Darwin, Human Nature, and Aggression Pt. 1

There are many debates about Darwinian evolution, human nature, how much the morality of a divine entity could have shaped human behavior, and how is that the more intelligent the species the more violent? All through nature we see that the more intelligent the animal the more likely it is they are aggressive with few exceptions. Throughout time this rule has been undisputed. It would seem that the survival of a species depends on the superior capability to hunt and to defend itself, but what makes a species even more lethal is its ability to coordinate with those of its own tribe. This makes for a more deadly opponent that is less like to be wounded during a hunt or battle, thus further ensuring the survival of that particular species.

Aggressive skill

As a rule, predators are more intelligent as they must be resourceful enough to forage, kill without being hurt or killed, and thus have developed specialized skills. However, when it comes to humans, we have a special mindset that is just a vicious, just as lethal, but as opposed to most animals that kill to eat and survive, man kills for a lot of reasons that exceed those of the animal kingdom. It seems that murder is a closely held trait in the human species that does not involve simply hunting or for sheer survival. An animal knows only to kill from an instinctive behavior whereas man murders for political reasons, over jealousy, hatred, racial bias, to steal, over religion, and even to conquer entire nations usually ending in genocide!

Larger but not invincible

But, as we mull over the grim nature of human beings let’s get back to the animal kingdom. As far back as the dinosaur era, the more intelligent animals lived not only to survive mass extinctions, but to pass on their traits to their more modern counterparts. For example the legendary Megalodon, largest Great White, ever discovered by the finding of giant fossilized teeth! Yet, as massive and all-pervading as it was scientists believe that even this giant had a nemesis! That was the ancient Orca! What did a smaller predator do that made even a giant Megalodon vulnerable? The smaller Orcas know today as the “Wolf pack of the Sea” coordinated with several of a pod, family unit, just as a pride of lions attack prey, and they attacked from several different angles wounding and wearing down their opponent until it was too exhausted and weak from blood loss to defend itself. We see what the Orcas can do to even the Blue Whale today separating the calf from the mother to drown it and eat it.

Winning strategy

Orcas have been observed teaching their young how to hunt seals. The Orca is even capable of stunning dolphins with a blast of their sonar-like infra-sound they use to navigate with so as to save their energy in pursuit. Just like a pack of wolves in the wild running down deer or elk, working in a pack mentality they maximize their killing power, and minimize their chances of injury. This increases their longevity as well as the successful numbers within their environment to the point of decreasing available game requiring a thinning of the numbers through wildlife management measures.

Hostile by nature

Chimpanzees, considered the most intelligent of the primates are not the cute, cuddly little child’s companions that we are misled to believe on TV and the movie screen. Chimps are 4 times as strong as a human being, they are known to form aggressive gangs or clans, making up a small society with a hierarchy of top males and females then in descending orders of the younger members. This leads to fights for dominance by the younger males and females as the ruling elders demonstrate weakness. They will war with other factions. They are considered cannibalistic as they flush out and hunt other species of monkeys in the trees and eat them. When attacking humans who have strayed into their path they will bite off the fingers and hands while going for the face to disable the person. This happens quite frequently in Africa as chimps are territorial and wary of humans unless they are domesticated.

Deadly foolishness

There are people trying to establish human rights for a number of animals who display human-like behavior, trying to get chimpanzees to be awarded human rights doing the same for dolphins. In one tragic case, a woman was living with a chimp in Florida. In her luxurious home, she dined with the animal at a table, watched TV with the animal and even slept with him. The chimp apparently drank alcohol, smoked, and even took medication (Xanax) which investigators believe contributed to the animal’s aggressive attack upon the woman’s best friend who arrived for a visit. The Chimpanzee tore off the woman’s entire face during the attack before police could separate the victim from the animal and shoot the chimp.

The psychotic edge

Science has indeed miscalculated the intelligence of animals but has also failed to recognize that the more intelligent the species the more likely the level of aggression will also increase. As humans we pride ourselves as a civilized species more intelligent, moral, and adapted to a peaceful form of coexistence than the less intelligent species we have conquered, or in some cases driven to extinction. Man also does something that other species apparently don’t do and that is not only conquering weaker nations but less advanced cultures tend not to survive once exposed to the more developed society.

Surprising intelligence in aggressive species

Science proclaims that man is the more intelligent species and theoretically the less violent. Yet, whales have larger brains, dolphins can conduct up to 15 conversations with their own clan members, and much like man, dolphins too will form gangs, kill and rape other females even those of their own clan. Once again, the most intelligent of the animal hierarchy the more hostile, like man, even to their own kind. What science has overlooked for a long time has been that even bear cubs can out compete chimps when food is the reward! Any hunter of great merit will attest to the utter brutal instincts and intelligence of Grizzly and Brown Bears. Their intelligence quotient has been upgraded to that of Gorillas. Even bears are known to pick up and throw boulders at humans.

The ruthlessness factor

So, if Darwinian evolution is all about survival of the species through being the fittest, most adaptable, and able to overcome the competition, why is it that man commits murder and crimes of passion? Are these great coping skills? Is this the signature of a superior species? Does war and pestilence instill greater survivability or genetic improvement? Man is unique in the animal kingdom for many traits apparently not possessed by the predatory ranks of carnivores who must have the most efficient and practical skills in order to survive and prosper within their environment.

In Part II we will further discuss man’s darker side and politically pragmatic aggression.

 

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Comment by James Roberts on November 21, 2019 at 5:40pm

Perhaps we are capable of this range of behavior because we may need to act as a psychopath in certain situations. In others, we need to be kindly.

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