A Wonderful Darwinian Mistake

I was fortunate to attend In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History, and the Far Future of Humanity conference last month. Of the many thoughtful presentations, one in particular still keeps me up at night.

Altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It goes against the logic of survival of the fittest because it increases the fitness of another individual at the expense of the executor.  At the conference, Richard Dawkins spoke about altruism as “a wonderful Darwinian mistake”.

Dawkins mentioned that living organisms abide by certain rules of thumb under normal environmental conditions. For example, a bird will feed any squawking things in a nest, but by following this rule of thumb, a bird may feed another species. From a Darwinian standpoint this is a mistake, but a wonderful mistake because it is altruistic.

How could we get our elected leaders to understand altruism beyond mandated ethics training? Maybe the Government Accountability Office (GAO) plays a greater role in the on-boarding and education process. Better yet, we should have GAO Day, a national holiday that ensures everyone knows about the great work that they do.
Republican Millenial with Richard Dawkins
Thanks for reading my twenty-eighth blog post.
The Republican Millennial

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Awesome piece, here.

    Americans widely share the idea that they live in a Republic, which relies on transparency and info distribution mechanisms to ensure the federal government remain flexible and amenable to our social, economic, and political reality (all the way in a “true” one).

    The GAO is an excellent example!

    However, until we can fathom why Edward Snowden is not only a patriot; indubitably, the proverbial “savior” of our Republic–politics will remain ruthless, partially corrupt and quite inefficient… from a “republican perspective,” you see!

  2. Awesome piece, here.

    Americans widely share the idea that they live in a Republic, which relies on transparency and info distribution mechanisms to ensure the federal government remain flexible and amenable to our social, economic, and political reality (all the way in a “true” one).

    The GAO is an excellent example! They evaluate public policy in a systematic and professional manner for the public record. Of particular salience, I think the 21st century is gearing up towards data analytics, hence, the GAO might offer “online internships” to college kids taking statistics for political science (win-win)!

    Of grave concern, until we are crystal clear why Edward Snowden is not only a patriot; indubitably, why he is today’s proverbial “savior” of our Republic–then politics will remain ruthless, partially corrupt and quite inefficient… from a “republican perspective,” you see!

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