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Can man become civilised

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h_k_s
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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by h_k_s » December 31st, 2018, 11:39 am

Alias wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:01 am
GE Morton wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 7:36 pm
That is true, but it is beside the OP's point. Yes, civilization is a human invention --- but one created unintentionally and without appreciating the profound implications for social dynamics and human relationships.
But that makes it an impossible question.
Evolution is a process of selection for traits that best equip and individual to thrive and reproduce in a given environment. Species can't select for environments that they themselves are changing. They could only ever be prepared to function in the environment of their parents' time, and thus be always, inevitably, maladapted to whatever it's changing into.
He might as well have asked: Can we grow feet that match a pair of Zanotti shoes?
I say, designers make shoes for human feet, not the other way around. And, no, we can't even design babies that will be perfect for their own time, because their time is still in the process of being made; not only can we not select for it, we can't even make an accurate guess at what it will be.
Civilization is not a given. It's a byproduct of humans living their lives: it adapts to and is continually adapted by the way humans live their lives. How it is organized, how it works and what happens to it are the ongoing processes of human interaction.
While evolution in the Darwin sense is a convenient theory in Science, it really has no place in Philosophy.

Philosophy deals with the body and soul and mind.

Not evolution.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by h_k_s » December 31st, 2018, 11:40 am

cavacava wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 11:57 am
Mark1955 wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 7:48 am
From an evolutionary biological perspective we are still running around the savanna hunting and gathering in small packs of ~120 people. Since we are mostly living a civilised life [and by civilised I mean the literal definition of the latin term i.e. we live in cities] can we evolve into a more suitable life form or is evolution too slow to adapt to the pace of modern societal change.
A long time ago I belonged to Rotary, a service club which at the time didn't allow women membership. I recall that there was all kinds of internal turmoil when women wanted to become members. One of the most persuasive arguments used in favor of having women join (I think they also sued to get in, but I maybe mistaken) was that women work harder in organizations, which was unlike most Rotarian dispositions at the time. Also, it was felt that women would civilize the club, that men would have to change their ways.

It is encouraging to see more women taking prominent roles in society, I think on a broad basis (no pun) they are a civilizing influence which may change the world for the better, given the chance.
I am a Freemason and we do not let women into the Fraternity.

But there are ancillary organization for the Masonic women which they can join.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by h_k_s » December 31st, 2018, 11:42 am

GE Morton wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 7:36 pm
Alias wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 1:21 pm
This sounds as if you believed cities and urban life has been thrust upon us by some external will, and that "modern societal change" were a phenomenon somehow outside of human control.
Civilization is a human invention - or accretion, like the shell of a caddisfly. We invented and developed it.
It is not we who must evolve to suit our environment; it is the environment that has evolved around us, through our efforts and decisions.
That is true, but it is beside the OP's point. Yes, civilization is a human invention --- but one created unintentionally and without appreciating the profound implications for social dynamics and human relationships.
I think of Sargon The Great from pre-ancient history as the author of civilization.

He created it intentionally, not unintentionally. He was a warlord -- the first really great one.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:15 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 12:53 pm
It depends how wide a definition of the term "evolution" you're using.
Clarification, I am referring to genetic evolution by mutation, i.e Darwinism.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:25 pm

Alias wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 1:21 pm
Mark1955 wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 7:48 am
From an evolutionary biological perspective we are still running around the savanna hunting and gathering in small packs of ~120 people.
What makes you think this? Very few of us are doing anything of the sort, have the physical stamina, sensory acuity or information-processing capability that would fit us for like on the savanna. Even the people who actually live there are not doing it very successfully.
I think this because we can assess genetic change and we know the rate is so low that our genome is still effectively what it was 2 million years ago.
Alias wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 1:21 pm
Mark1955 wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 7:48 am
Since we are mostly living a civilised life [and by civilised I mean the literal definition of the latin term i.e. we live in cities] can we evolve into a more suitable life form or is evolution too slow to adapt to the pace of modern societal change.
This sounds as if you believed cities and urban life has been thrust upon us by some external will, and that "modern societal change" were a phenomenon somehow outside of human control.
No
Alias wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 1:21 pm
Civilization is a human invention - or accretion, like the shell of a caddisfly. We invented and developed it.
And we did so with the genetic imprint of a hunter gatherer, which I'd suggest is far from ideal. Two examples would be the association of crime and particularly violent crime with large population and high population density and our problems with obesity.
Alias wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 1:21 pm
It is not we who must evolve to suit our environment; it is the environment that has evolved around us, through our efforts and decisions.
Human biological evolution is certainly not outside human control although at present I'd suggest we are not controlling it well, however evolution happens to us the same as any other species.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:29 pm

Jklint wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 6:36 pm
Intelligence, even to the degree we already possess, should preempt the necessity of evolution causing the necessary adaptations to live successfully on the planet.
I'm glad you said should, because my question has to be "Does it". Are wars even cold or trade, not proof that we aren't either as intelligent as we think or as capable of using our intelligence as we think.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:31 pm

barata wrote:
December 30th, 2018, 11:26 pm
you are already civilized. how can you say it ? that can men still be civilized ?

how ? when you are already civilized ? I don't understand it. and now you are confusing me.
What I meant was we are civilised because we live in cities, but we are not genetically adapted to do so. So when can our genetics catch up with our situation, if ever.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:38 pm

Alias wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:01 am
I say, designers make shoes for human feet, not the other way around.
Historically bound Chinese women, modern women in stiletto heels............... These are functions of our mating preferences which I'd suggest are largely genetic. How many other things have we designed that aren't suited to humans. In one sense you could turn the question round, should we deliberately stop living in cities; but the answer is obviously that most people would say no, so assuming we're stuck with them........
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:41 pm

h_k_s wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:39 am
While evolution in the Darwin sense is a convenient theory in Science, it really has no place in Philosophy.

Philosophy deals with the body and soul and mind.

Not evolution.
What if the body, soul and mind are the direct function of our genetics and thus evolution.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Mark1955 » December 31st, 2018, 12:48 pm

h_k_s wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:42 am
I think of Sargon The Great from pre-ancient history as the author of civilization.
He created it intentionally, not unintentionally.
I'd suggest he wrote the first paragraph of page 1 of what is now a very large book. He may have created something, but I don't think he had much idea of how it was going to turn out.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Alias » December 31st, 2018, 12:58 pm

GE Morton wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:28 am
[Alias --- They could only ever be prepared to function in the environment of their parents' time, and thus be always, inevitably, maladapted to whatever it's changing into.]

But they can adapt to changes wrought in the past, even those of their own making, if those changes persist for long enough.
Exactly! They can adapt to the past, which never persists at all, let alone long enough for random mutation to catch up with changed circumstances - especially in a species that takes twenty years to turn over a generation.
While social evolution, like all evolution, is a never-ending, ongoing process, the replacement of tribal societies by civilized society was a radical transformation that shows no signs of being reversed or supplanted by an even newer social form.
I see plenty of signs of civilizati0on breaking down.
We'll adapt to it eventually.
Oddly enough, those were the last recorded words of the second-last Galapagos tortoise.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Alias » December 31st, 2018, 1:11 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:38 pm
[We don't grow feet to fit designer shoes]
Historically bound Chinese women, modern women in stiletto heels............... These are functions of our mating preferences which I'd suggest are largely genetic. How many other things have we designed that aren't suited to humans. In one sense you could turn the question round, should we deliberately stop living in cities; but the answer is obviously that most people would say no, so assuming we're stuck with them........
We're not stuck with them. Shoe fashions change, mating criteria change to suit a way of life; foot structure doesn't change to suit a particular style of footwear.
Civilization, in all its peculiar permutations and embellishments, is a manifestation of large-scale human interaction.
There is no possible genetic mutation that could adapt a species to fit better into its own activities. The activities change every time the species does.
If and when humans evolve beyond the present stage, civilization will evolve right along with them - as it always has.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Felix » December 31st, 2018, 3:42 pm

Mark1955: What I meant was we are civilised because we live in cities, but we are not genetically adapted to do so. So when can our genetics catch up with our situation, if ever.
I'm glad you finally clarified your point but now it makes even less sense. "Genetically adapted to live in cities," how would that work? You mean like termites or ants? You would consider that to be an improvement?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by Alias » December 31st, 2018, 3:45 pm

The question is simply nonsensical - like asking "Will I ever grow into my skin?"
Humans do not adapt to civilization; they adapt civilization to themselves.

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Re: Can man become civilised

Post by h_k_s » December 31st, 2018, 5:53 pm

Mark1955 wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 12:48 pm
h_k_s wrote:
December 31st, 2018, 11:42 am
I think of Sargon The Great from pre-ancient history as the author of civilization.
He created it intentionally, not unintentionally.
I'd suggest he wrote the first paragraph of page 1 of what is now a very large book. He may have created something, but I don't think he had much idea of how it was going to turn out.
Sargon was certainly a brilliant man and he left us some of his writings in the form of stone carvings.

As expected the writings are very ego centric. But I suppose we can excuse him for that since he was the first significant empire builder.

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