Monday, August 17, 2015


I wonder about the impact media is having on the way we think. I use the word ‘media’ in the sense of “ease of communication” by all modern technologies including TV, radio, cell phones and the social networks we as a society have built around these technologies. Just think of calling 911 for example. I read where the recent and unexplained diminution in violent crime was due to this technology. Of course, there are many exotic theories related to this included for example removing lead from gasoline. It makes sense, but just a correlation proves nothing. Stephen Pinker wrote a scholarly and well-documented book about the diminution of violence across the ages. He relates it to our humanization, which is moving us from a bestial existence to a more civilized existence. It appears as a process attributable to learning. Of course, the technology I am talking about seamlessly blends with learning. Some scientists object to the idea, but I believe we are changing our genomes. Nevertheless, that appears to be what is happening. The old Darwinian inspired Herbert Spencer truism, “survival of the fittest” has special, almost redundant meaning in population genetics, in the context of diminution of violence as being a product of our humanization. We are subconsciously selecting for it. No one can know what the end will be, but we all assume it will be good. As a biologist, I cannot imagine we can survive as a species free of conflict but it makes sense that we could survive very nicely without violent conflict. URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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