An Individualistic Step

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Wed 13 Nov 2002 - 21:45:23 GMT

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    Part 2

    I introduce a model based on the dichotomous individual <-> group template such that we can resolve the debate wether modern Europeans evolved from a grouplike structure or from an individual stance.

    ' If we talk about people, than we talk always about people in the plural. That we know. But in any case our interest goes unvoluntarily towards individuals. Baby's gaze in fascination only to one face; and the interest for all what is personal remains:- in books and films we are captivated by the adventures of separate people_ all what is noted as ' community ' is only scenery.'

    ' In the scent of the evolutiontheory we can think further about how people live together. In biology we find the inbedded notion that people can learn from eachother and are able to find meaning in things and to create some kind of organisation. We can suggest that societies are biased upon com- munal exeptations, shared knowledge and mutual trust. Individual intellect is primarily a development out of social intercourse as a function of peaceful coexistence.'

    Groupselection was useful for much of human evolution, but that is more of a proper constructed method of processing information. In a way, as his- tory points out, the trade of being able to choose the group you wanna join is just another illusion. It is peer pressure, it is a view whereby we see evo- lution only as one straight line.

    Stephen Gould argued that probably the human species lived in small com- munities, the only way up was to live in greater survival- units. That may have happened not so very often, but the consequences were huge
    _ from that time on everything changed. A new situation was born, whereby for more and more people the acknowledgement that they were to be part of some great(er) group became important. And what counted for groupsize, is the norm for any other social- mutation nowadays.

    In that respect I see groupselection as just one other mutation which could go up only one way. And if one thing changes the whole of the full house- idea of Gould needs a supplement_ if indeed groupselection was the norm to beat, the ecological niche where individual selection held its ground changed radical. Individual selection was overrun by the space groupselec- tion needed.

    But groupselection as such was NOT the startingpoint of the process_ in- dividual selection was !! There is a lot to say about the notion why early humans had a much to little brain. You would exept that concurrence and cooperation within the species would provoke the growth of a bigger brain; that indeed the relation between groups would have led to some advantage upon others !? As the find of Dmanisi points out, that is not the case. The point that adaption to a new environment goes hand in hand with a greater intelligence does not hold water. Other reasons played their part why the early hominids left Africa and why they eventually evolved into a species with bigger brains.

    My suggestion is that the dominance, the empowerment of one single individual within an environmental context gave a certain amount of de- velopment whereby others were merely disadvantaged than that they could get any profit out of it. The latter- ones just has to adapt. But, and in turn, the latter- ones changed their own living circumstances ( or in later stadia to withstand the deteriorations).

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