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3. Sociobiology in under 1000 Words

August 24, 2013

3. Sociobiology in under 1000 Words

Without tools it is difficult to work. If you don’t have the right screwdriver, a screw can take a long, long time to secure tightly and correctly, with curses and no little blood. Our basic tool here is terminology.

Wilson’s book Sociobiology is 700 large-format pages long. Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt’s Ethology is 900 normal-sized pages long, with a small typeface. Darwin is shorter, but the language is more difficult.

They contain much that is superfluous to our needs. True, there are many interesting facts and all conclusions are backed up by solid evidence. But for an understanding of modern man’s programs this evidence is not needed. To understand the issue we don’t need to know hundreds of cases of interaction, reflexes and terms that these books use. We don’t need to know, for instance, that modern Darwinism goes by the name of ‘The Synthetic Theory of Evolution’. Especially as this is too long.

All the theoretical achievements of world science that we need to resolve the tasks we have set ourselves are recounted below.

Darwinism

The individuals and groups that survive are those that are fittest to do so. But sometimes environments change. The others become ‘fitter’ to survive. Organisms are variable, and their parameters differ slightly. A change in external conditions can lead to some variants dying out and others surviving. This is known as ‘survival of the fittest’ (but not the best or strongest), or natural selection. It is important to note that one should adapt to a situation before that situation occurs. Those that are not fit simply become die out.

If selection occurs solely as a result of natural factors it is called ‘natural’. There is a character in Alice Through the Looking Glass called the Red Queen. Her name has become popular in biology because of the following quotation: ‘Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’ The Red Queen’s hypothesis posits that an evolutionary system needs constant development only in order to maintain its conformity (adaptability) with regard to other evolving systems. In other words, in order to stand still and keep one’s place, one has to run.

Let us highlight the word ‘beforehand’. Evolutionary adaptation must be developed beforehand. If one species (or one nation) has developed notional ‘claws’, then other species (or nations) should also have similar ‘claws’ or ‘protective armour’. But this must all be developed beforehand because when the nation with ‘claws’ comes to feed it is already too late to develop ‘protective armour’. Those that are not fit disappear because they don’t have time to adapt.

If selection occurs as a result of human (social) influence it is called ‘artificial’. Population is a unit of selection. Cross-breeding occurs in the population. For the population to exist resources are needed.

All living organisms are similar to rabbits in that they increase their population given their health and resources, or given their excess of health and resources. Inertia can be observed in these processes, because for some time after health or resources have been exhausted growth still continues.

The struggle for resources takes place between species and populations of one species. The higher the species stands in the food chain, the stronger is the interspecies struggle. Populations change, merge, break up. The closer the resource habitats of populations are, the harsher the struggle will be between them. The harshest struggle arises when one population breaks up into two different but similar populations that exist in the same resource space. Such a process leads to the disappearance of the ‘intermediate species’, the first candidates for extinction.

Sociobiology

A quantitative change in the population leads to a qualitative change in standards of behaviour. In simple cases this can be seen in the increase in stress and aggression, and in complex systems (for instance, social insects and mammals) it is the creation of new social structures with different behavioural patterns. The greater the pressure on a population from the outside, the greater is the significance of the hierarchy of the population on the inside.

Human populations, groups and individuals may generate what are as a rule interspecies relations such as predatory and parasitic instincts. Parasitism is the interaction of organisms whereby one organism – the parasite – regularly uses the resources of the other organism and causes harm to that organism. There are two types of parasitism: the first ingratiates itself in places where it is difficult to locate, such as the stomach, or offshore. The second type of parasite is one who assumes the guise of a species or population which is the parasite’s victim. This second type of parasite, and the parasites that feed on him, have a common ancestor.

As they exchange partners populations may form meta-populations. A nation may be both a population and a meta-population. A nation in this context is not a country but a biological population, that is, not Great Britain, but Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welsh. But the basic unit of selection is nevertheless the population.

* * *

When analysing any social phenomenon the first task is to identify its biological basis. The basic mechanism for the possibility of variability in mammals is recombinative. This means that in the absolute majority of cases the emergence of attributes is accompanied by the emergence of shortcomings.

If a population is to succeed in its external struggle within the population resources must be redistributed in favour of the best warriors for this external struggle. If the population is to be variable it must support different variants as stock for the unpredictable future. The population is always faced with solving the contradiction between these two points, because resources are always insufficient.

Biological parameters predetermine behaviour. Behaviour influences the biological parameters of the next generation through mistakes made when selecting partners.

The old technologies are perfectly adequate for new discoveries.

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