Wednesday 27 April 2016

We are worse-off than mouse utopia - because of evil leaders

Reader may recall the Mouse Utopia experiment as interpreted by Michael Woodley and myself in terms of mutation accumulation, and my crude attempt to apply this to modern Britain:

It seems ever more obvious that the mass of people in the West are behaving in ways consistent with significant genetic damage - that shows itself in terms of social and sexual maladaptation, and a kind of 'indifference' to survival trending over into self-destructive (extinction-seeking) attitudes.

The idea is a group-selectional concept (which I got from the great evolutionary theorist WD Hamilton - in the second, 2001, volume of his collected papers Narrow Roads to Gene Land) that when an animal is carrying a significant mutational load, it will cease to struggle to survive and may even allow itself to die (or seek death) because its own elimination will tend to benefit the rest of the group (e.g. by dying it will cease to consume resources, leaving more for the 'fitter' members of the species; furthermore, and more importantly, it will eliminate the mutated genes from the gene pool - this was plausibly seen in the Mouse Utopia experiment with the increasing prevalence of non-reproductive sex and solitary behaviour among the males).

But this 'self-sacrifice' for the good of the species is only useful when the 'mutated' individuals are relatively rare, and the rest of the group have 'good genes' and are low in mutations. The thesis of Mouse Utopia is that the whole population of post-Industrial Revolution countries have suffered mutation accumulation (mostly due to the near elimination of intrauterine and childhood mortality which used to run at more than half of conceptions) for periods that vary between maybe seven to ten generations - going back into the 1700s in England for the upper classes to a few generations less for the lower classes (because there was a lag before the lower classes benefitted from the decline in mortality rates).

However, when the mutated individuals make up the majority, or indeed the entire population, then this indifferent, passive, extinction-accepting/ seeking attitude becomes near-universal - as we see today.

Clearly the parallels between mice and men cannot be assumed! - nonetheless, this may not favour men. Things are worse in modern Britain (and the West generally) than in the Mouse Utopia experiment in at least three respects:

1. The mice were cleaned and provisioned by the lab workers, so did not have to care for themselves;

2. The mice were protected from predators and colonizers - which they would have certainly been unwilling to resist;

3. The experimenters were benign and did not take advantage of the situation.

But in The West, including Britain, we do not have these advantages - we have to provision ourselves, we are unprotected from predators  and colonizers and our ruling elites have an aggressive attitude that aims to encourage extinction and to seek and suppress any remaining adaptive and self-preserving behaviours.

So while Mouse Utopia did not reach extinction for several mouse generations even after reproduction ended altogether, because the last of the sheltered and pampered mice lived long (and passive!) lives - the timescale to elimination, in terms of human generations, would presumably be much shorter for the modern West.

It might be assumed that men had an advantage over mice in being able to understand what is going on, and do something about it - however, in practice, this is not the case; and it seems we will stumble to our demise just as ignorant of its causes as if we were mice.

Added clarification: Our ruling elites are not evil due to being genetically damaged by mutation accummulation - that does not make people evil, but merely diseased, biologically un-fit; instead our leadership class are (on the whole) evil because they have chosen to serve evil - in other words, chosen purposively to destroy that which is good.

(Note: Acknowledgment is due to Michael Woodley for ideas included above which he described and we developed in conversation yesterday.)


Nathaniel said...

Please feel free to delete, but I tried to outline some basic thoughts on group survival in the face of mutational meltdown. It's not clear to me if you think it is even-to-far-gone for this, but clearly religious communities that would survive (or thrive) despite a return in child mortality and intense persecution would be the best answer.

Unknown said...

I really liked the article, it explains a lot about modern society in the west.