Fw: An Individualistic Step

From: Kenneth Van Oost (Kennethvanoost@belgacom.net)
Date: Wed 13 Nov 2002 - 21:49:59 GMT

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    Part 4

    Human history corresponds perfectly with what is known as ' natural his- tory '_ it all begins, according to what we know now, about 7 million years ago in Chad. From there on till, modern man Homo Sapiens, arrives, a process of a continious humanisation was due, marked by different cases of species- bounding and exinction. In one way more than another we could say that our early ancestors lived a more dispersed life than most of the scientists thought. That strenghtens for me the idea that, indeed brainsize co- evolved with the increase of for- ming groups. ( Aiello/ Dunbar 1993)

    That is the way how it did work from the beginning till today. Nature, whatever that is, creates environmental benefits that favour its creations. Those creations are to my view singularities like the Big Bang, or is the one- celluar being transforming itself into a multiple- celluar or- ganism_ or as some state ' the tendency of nature to evolve from less to more complex. The point to make is to see each and any other process possible as the result of a secondary process that still goes on with little intentions and with little plans.

    One rarely sees ( wants to see) the static origin of nature. Nature don 't defines groupselection_ the dynamic of evolution does. In both cases processes are clearly at work, but with the difference that the first can be repeated [ we are individuals forming groups and eventually a culture; polyps were/ are solitary animals but cluster together and built coral reefs; one idea gives rise to memeplexes] and the second can 't and will not.

    The impact of the early humans was probably neglectable, they were small in numbers and their environment limited in size. The species who had to suffer the most from our early ancestors were maybe akin. That can be explained by the term ' individualistic ' in the tittle of this article. I do rely here upon what is actually know as egocentrism. Humans do possess the inbedded tendency to, before everything, have consideration with themselves. Babies eg do get born with this notion. And thus the baby has something in common with all what lives:- the natural need " to be there ", to keep itself alive. In that sense everybody comes into this world with that kind of tendency, although we break the habit if we get older.

    _ Karl Jaspers, argues that human existence possesses an actual and an external aspect; thus a dimension of just being there and as such per- ceivable ' from the outside '. Jaspers calls this Dasein. In this capacity humans belong to the indifferent aspects of nature and are subjected to external influences of a physical or social disposition, to bodily malfunctions, to the coincidence, in short to (f)actors which we perceive as alien.

    Moreover, the natural tendency for egocentrism does not mean that humans are from day one mere egocentric. Each human is dependent upon others, in the first place upon their mother, and through her upon those where she is dependent of. But in my mind, groupselection- theorists lack concrete evidence to explain the time difference between the in each human inbedded tendency for ego- centrism and what is known as morality ! Morality can only strive if it gives something back for the descrease of the
    ( motivated) selfinterest of the individual. And that could have been group- selection and its framework of social receprocalition. Still this was only the second step in human evolution, the first was an individualistic one !

    _Gould, Homo Sapiens is nothing more than all varieties of our species bound together. But individuals exist in all kind of sorts ans sizes, colours, sexe, race and weight and there is no such number, no such thing, not enough gold in the world that is capable of representing Homo Sapiens_ and yet still we try !

    Kenneth Van oost July 2002

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