TED Conversations

  • MR T
  • Bristol
  • United Kingdom

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Are there any human behaviours that can't be logically derived from selfish gene promotion?

We do it with animals in biology all the time, we study animals and realise that the more closely related they are, the more likely they are to help each other. So why, if humans arose under the same conditions (evolution) should we treat ourselves any differently in study?. Arrogance?

Take sharing between friends, one friend shares with another in a time of excess, so that in a time of inexcess the other might reciprocate. This way both fair better than they would alone. Could this be a 'selfish' act?.


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    Nov 17 2013: In order to learn about the roots of human nature we do not need to investigate on what appears to our illusive minds as genes, under the researcher's microscope.

    Can we at least explain how our society effects us, for instance, Why it creates huge crowds producing great mass psychosis and deadly threats, quickly turning every individual into a desperate fighter for one's life regardless any mercy towards others? I mean how greatly our artificial environment effects our human character and behavior?
    • Nov 17 2013: Vera,

      Most individuals are oblivious to the surroundings about them physically, environmentally, historical, contextual, ideological, to name a few. There are many human behaviors that are derived from ideas, stories, feelings, beliefs, groups, events and other factors that surround the individual. Incidentally many of these have little to do with selfish gene promotion. The artificial environmental theaters, roles and players created to sustain ways of being by providing a playing field in which serious games are played... and where the rules are a bit biased towards ensuring sustaining the ways while casting a vail over what really be going on.

      The short answer to reason why I think has to do with individual ideas herding beings to feed upon the energy of our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, acts and experiences while providing the ideas a comfy hosted-home that tends to their ideological needs. In a way just like human heard cows to milk them and creating all sort of produces, ideas heard individuals to milk out all sort of produces... though in our case we have to choose to do it and go along with their invitation. In other words we can resists the urge and inclination of our genes and our memes, our habits, our addictions and determine our actions... though most just follow the script set before them... At (http://www.memecentral.com/level3.htm) there is a story that I found entertaining to consider.

      I am interested in the ideas and stories we choose to replicate... and initiated a conversation
      over at (http://www.ted.com/conversations/21359/how_to_determine_ideas_worth_s.html) to explore how to determine ideas worth spreading... though its morphed a bit into how to worthily spread ideas worth spreading. Everyone is invited to contribute here or there
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      Nov 18 2013: "...this old world keeps spinning round; it's a wonder tall trees ain't laying down...

      - from Neil Young's song 'Comes A Time', from his album by the same name:

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      Nov 19 2013: I think that we, as a species, strive for convenience, even at the cost of destroying our environment, and/or creating conflict and mass suffering in other parts of the world. The problem is that we don't see from a long-term perspective, nor do we have an all-encompassing worldview which allows us to see the true cost of this convenience.

      All seriousness aside, this Cracked article coined the term "Monkeysphere," which directly correlates to what I'm implying (http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html). Basically, the article draws upon a biological conclusion which suggests that our immediate social network is limited by the size of our brains (source: http://www.liv.ac.uk/researchintelligence/issue17/brainteaser.html). Although we live in complex social structures, our immediate social network usually contains around 150 individuals (family, friends, etc.). This immediate social network holds great importance because we have a diminished emotional connection with individuals that are outside of this network (even if these individuals are members of our society). Biologically, we are short-sighted.

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