Friday, March 20, 2009

Evolution, ignorance and stupidity

It seems Darwin is still causing a stir! Recent sound bites from the Canadian minister of Science and Technology on whether he believed in evolution and natural selection have certainly put good old Darwin back in the limelight. When a minister equates evolution to wearing comfortable shoes to walk on cement, one wonders what this world has come to.
The polemic surrounding evolution triggered a thought in my mind: are ignorance and stupidity favorable traits? Will Man, over time, become more and more stupid and ignorant to ensure the survival of the race?
Let me lead you through a simple example. Imagine a small tribe living a simple hunter-gatherer lifestyle on a tiny island in the middle of a vast ocean. As the tribe grows, the resources become more and more scarce. This causes a rift in the tribe: a number of tribesmen believe that measures must be put in place to control the tribe's growth to ensure resources remain available for the future, while the rest of the tribesmen believe that resources are limitless and that they can continue to make out like rabbits. Over time, the schism becomes so important the tribe effectively splits in two, creating separate villages on the island. The first village, Darwin, is populated with the tribesmen who believe in controlling population to ensure continued availability of resources. The second village, called Christi, is home to the tribesmen who opt to live life to its fullest, with no desire to think about the future. The villages become entirely independent and life continues on the island. Because of their very nature, the population in both villages grows quite differently. While Darwin remains a small village, more or less as it was when it was founded, Christi grows into a large village and villagers have to go farther and farther out to gather food. At a Christi village council, some tribesmen foment waging war on Darwin to take control of its resources. Over time, the idea takes root and finally Christi attacks, completely destroys Darwin and kills all its tribesmen. After the war, Christi continues to grow, depleting more and more of the island's resources. Although obvious to any outsider that this way of life cannot go on for ever, Christi villagers remain oblivious to that fact.
In this fictional(?) but plausible tale, the character traits of stupidity and ignorance have, in the end, won out over intelligence and foresightedness. We can easily imagine that to keep on living the same way, without noticing, let alone understanding the consequences, Christi villagers will need to become more and more stupid and ignorant over time.
So, going back to our minister of Science and Technology, I guess we should celebrate his ignorance and stupidity as they are the dominant traits of our society and be happy that the cream did indeed make it to the top.

1 comment:

  1. We'll know when we've reached the pinnacle of Christi-ness when we have our own museum with animatronic dinosaurs saddled-up for our kids to ride, and our military is "rapture-ready".