Survival and Evolution

The function of a system is to perpetuate itself. Biologically, this is done by regulation of the information systems by the environment. That is another way of saying that evolution is a process of change over time mediated by natural selection.

In terms of the genome, of course the information system is the genes; in the social context, the information system is the brain (nervous system). The genes generate a system (in humans an organ system, the organ system then becomes part of the environmental influence on further evolution, we get a brain). Our brain is one of a social creature. For this reason, even though the emotional part of the brain can’t really explain itself, it CAN respond to the environment by growing a culture; that means it can communicate with other human creatures in space. More importantly it means that the culure then becomes part of the environment that evolves the brain to become more intricate. The system (in this case the brain, for a giraffe it’s the neck that gives the whole organism system a selective advantage) perpetuates itself and selects, usually for a more and more specialized version of itself within its successful niche. Whatever is our selective advantage (or think of a giraffe neck) becomes selected FOR ever more strongly as all the organisms within the whole Biosystem evolve together, finding ever more narrow niches, meaning that their functions become more and more specialized within the entire ecosystem. The brain, again, or ours, then learned to communicate over time, as well as space some point the brain learns to communicate over time (story telling, then writing, then the technologies) as well as space, and then it becomes the strongest element in its own environment as it specializes in using and growing an intellectual brain on top of the emotional brain.

There is a dance between the environment system and the brain system that generates the flow of information (gene pool) that defines the species system. This concept is the same as levels of organization except the idea of levels of organization tries to linearize the process so that our brain can conceptualize it, but the reality is that every system interfaces at one level AND another with all the other systems, which is what I read also in Tibetan Buddhism. The only way I can visualize this is to mentally draw a bunch of bubbles, each of which represents a system (I guess beginning with cells if we work up from the bottom levels of life, but of course one could go biochemical, chemical, etc.) all the bubbles are inside other bubbles and interact with other bubbles, and all of them represent actions, not things. Processes. What they really respresent is systems that have evolved because they work to maintain the life of our biggest bubble short of God’s universe – the Biosystem. Each system evolved in an environment and in that environment each system evolved because the whole Biosystem is more efficient with that system than without it (Let’s refer to that as the first law of evolution and defines “fitness” – all the systems and subsystems in a biosystem are successful insofar as they contribute to the more efficient survival of the whole Biosystem.) Because these bubbles must ALL be functioning well if the whole is to be sustainable. The second basic law of evolution is that the primary function of any system is to maintain itself. An efficiently functioning Biosystem evolves to be more and more like itself (as I described above relative to organ systems, the human brain or the giraffe’s neck).

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5599RSsChanges happen when system break down. Or systems break down when changes happen. Evolution cannot be understood at an individual level. The entire Biosystem crawls through time as a unitary Life Form that responds to internal and external change according to the efficiency (or lack of efficiency) of the interacting processes.

In all cases, the system evolves over time in response to its environment, and all the systems evolve together. The way I picture this is to imagine how all the organs in an organ system must evolve together within the skin, which is within the ecosystem — or the organism doesn’t survive. At the same time, every change in the organ system bubble must conform to the needs of the cellular (biochemical) system of bubbles of which it is composed. And also at the same time it must fit itself into its relationship with the species system (biological community) of which it is a part. In doing this, it will tend either to maintain its efficiently,

sustainably functioning self, or, if some part of the “physiology” of the Biosystem breaks the bounds of the checks and balances that maintain it sustainably – then it will begin to change it’s own environment (which is the sum of all the species at any given time – or rather it is the sum of the billions of processes implemented by all the species together, plus the internal and external environment that they all together mediate).

In the case of the human brain, of course, once it evolved the ability to communicate both laterally and linearly (and then systematically) it became a uniquely conscious vehicle for evolution, and at that point it took upon itself (like it or not) the RESPONSIBILITY to care for the welfare not only of its neighbor in the cave but also of the sum of the species (all the sentient beings) of which it is a participating member. Responsibility is not a choice – at the level of a brain, responsibility is part of maintaining the subsystem of which it is a part. The brain is responsible for the welfare of the body, and for the welfare of the human community and for the welfare of the environment that we are sacrificing to our personal wants and wishes.

All this is what I also hear in the Tibetan Buddhist texts that I have read – those that I could understand, and whether I contributed the understanding to the text or the text contributed an understanding to me – I think it is as real when written by a monk as it is when written by an evolutionary biologist.

There are two bottom lines here that seem important right now:
1. We are responsible as individuals to our own organism (ourselves) and (because we can’t survive in a failed system) to our environment in which other organisms must participate. We could say this is self-preservation on two levels (this is why “survival of the fittest” does NOT describe the process of evolution unless you define fitness to exclude simplistic competition.) This responsibility can be thought of as: sustainability and resilience. Resilience basically is a way the system maintains itself by all the parts interacting. Sustainability is a more linear idea that seems mostly to encompass the ongoing balance among the resources and the needs, probably old-fashioned supply/demand economics reflects an idea of sustainability, whereas resilience is more akin to the benefits provided by the fail-safe functions of a space-ship environment.

130822-LittleCreel-ASC_5602RLSs2. The function of any system is to maintain itself. When this FAILS for any reason the failing system throws up variables. Actually the system is always throwing up variables, that is a Third law of evolution that we already knew from Darwin. When a system starts to fail, these variables are not as readily absorbed into the system bubble; they splinter into a thousand bits (genetic recombination, social breakdown, species breaking up into subspecies) and the bits try to specialize into niches and/or generate niches they can survive in. Whether or not they succeed depends on the internal and external environments.

That’s where we are at; in our case it has become a process of social evolution that maintains itself primarily using false information to create fraudulent social environments, that could have been real environments if we didn’t have too many people for the resources. When people do realize that the social niches (social systems) are no longer able to maintain themselves because the environment in which they evolved no longer exists or is dying – or there simply isn’t enough food for everyone — that is the source of war and revolutions.

a. we would rather resolve the issues without violence
b. but we can’t because the breakdown of the system is throwing up multiple new social systems that do compete with each other. This is the part of evolution that has to do with competition, and that mostly happens when systems are failing because (usually because the environment has changed so much the system can’t cope) – all the rest of evolution is about communication, integration, connection and cooperation. Even in non-social species, but of course not using words, rather actions and functions.
c. We are humans. We have at our disposal, in addition – words, concepts and ideas.
d. Therefore, if we want to survive we need to take a step in regulating our own evolution. There are three requirements for that: (1) stop changing the environment into which we evolved. That requires a sustainable culture, and developing a sustainable culture requires DISCUSSION RATHER THAN COMPETITION. At all levels of organization. (2) the goal is to do this without the war stage of confrontation among the groups.

I think this would require that we understand how evolution really works. I know that there are several groups out there trying to evolve humans, but none of them are functioning to fulfill the requirements outlined above because none of them understands how evolution really works. Our culture is based in competition and war. That concept grew out of a very primitive understanding of how evolution really functions – “survival of the fitness – a concept that cannot succeed unless one defines fitness as I have above.

Unfortunately, ALL the major competing groups in our corposystem culture believe in the corposystem ethic, even while they also believe we must evolve.

Yes indeed we will evolve, but we CANNOT evolve in a “humane” direction by using the failed corposystem ethic because the corposystem ethic is based in WAR and always has been. Even the compassion groups do not see themselves as they use a corposystem war ethic to change the corposystem war ethic.

If we want to succeed in evolving a better social system, we MUST NOT war against the systems that keep us alive (the corposystem war against the biosystem). Rather we must change ourselves in a direction that conforms with the welfare of the whole. Those “evolution” groups do know this. What they don’t understand is that you can’t use stories to change facts, and you can’t work for the welfare of the whole if you don’t know what it needs that is different from what humans need, and you can’t know this while at the same time excluding facts of nature from the conversation. And you can’t do it AT ALL if your mode is debate based in human opinions.

Humans have a brain that responds to stories. However, the ability to respond to stories is not enough. If we want a humane environment we must honor the process of evolution as it really is, not as “survival of the fittest (undefined).” We must use our analytical brain to debunk the corposystem, to understand evolution, and to SKIP the step that requires competition and violence. If we insist upon using the corposystem ideology to change the corposystem ideology, without recognizing that the corposystem is a failed system throwing up competing variants, because THAT IS HOW EVOLUTON FUNCTIONS, then we are lost, because we are promoting a failed system. Even the compassion movements are doing this. That is not changing a system; it is part of how the system – how it maintains itself. If we are going to use ONLY stories in this effort (no matter that the above is true) rather than evolve ourselves into a species that can USE OUR WHOLE BRAIN, NOT ONLY THE PRIMITIVE BRAIN to regulate ourselves in our environment, then there is a chance we might break out of our own failed system.

Either we use our thinking brain – on top of and including the emotional brain and the survival brain — to do that or we don’t. If we cannot grow a sufficient number of people who consciously promote discussion of the cause of the failure of our corposystem culture, then evolution will take hold, we will split up into factions and the factions will become more and more violent.

We cannot CHANGE the corposystem by conforming to what it does not want us to do. And right now what it does not want us to do is to use the analytical part of our brains, along with the emotional (storytelling) part to understand the real issues sufficiently to change the system or grow a new system that is both sustainable and resilient in relation to the efficiency of the Life processes of the entire Biosystem.

Every person on earth can contribute to this effort of understanding the real issues if we are willing to figure out what the real issues are and discuss them on a daily basis at least use the words IN ADDITION TO WHATEVER ELSE WE MUST DO TO MAINTAIN OUR BUBBLES. And if we who actually are educated do not make the effort every day to at least USE THE WORD “overpopulation,” and support and encourage those who are trying to save us from it – then the human world will end in fire (war).

Either we take charge of our own information systems or we fail.

If we refuse to address the causative issues (those discussions that are not permitted by the corposystem, and figure out the methods the corposystem uses to repress the info), or if we believe that humans are more powerful than the causative issues, then we will fail. If we can develop a culture in which ALL HUMANS take some responsibility for discussing the real issue that we face in addition to whatever else they are doing to maintain the environment that we need for survival – then there is still time.

That’s why God gave us a uniquely conscious brain.

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