Evolution vs. Instinct

I received another of those funny emails the other day, which included a really cute photo and the following words:

Proof That Men Have Not Evolved All That Much…

Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of evolution and humor without recalling the words of Robert Anton Wilson:

Most of the domesticated primates of Terra did not know they were primates. They thought they were something apart from and “superior” to the rest of the planet….

Benny had actually read Darwin once, in college a long time ago, and had heard of sciences like ethology and ecology, but the facts of evolution had never really registered on him. He never thought of himself as a primate. He never realized his friends and associates were primates. Above all, he never understood that the alpha males of Unistat were typical leaders of primate bands. As a result of this inability to see the obvious, Benny was constantly alarmed and terrified by the behavior of himself, his friends and associates and especially the alpha males of the pack. Since he didn’t know it was ordinary primate behavior, it seemed just awful to him.

Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what they were doing.

Some of the primates got caught by other primates. All of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.

Those who got caught were called no-good shits.

This metaphor was deep in primate psychology because primates mark their territories with excretions, and sometimes they threw excretions at each other when disputing over territories.

Robert Anton Wilson – “Schrรถdinger’s Cat Trilogy”

As one who is simultaneously amazed at the power of the human mind and appalled at how poorly we use it, I find that I’m more like Benny that I like to admit. And one of the things that bothers me the most is how we allow the rules of “civilized behavior” to limit the joy we could have in our lives.

Anyway, about that photo. Apparently, Terra’s other primates find our “domestication” issues to be very amusing…

I want ice water.

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36 thoughts on “Evolution vs. Instinct

    • I had a friend once who was forward with women to the point of being obnoxious. When I commented that he must get slapped an awful lot, he replied with, “Yeah, but I get laid a hell of a lot more than you “nice” guys too!” I had to admit that he was rarely without companionship when he wanted it. ๐Ÿ˜•

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  1. Well this just goes to show that while our bodies may have evolved, our base priorities have not. The animals are just more honest about it than we are.

    We have little ego trips and blame some external influence. They throw literal and hypothetical shit at each other, and rather than blame it on something else, they just snag another handful.

    If there is a better correlation between our species, I’m not sure what it is.

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      • Well, I don’t know about all apes, but I think that most are. Chimpanzees, however, do go for the occasional meat snack. I’ve seen documentaries showing how they’ll invade another group’s territory, and then capture, kill, and eat a member of that group in a weird kind of “conquest ritual.”

        Incidentally, it’s thought that it was the transition to a diet rich in meat protein that allowed our ancestors to develop such powerful brains. The meat that Chimpanzees eat may well be why they seem so similar to us. Unfortunately, the tendency towards extreme aggression are amongst those similarities.

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          • I love the orangutan, Clyde, from the “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Any Which Way You Can” movies starring Clint Eastwood. “Right turn Clyde!” Hilarious! ๐Ÿ˜€

            My sleep patterns are so screwed up now that I slept through a baseball game, 3 football games, and who knows how many the US Open tennis matches last night. And now I’m wide awake with very little to do! ๐Ÿ™„

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            • I can understand sleeping through baseball and tennis, not football, or did you mean the silly soccer version? With the screech of vuvuzelas barely quietened damn international soccer starts in England tonight… YAWN!

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            • Oh good lord no! I meant REAL football, one of which was Ohio State’s first of the season. Fortunately, they won handily. ๐Ÿ˜€

              BTW, those damned vuvuzelas have infiltrated American soccer too! Or so the local sportscast discussing The Columbus Crew games say. I’m not a fan of soccer, but when the local team is the reigning champ… ๐Ÿ˜•

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            • What really gets my goat groaning is the obscene sums paid to our soccer “stars” to kick a pigs bladder full of hotair around for 90 minutes every 7-10 days.

              many have personality cult status in Britain despite playing such utter sh9te in South Africa in the world cup. But, when the roman empire was going titsup the gladiators became cult figures also… so Britain is going down the flusher at some speed, IMHO.

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            • Hell man, from what we see on the news over here, it appears that your REAL gladiators are those folks in the stands! Good lord man, those guys would put a good scare into rampaging Vikings! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

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            • The serious violence that happened at many/ some brit soccer matches a few years ago is now a rare event, and widely publicised when it does happen… for the “here we go again” reasons.

              BUT soccer supporters, mostly men of all ages, have a very tribal outlook and behaviour. Replica shirts, match day rituals, group posturing, chanting and gesturing at the opposition before, duirng and after the bagofwind is knocked about by their “local gods”.

              Quite reminiscent of the ape encounters documented in the wild… mostly noise; as a chap called Desmond Morris wrote about in his epic book “Naked Ape” more years ago than I care to admit!

              As for the Vikings, they were creative artists, you know ยฃ$%^&*()

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            • I’m glad to hear the hooligans are somewhat in check. My comment was mostly motivated by my abhorrence of crowds, which those images from the news feeds into very well.

              I hadn’t actually made the connection between the behaviors of the apes and of the soccer fans. I guess I’m really tired and not thinking clearly, since that connection is what this post was all about. I only vaguely recall “The Naked Ape.” That was a very long time ago.

              I’m guessing the Viking comment hit a nerve, but I’m too tired to wait for a response! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • I’m thinking this is actually my obnoxious friend’s family compound. You know, the guy who’d just walk up to strange women and ask if they wanted to go somewhere to get it on and somehow STILL managed to get laid more than the rest of us put together? The ape on the right even reminds me of him. The resemblance has got to be more than a coincidence! ๐Ÿ™„

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  2. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#76) « What's On My PC

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