How did we get here?

Posted by – January 19, 2018

The feminist belief that the “patriarchy” is an unmixed evil, and that destroying it will be universally beneficial for both men and women, is an incredibly strong statement. How likely is it that the course of human sociobiological evolution at the very fundamental level of sex and power should have put us at a local minimum, a hole we can get out of to the benefit of everyone?

1 Comment on How did we get here?

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  1. sam says:

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    Sampo Tiensuu: To me it sounds like benefit means two different things here. I think for feminists “benefit” roughly equals “happiness” and for evolutionary biologists it means “reproductive success”. We should be careful not to fall into the fallacy of equivocation.

    Sam Hardwick: I would still be very surprised if a reproductively successful state equated to a happiness-minimal state.

    Sampo Tiensuu: Reproductively successful state most likely does not equate to a happiness-minimal state, but most likely it does not equate to a happiness-maximal state either.

    If evolution had optimized us for happiness instead of reproductive success, we would not have any brain circuits for pain or negative emotions.

    Sam Hardwick: Yes. It seems likely that happiness requires some sort of harmony with the demands of the ancestral environment, but that human society hasn’t happened to exactly match any social happiness optimum. My bet is that straying very far from naturally evolved human societies is more likely to reduce than increase happiness (or the population, or technological progress etc.).

    Generally, the most planned and experimental societies have had some of the worst outcomes.