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Evolutionary Mistakes, Human Predicament and Reverse Approach to Global Challenges

We do not have a definite answer to the question, why our ancestors abandoned their arboreal habitat. But it can be listed as the first evolutionary mistake, which today has precipitated the global challenges that stare back at us.
Introduction of money (as defined in modern economics) qualifies as the second in the list of evolutionary mistakes (social). Ironically man as a species has forgone wealth to become rich.
Perhaps it is too late to undo the natural evolutionary mistake. However despite multiple failures in attempts to eradicate poverty, we still harbor hope.
A reverse approach may throw open better prospects. Does it make more sense, if we try to eradicate richness?

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  • Jun 19 2013: This doesn't seem coherent and focused yet. Different things for different folks. George QT is right on evolution. Barry Palmer is probaably right and in agreement with Robert Kawasaki's books.
    • Jun 19 2013: Overwhelming majority of scientific studies and publications articulate the view that evolution has no goals. Closing arguments in these studies are never universally convincing. Hence why do we need to believe it?

      Nothing in the world happens without a purpose. It would be difficult (with our present, limited understanding) to prove this statement beyond doubts. However, from a physical perspective; living organisms can be considered as entropy pumps. There is a constant effort to distribute entropy equally among the three spheres (atmo, hydro and litho) on the planet.

      Life or living organisms could have emerged to facilitate the entropy transfer. Those organisms, who could manage their thermal regimes better, dominate (natural selection) and established themselves far and wide (species distribution). Left to itself, nature can best be termed an eternal pump. Evolution has an objective - create an ideal entropy pump.

      Perhaps the phrase ‘evolutionary mistake’ can be rephrased ‘evolutionary deviation’ (deviation from what would have been a better course). The better course is to be decided by a hypothetical state of environment of the planet today, if a different trajectory of evolutionary development had occurred. By eradicating richness, I meant, eradicating money (which is disproportionately stacked with 20%).

      Imagine if there were nothing called money, what would be the motive for the scale of planetary excavations that we witness today? The counter argument that is flashed is, without motive, we would not have reached where we are today. This statement is made under the false premise that we are better off today? Is that truly so?
      • Jun 19 2013: The concept of "goal" requires "intention" and intention requires planing, and planing requires someone in charge, so in order for evolution to have a goal (any goal) you need someone in charge or in other words a God, which I don't think is a very scientific strategy. So there are only two ways from here, either you insist evolution has a goal (defined by God) and we are talking religion, or you accept evolution has no goal and we are talking science. If we are talking religion then I agree "Nothing in the world happens without a purpose", but if we are talking science then I must disagree and rephrase your idea: "Nothing in the world happens without a cause", which means the concept of "evolutionary deviation" is also wrong.

        Now, let's talk about economy, I think you are overlooking two very important facts: 1) Money is just a tool, a tool to get the resources you need cheaply and easily. So richness is not really about the money but about the resources it can buy. 2) All living things from plants to mammals and from ants to humans accumulate resources for the hard times. Resource accumulation is the way living organisms respond to a changing environment. A desert plant that stores water is in fact accumulating wealth, and trying to make itself as rich as it cans, the same applies to a bear accumulating fat in its body, the fatter the bear is the richest and believe me, it will eat whatever in order to get as rich as it cans. If you want to talk about ants, bees, etc. the same story applies.

        So clearly this is not about money, it is about resources, and trying to solve the problem by eradicating money is like trying to cure cancer with a couple of aspirins. A more realistic approach would be to limit the amount of resources a person can accumulate, but there are lots of questions that must be answered first: who is going to establish that limit? how to make sure such limit is fair for all? who is going enforce it? and by which means?... etc.
        • Jun 20 2013: There are two things, that I would like to draw attention to:
          1. The word money used here as a surrogate for resource consumption.
          However resource consumption is not 'felt', where as money flow is. A redefinition of 'money' is what is needed. A rule of diminishing return, after a set limit of accumulated 'money', would in effect remove the 'motive' for further accumulation (read further exploitation of resources).
          Bio mimicry researchers observe how social animals gather resources, but very few ever bother to realize, that none of these animals accumulate more than what they want! Size of colonies are also based on number of inhabitants. Beyond this new colonies are formed. The spatial geometry of honey combs in a region is jaw-dropping.

          Just was thinking, what would have happened, if these organisms devised something like 'money'.

          2. Physicists talk about something called mind theory. Perhaps, it could be what is controlling every thing.
          Going by physical principles, any object tries to attain equilibrium with its environment. This is what planet Earth is also doing. The blanket of atmosphere impeded Earths' energy exchange and necessitates cycling of entropy. If we see that life evolved to facilitate this entropy cycle, then there is an objective: get an ideal entropy pump. Human actions have jeopardized this grand design. So what we are talking is science and just science.
      • Jun 20 2013: Thank you
        I learn from these discussions that's what I enjoyed about being with grad students in a dorm in my younger days.
      • Jun 20 2013: You say "resource consumption is not 'felt' as money flows", not immediately but it does as prices rise due to the resource becoming more scarce. You also say: "A redefinition of 'money' is what is needed" but you don't explain how, nor provide a plausible proposal.

        Not only social organisms gather resources, even plants do it, and they do accumulate as much as they can, the only thing is that they have physical constraints that impose limits on what can be accumulated, so the magic word here is: "can" and not "want" as you state.

        I never heard of the so called "mind theory" (related to physics as you argument) I googled it and just as I expected all I could find was related to psychology and not physics, so I doubt your references in this subject are accurate. Moreover you say "what we are talking is science and just science" but first you claim evolution has an "objective", and I wonder who set that objective, because just like a goal, an objective requires intention and definition, so unless there is a God behind I can't justify your argument, you also talk about a "grand design", design requires a designer, I wonder who is that designer... and again the only sensible answer I can find is God. So, since you are implying God is behind evolution what I see here is a religious talk not a scientific one like you state.
      • Jun 26 2013: After reading this document it is clear to me that you are taking the word "mind" too literally. Quote: "We recall that mind has not ever the same meaning of consciousness, as psychoanalysis teaches.". unquote (please read page 3 more carefully). So I still think it is a mistake to apply the concepts of: goal, objective, design, mistake and deviation, to sustain your arguments.

        Interesting document I must say, thanks for sharing.
        • Jun 27 2013: I have not taken the concept 'mind' literally.

          'Mind', like my first usage 'evolutionary error' is perhaps not the most suited word to describe something (presently unknown) that determines processes occurring on this planet. It tends to get immediately connected to psychology and the like.

          Coming back to the original point, evolution is not a random process (read it has purpose). The something that we today do not know, has memory. For example, consider the case of position of our eyes. Would it not have been better (to ward off attacks, or have more prospects of finding food) if we had one eye each in the front and back? "The something" had experimented this in lower forms of life. After realizing its merits or otherwise, decided to keep both eyes in one side. Isn't it a form of memory?

          Such crazy questions are needed to take our understanding forward than meekly accepting so called forcefully established scientific knowledge. So my point that evolution has purpose remains.
      • Jun 27 2013: I think you are misunderstanding something: Evolution is driven by two processes: 1) "random" mutation (please note the quotation marks, there's now way to make them look bigger, sorry for that), and 2) natural selection, which is the exact opposite to random. So evolution IS NOT (sorry I can't make words look bigger) a random process, but that doesn't imply that it has a propose, although it might SEEM so.

        Realize you are talking about a "mind" which has no consciousness, so there is no "intention" which means the "goal" is not fixed, so the "propose" can change (evolve) eventually.

        My problem with the argument that evolution has "propose" is that it looks like invitation not only to mystify science, but also to build all sorts of religious justifications to defy and discredit science, which is indeed very dangerous problem.

        Now, let's just for a moment suppose your arguments are right. The fact that evolution would have a propose does not imply we humans know it or that we will ever know it. So, how can you tell with such degree of confidence that what your "know" the actual and true propose of evolution?

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