Sunday, September 12, 2010

The gene pool is awfully shallow....

Sunday, 12 September, 2010 - Darwin may have known something we knew instinctually, but hadn't put thoughts around.  The strong survive, the weak get eaten. And the strong pass on their genes. Take a look at humans over the last hundred decades.  We are taller than we used to be. The tall survive, the short get eaten. This could be a function of the length of stride and required leg turnover in order to outrun the rest.
We mature much faster than we did before.  Girls with breasts survive, the breast challenged get eaten. Even breast-less chickens become food for other chickens.  But are we getting any smarter?

When you look at the birthrates of North America at least, it seems as though the birthrates are declining in the suburbs and upper west side, but the projects and the east side continue to grow.  Does this mean that the smart have careers, the not so smart have children? In which case, are we skewing evolution? If two very smart people have children, do they become adults with twice the smarts - and thus able to carry the weight of smart requirements for a larger number of the not smarts? Will they also pay twice the taxes?

What happens when the weak, short, slow to develop, not so bright people do really weak, short, slow to develop, not so bright people things that has them die up to their potential?  Like the guy who scaled the 10' wall at the Gorge to get in to a concert only to find the other side of the fence was the gorge and plummeted to his death?  Darwin would be proud.  The Darwin Awards, awarded posthumously to those who lose their lives doing really stupid things, is yet another example of the strong, tall, developed and smart survive. When stupid people do stupid things that lead to their death, not only does it help chlorinate the gene pool, but it is suicide by stupidity.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. There are many people among us who are down, depressed and may feel as though there is no way out but to take their own lives. Would you know if there is someone in your life that feels this way? Can you recognize the signs? Do you have the tools to help? If you answer no to any or all of these questions, you are not alone. I work on an automatic train system, and every day on the job I hope that today isn't the day that someone feels that deeply desperate. I don't know that I would recognize the behaviours that indicate a person's intention to do harm to themselves, but I do hope that my instincts would tell me what I need to know. If we all let our instincts tell us someone is in need of help, and have the grace and the guts to act on that feeling, we may be able to prevent someone from doing harm to themselves. They may yet have something valuable to add to the gene pool.

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