berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Mon Mar 24 20:05:03 EST 1997
On 24 Mar 1997, William Tivol wrote:
> Ralph Gainey (sesame at MCN.ORG) wrote:
> : It has not been shown that generosity, compassion, understanding,
> : forgiveness, patience, and other desirable traits in humans are amenable
> : to genetic transmission...would that it were...would that it were...
> OTOH, Jacob Bronowski in The Ascent of Man reasons that man, like
> other social primates, is evolving toward the traits you mention. If he
> was right (and I think he was), these desirable traits are amenable to ge-
> netic transmission, and are adaptive, thus, selected for. Of course, I am
> very optimistic, but I think that a culture which maximizes cooperation--
> which would follow from the characteristics listed--would far outperform
> less cooperative cultures. Time will tell (unless the planet is struck by
> an asteroid beforehand).
> Bill Tivol
HOW TO EVOLVE IN COOPERATIVE SPECIES
Bill is talking about culture which maximizes cooperation.
And those of us who think of themselves as scientists
(and if scientists do not belong to "culture" than who
do ?) can perhaps start with showing others a good
example. But we are not.
In fact, scientists are among the LEAST cooperative
species in this society. Instead of showing example
to others we are trailing well behind.
Stop idiotic sytem of secretive ("anonymous") peer
review. Stop cut throat "competition" for grants.
Reform (presently Gestappian) structures like
so called "granting councils" which promote this
"competition" as a rhethorical route to mythical
"excellence", but in reality to proliferate their
own bureaucratic control.
If we do so (highly unlikely, though) then we probably
could evolve within a few generations into
something what Bronowski and Bill Tivol are likely
have in mind. Otherwise we follow dinasaurs with
or without comet likewise.
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