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What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

Collaborative Interdependence

Hundreds of studies on plants and animal behavior in recent years reveal that living things, including humans, are in reality multispecies events of collaboration and interdependence.

This is seen in the way fungus helps nurture and connect trees, or the way algae and coral form a partnership to create colorful coral reefs.

Life is more complex and collaborative than previously thought.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

https://slate.com/technology/2020/01/darwin-competition-collaboration-evolutionary-biology-climate-change.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

Survival of The Fittest

The famous Charles Darwin theory, 'survival of the fittest' has turned into a cultural cliché. The theory proposes that living beings naturally fight and compete with each other to survive.

This competition is assumed to be natural and all-pervading, finding its way in capitalism and other collective behaviors of human beings.

Collaborative Interdependence

Hundreds of studies on plants and animal behavior in recent years reveal that living things, including humans, are in reality multispecies events of collaboration and interdependence.

This is seen in the way fungus helps nurture and connect trees, or the way algae and coral form a partnership to create colorful coral reefs.

Life is more complex and collaborative than previously thought.

The Climate Crisis

The recent findings which prove that competition is not natural, at least not more than collaboration, pave the way to think about our relationship with the planet, and the millions of species inhabiting it.

Environmentalists are tackling the climate crisis assume that people are by nature bound to harm ecology, and will consume and plunder the natural resources. This leaves them with a narrow set of solutions to control the crisis.

Beyond Selfish Interests

Competitive self-interest, when revealed to be just behavior and not human nature, clears the way for better and richer solutions to tackle the looming problems of the future.

A mindset shift is needed to move away from competition and realize the symbioses that make life possible for millions of species.

Example: Short-sighted self-interest that results in continued fossil-fuel extraction is just greed and doesn't do any good for our species, or to life.

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Survival before Behaviour

Our survival instinct came before any reasoning or behavioral aspects.

The human body is firstly a tool of survival, with rationalizing and the 'mind' perspectives arriving much later.

Neuroscience is a new science

We normally assume that certain sections of the brain carry out a specific set of tasks. This is fair to believe but is not entirely accurate.

The science to scan brain activity is currently in its infancy. Brain scans track blood flow; that does not mean specific functions are limited to that region.

Humans and the environment

Humans believe they are separate from the environment, which is a wrong presumption.

Environmental and climate change and its imminent effects on humans are proof that we are not separate or insulated from our surroundings.

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The genius

Genius is too elusive and too subjective to be easily identified. It requires too many traits to be simplified.

However, we can try to understand it by looking at intellige...

Intelligence as a yardstick

Lewis Terman, who helped pioneer the IQ test, tracked over 1,500 Californian schoolkids with IQs above 140, which is the near-genius or genius mark.

40 after the study began, the researchers noted that a number of the study's participants struggled to thrive, despite their high IQ scores. Others tested for the study that did not have a high enough IQ, grew up to become renowned in their fields.

Creativity and genius

Creativity is a part of genius that can't really be measured, but that can be explained to a certain extent. One sign of creativity is being able to make connections between seemingly different concepts.

The 'aha moment' that arises at unexpected times, like in a dream or the shower, often emerges after a period of contemplation. Information comes in consciously, but the problem is managed subconsciously, resulting in a solution when the mind least expects it.

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Living in the age o doubt
Living in the age o doubt

We live in a time when all scientific knowledge (the safety of fluoride, vaccines, climate change, moon landing, etc.) faces coordinated and vehement resistance.

The acces...

We now face risks we can’t easily analyze

Our existence is invaded by science and technology as never before. For many of us, this brings comfort and rewards, but this existence is also more complicated and sometimes agitated.

Our lives are full of real and imaginary risks, and distinguishing between them isn’t easy. We have to be able to decide what to believe and how to act on that.

Marcia McNutt  - Geophysicist
Marcia McNutt - Geophysicist

“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

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