations of animal morality, and why it has no future.
3. When a species is able to reach other stars, it may reach other
planets around such stars. This may in theory bring it into contact
with other forms of life.
A. If the species is still aggressive, it will naturally create war, given the level of technology this will likely be extremely destructive and possibly cause extinction or throwback into the early stone-age.
B. If the species is not aggressive, it is likely to bond with other non aggressive species, creating mutual benefit. Such cooperative alliances will be constructive, whereas aggressive species will not be able to construct such alliances as effectively if at all. This means that the cooperative groups (if any) gain an ever larger technological dominance.
4. If an aggressive species reaches the stars, and is the first in the universe to do so, it is still restricted to its own galaxy. To reach other galaxies will probably be impossible at first because of the much larger distance, it would take time to develop the technology (if it is even possible). The steps known are: planet, solar-system, galaxy, galaxy-cluster, galaxy-cluster-cluster (super cluster). An aggressive species has a slower development: significant chance of self-destruction, overhead from acting aggressive, no chances on respectful inter species alliances, facing hostility from non-aggressive species and alliances of non-aggressive species on potentially any level of development (inter stellar, inter galactic, inter cluster, inter super cluster, ...). Because it can not immediately permeate all of the existing universe, the aggressive species will be overtaken sooner or later.
Conclusion: cultural productions that depict inter stellar "aliens" to be violent, are probably primarily based on a projection of the human psyche itself. Because of the depicted violence and militarism, such series seem to depict life on Earth as it would be after the extinction of humanity: a throwback to the very distant past, before technology existed. This underscored by the type of decisions made in such series: the same type of decisions that animals face in nature, ``where do I find food, how do I evade that predator, who is dangerous''.
A particular danger of evolution is stagnation for no other reason then stagnation. Once a property becomes very appealing in terms of getting children, that fact causes the property to become appealing because having it ensures the children will be appealing to those for whom the property is appealing because it is appealing to others (etc). A self reinforcing popularity, without a basis in true survival. The more a species has a conscious selection process and few hard limits, the more the species can be at risk because it is a psychological effect. This effect can also cause a species that needs to adapt to technology, to become more stuck to the old ways then would be warranted by a sober analysis of survival chances of all manner of behaviors.
The human courtship display behavior is quite amusing, for instance. It involves moving in ways that probably are meant to show that all limbs are working as they should, that the brain of the specimen has gained full control over its muscles. This would be relevant in terms of dealing with bodily violence, perhaps that is where it originated. It isn't very useful in determining the intelligence or technical capabilities of the "dancers." But to the degree it ensures people being able to have correctly moving limbs, it is definitely a plus. That only leaves the question of whether there was a significant problem with these limbs, so that there will be an useful return for all this dancing effort.
A more disturbing trend in humanity is its extreme drug usage. If it is only possible for humans to "dance" when sufficiently on drugs (typically alcohol), and if it is only possible for humans to interact pleasantly while doing drugs (typically cigarettes and alcohol), then there might be some negative effects in the long run. For one the people who don't wish to engage in this useless "dancing" behavior or doing drugs, they don't reproduce much, become therefore unattractive and are weeded from society eventually because of the "evolutionary entrapment" of humanity in drugs usage. Secondly "doing drugs" means wasted time, time that was needed to solve the problems of the world, technically and psychologically. People who use drugs waste time, hence aren't helping anymore. But not everyone is wasting its time, which has obviously lead to startling technological progress. End result: a backwards and childish species with high tech toys, recipe for disaster (extinction).
Evolutionary entrapment (hypotheses) would perhaps `normally' not be that problematic, because the degenerating sub groups would probably sooner collapse (be exposed as degenerating), its space taken over by the better adapted. But humanity is starting from nothing, from being adapted and needing to be adapted to physical violence. It is already hard enough to adapt to technology, having to deal with additional problems like drug usage has obviously put the entire process at great risk. While the world is turning into a giant waste dump, people still want to look "cool" in their car; the point being having wrestled the ownership, it isn't about the skill to build one. Breaking out of wars can be particularly dangerous right now, with a view of entrapment in violence. Wars with high civilian casualties prove that being able to physically defend yourself - something that still has a physical component to it - is not becoming obsolete.
I think there might be a window of opportunity for a species to become adapted to its technology. That window starts in a weak way with the simpler technology, then the pull to drop internal violence becomes stronger the fewer people are being killed from wild animals. The window closes when those being better adapted to technology (dedicated to peace) are consciously destroyed through some kind of entrapment process. Humanity is then continuously destroying the specimen being best adapted to technology, what future is there for humanity in that case ? From the moment weapons that can defeat any animal without any needed additional bodily characteristics (like extra strong muscles) for humans become available, all violence is backwards violence. This moment probably occurred with the invention of the machine gun: point and shoot, cheap to manufacture, requires virtually no unusual bodily adaptations to use, no animal we would otherwise fight hand and stone can hope to match it.
From the moment of the machine gun, we are in a special position: all violence is backwards, but we aren't yet capable of destroying ourselves. This special window happened roughly between the first world war and somewhere in the sixties, when sufficient atom bombs came on line for a chance on self destruction (do the math!). Now we face a curious form of entrapment: wars are being fought to prevent the spread of extremely powerful weapons (atom bombs), yet these very same wars can introduce evolutionary entrapment in violence in a species already having a hard time to adapt. If these wars become acceptable, then that seems to be also a form of entrapment in the historical sense: fighting wars to prevent wars, which makes little sense historically, but neither evolutionary (which is more important then historical). Humanity as a species seems to be degenerating, or suffering from some kind of temporary relapse, possibly induced by having lost so much time on doing drugs (hypotheses).
During the expected transition phase for a species beginning to use technology coming from a biosphere where being good in aggression (war) is vital, a certain paradox of adulthood can occur. It certainly occurs on Earth at least. When new born specimen are small, they can play with each other for fun, but they can not fight to establish their position in the gang or tribe (company, country, military, etc). Once the newborns of a non-technological species become adults, the fights will be real, the intensity, severity and intention of the fights will increase. This can result in a certain ranking for all individuals. Hence: ``behaving more openly and seriously aggressive is a sign of adulthood'' on this "level", while behaving more peacefully is a sign of childishness.
When a species becomes fully adapted to its technology, it needs to become peaceful. When new newborns grow up, they typically repeat the growth pattern of past evolution (humans do), and may well also repeat past stages of human evolution during growing up. This repetition of past behavior may continue to some degree, even when the species is otherwise adapted to technology (became peaceful). Hence: ``behaving in a dedicated peaceful way is a sign of adulthood'' on this "level," while behaving aggressively is a sign of childishness.
Both interpretations of adulthood contradict, though during upbringing they start from the same position. It is therefore probably wrong to look for solutions to young people (who repeat the past), rather one should look to old people instead. The change has to come from adult people themselves, not from children. Old people have most experience with the world, and have survived longest in it. One of the key factors of the present culture seems to be a "celebration" of youth. This is probably not a productive choice to make a change toward peace, rather it seems to be more of an attempt to shrug off any responsibility, and continue to act as spoiled children to which behavior most modern "adults" seem to have fallen victim to. It is not the children who must make the changes, it is the adults themselves, and they should have achieved something when they are older, so that they have something to offer to the upbringing of the children. The children can then work forward from a better position, and achieve yet more later. For this handing over of results, there needs to be sufficient contact.
Because children behave quite violently toward each other in play fighting for an expected violent world - they don't know better so are following their instincts - it is probably a good idea to deny them the chance to form a completely separate section of society left to its own devices. The problem is that these "devices" are inspired by old problems like chasing prey and evading and fighting with predators and hierarchy infighting; as these things have happened over many many millions of years. Just like a baby in the womb actually trains its hands, because in the distant past it immediately needed strong hands after birth. Now this is no longer needed, but the baby doesn't know, and therefore falls back on what its instinct tells it: train those hands, or face certain death. Without new certain input, what else does a child have but its instincts. The blah-blah of a teacher can never substitute real life experience, never. The problem is that words are without meaning unless attached to actual experience. Words ultimately just re-arrange past experiences, and therefore what is said is limited to what the children already are capable of understanding.
Cooking children up with themselves is also somewhat unusual compared to what other species do, to have children basically grow up in large groups without contact with "normally" behaving adults. Children in modern culture are cooked up in buildings with a few adults to keep order. No wonder they receive little in the way of results and daily examples of adults who have made some change toward peace and solidarity in their lives, examples to absorb and to learn from. That is why children "are cruel." By the time these children are of age to go to work, they are basically starting from a much worse position then would have been necessary using a different social organizational setup. Consequently, results for society toward peace from this type of upbringing has to be almost non existent. What is developed isn't absorbed by the youth, they always have to start with almost nothing. What adults and old people have developed goes mostly with them to their graves, lost to the culture, the most precious thing it currently needs (peace and solidarity).
One of the problems with this is, that there are so few people who actually know what they are doing and why. Children will immediately know that, and basically not take the "adults" seriously, and right they would be. So, the problem lies still with the adults: to come to know what one is doing and why exactly, so that children would take them seriously and not laugh them away. That is a big problem, since most adults are basically children, without clue as to reality of their world, what they want, are, do, the limits etc etc. Pretty much everyone appears to be lost. Children who experience casual and continues contact with normally behaving adults therefore know much more about their society in a much more real way. When they have grown up, they will probably in turn be taken more seriously.
Another problem is people working in businesses are essentially owned slaves who must obey their masters bidding. Children will immediately recognize the submissive position of many, and the dominant position of others, and hence extrapolate that this is a world based on violence, intimidation, scheming, gossip, power politics and the like. No self-respecting adult would accept a smaller cut from a group effort, unless the society is ultimately violence based, something instinctively hardwired into every human being. From this there could be negative inspiration. But on average it is the adults who are the better example then other children. To see the seemingly less harmful play of children compared to adult wars as a turn to peace is a mistake, the children now waging wars were once children like any other. Children can only be a hope for the future once the adults take their responsibilities, and impress that continuesly on their children.
To a degree it is possible that the more intelligent people who stand to profit from a lack of progress toward peace and solidarity (mostly capitalists and rich people), will want to keep the culture as it is, since it keeps the level of animosity and despair high, which makes alternatives to their rule harder or even impossible.
The meek shall inherit the Earth.
Are you comfy? ``The world started a long time ago, many billions of years ago. Much longer then that, but don't worry about it now. What is described in the Torah as a beginning with Adam and Eve, is only the beginning of the future, of what the world will be when the meek have inherited it, the start of the survival of the meek . Before humanity, all creatures were naked animals. The naked animals were drowsy, having descended from a semi-conscious plant state. What they wanted was some excitement, to wake up, to feel alive. They prayed to Hashem: `wake us up, make us excited, give us adventure !' Hashem looked down on Earth and created evil on Earth. The animals loved it, chasing each other, eating each other, hunting each other, it was all a great excitement. And they woke up because of it. Indeed, they thought, Hashem is wise. But time went on, and some animals were more and more awake, and they became fearful. So they prayed for Hashem: `Hashem, we have sinned, what we wanted is hurting us now, can you help us.' Hashem felt in the Heart of these creatures that they needed something. Then Hashem decided, we will make creatures like ourselves in heaven. The ape family evolved, and the fearful souls jumped into them, humanity stood up. Then Hashem threw part of a mountain on them, and they got hit with stones. This was how Hashem showed the souls what to do. The souls in the humans took the stones, and threw them to their predators. This made their predators afraid. Hashem thought, good. But then something horrible happened. The humans began throwing stones to each other. Hashem became worried, and regretted the gift he had given to the pleading souls. The Torah came from heaven, to teach the wandering souls. The humans became better at using tools, the throwing stone became a speer, the speer a bow, the bow a musket, the musket an automatic machine gun. However, Hashem's wisdom is infinite. Even if the souls chose to continue doing evil which was not for them, that very evil murdered those that did evil. While the stone, the axe, the speer, the bow and most of all the automatic machine gun, protected all humans from other predators. And so it came to pass in the present day, that most humans have forgotten that there were once predators that wanted to eat them. Hashem has saved us. What goes on forever, is the killing of the violent by the violent, and the protection of the meek using technology from the animals of the field. That is how Hashem saved us, and that is how evil came and how it went away. That is how the meek will inherit the Earth.
Now, good night. Don't have to dream about evil animals chasing you anymore. And soon, little child, the evil humans are gone as well. Just wait and sit tight. But maybe, all humanity will blow itself up. That will protect the sweet people in the sky from the evil humans. Which it is going to be, the future will tell, but whatever happens, it is always right. Dream well. Don't blame Hashem.''
Admittedly the following is conjecture, but ...
The human skull houses a much bigger brain then that of any other ape. In other ape species, the muscles of the jaw go up over the skull, to provide the jaws with sufficient power. Humans do not have those jaw muscles over the skull anymore, the jaws are lighter and less powerful. Science has claimed recently, that the size of the skull is bigger in humans, because the jaw muscles do not press down on the skull, allowing the skull to balloon up.
Eating apples requires very little jaw muscles. The bigger brain allows for building more advanced technologies, more creativity. However, humanity being an aggressive ape, it is perhaps possible to foresee this could only end in disaster, a disaster which is today all too apparent in the build-up of weapons technologies. Even after so much time, humanity has still not overcome and outgrown its violent behavior. Humanity may always have been a species on the brink of evolutionary entrapment, where it causes itself to remain violent by destroying those not violent, not realizing there lies its only future. Hence, forbidding humanity `to eat the apple,' and/or to grow a bigger brain and/or to become technological, could have been a commandment to save humanity the trouble of building technology which would then only serve to heighten suffering tremendously, and cause the self destruction of humanity once technology becomes ready for it. This would be the perfect operation of the Universe, weeding out the aggressive and protecting other planets and removing ongoing suffering. However, it would still be a historical tragedy for humanity itself.