Sunday, 3 February 2013

Successful dumb bastards

Survival of the fittest. We've all heard that one. It is a quote attributed to Charles Darwin and liberally thrown around like cheese on pizza.
Survival of the strongest, only the strong survive, law of the jungle and all that shit.
The funny thing is, I've read Charles Darwin's Origin Of The Species and at no point did he write 'survival of the fittest' or any of it's variations. Nope, it's not there.
What he does mention, when not talking about worms or calling natives 'savages' as was the style of the time, is that the species that survive are those who are better adapted to the their environment. Those who are more fit to live in it.
That part of the book was twisted by industrialist (the corporate executives of the Victorian era) to show that they were the strongest therefore had evolutionary right to hire nine year old kids and pay them with a bowl of gruel for their 14 hours of work a day.

No. Evolution is about adaptability and Darwin saw this everywhere. Every organism is finely tuned to survive it's environment, because if it isn't, it wouldn't be here.

And here's the one that amuses me. We, as humans, assume we're the pinnacle evolution because we're so smart. The smartest animal on the planet in fact.
Ever since modern humans busted out of Africa, we steam rolled the Neanderthals because we are intelligent and they were just a bunch of hairy dumb shits, right?
Motherfucking wrong! Neanderthals had ten percent bigger brains compared to us. Their toolmaking techniques where complex and ingenious, far beyond anything modern humans could come up with. Neanderthals, it appears, were the superior species.

So what happened? Why are we here then? How did we wipe them out?
I'll tell you how... we out-fucked them.
No battle of wits or epic all out war of species. Nope, we simply reproduced faster than they did.

Luckily, Neanderthals did not completely disappear. Recently, genetics have shown that most of us (with some sort of Asian, European or American decent. Not pure African) have some traces of Neanderthal DNA (from roughly around 2% to 6%).

So next time the world appears to be getting dumber, it may not be your imagination. You don't need brains to take over. No, all you need to conquer the world is to fuck more than the guy next to you.