Charles Darwin - the Descent of Man




It's completely understandable that we're often maddened by what might be called normal humanity, the way in which emotions so regularly triumph over careful reasoning, the power of group loyalty, even when the group doesn't seem to deserve much devotion, the vast mechanisms of status seeking that drive.

completely understandable that So much excess consumption, widespread selfishness and indifference to the greater needs of distant others, and we can find ourselves in the privacy of our heads or in the occasional late night, outburst railing against the fools and idiots who so unfortunately seem to occupy.

 So many of the prominent places of power, wealth and influence in our world in such moods, the 19th century naturalist, charles darwin, has much to say to us. He was born in england in 1809 into a well-to-do and intellectually distinguished family. He was much influenced by visiting in his twenties the galapagos islands, where he could see first-hand species remarkably different from those that existed elsewhere in later life. He was a quiet rather withdrawn man. He became the world's leading expert on barnacles. He achieved worldwide fame for his great work on the origin of species by natural selection, but darwin felt that people had not quite understood the implications of his ideas and in 1871 when he was in his 60s, he brought out a title called the descent of man, darwin liked to say that he had thought of calling his book. The ascent of man, but that would suggest some idea of progress, a concept he did not believe in.

progress Rather, what darwin wanted to do was to show that, despite the obvious technical advances of past centuries, modern people are still fundamentally at exactly the same moral level or even perhaps a slightly worse level than their remote ancestors. 

Darwin's big point is that the basic psychological characteristics of human beings evolved to aid survival in the very remote past. At the simplest level, we are generally attracted to sweet things because in the very extended period of early human development, that meant eating wild berries, which are great for our health. It's only been in very recent times that this inbuilt desire has turned against us and given us a craving for manufactured sugar which, by darwin's time had become a major industrial commodity. 

We also evolved to be highly conscious of our own position within our immediate group, since so much of our early survival in the past, depended on that so today being liked feels as if it is a life or death issue.

group Precisely because, in the past, it precisely was that it indicated when you would be served when the spoils of the hunt were being distributed. Practically everything back then depended on having a mate and reproducing, and so our minds are massively preoccupied by questions of reproduction, even though today this is not actually central to our own individual survival or even happiness, and obviously emotional behavior is much earlier and much more deeply rooted than elaborate reasoning, which is a very recent and still terribly fragile, development in human culture, we can put on clothes and drive in cars, but we are still carrying charles darwin, insists our primate heritage, and that, though disappointing is not really our fault, it is simply a fact we need to get used to charles darwin teaches us in his great work, the descent of man to feel compassion for the very large primitive part of who we all are and will always be if you liked this film, you can download our app just follow the link on your screen. Now you

Charles Darwin - the Descent of Man

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