Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have Humans Outgrown Natural Selection?

Richard Dawkins thinks so.  He states: "As Darwin recognized, we humans are the first and only species able to escape the brutal force that created us, natural selection….We alone on earth have evolved to the point where we can…overthrow the tyranny of natural selection.”

He makes a case for altruism emerging from kinship and tribal reciprocity and attempts to explain how the "selfish gene" makes humans unique among the other living creatures. He believes we have a "lust to be nice."

Dawkins' video is here.

Using Dawkins' logic, we might as well argue that the survival of humans over these millions of years suggests that they have had a constant tendency to be both self-defensive and altruistic. Maybe natural selection has never been as big a factor in human evolution as Dawkins has maintained.

Related reading:  Was Lucy Human?; Theories of Change and Constancy; The Evolution of Darwinian Evolution

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