At 5:30 AM, Friday the 22nd of December, 2006, I was sitting on our back balcony, sipping the coffee I had just made and listening to the cat crunch dry kibbles; while in the background a marimba or very mellow pan (steel drum) was playing from Caliaqua in the valley below. It is Christmas time, specifically Nine Mornings, the period before Christmas when there is entertainment from 4AM to 7AM. This tradition has been revived in recent years and gotten so popular that it has spread from Kingstown to other towns farther into the country. It was originally intended to be before working hours for slaves and indentured workers.
I am feeling contented, not only because I can sit on my back balcony wearing no more than shorts, but because I have no more obligations for a couple of days. We'll have people over on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so Sally will have to cook and I'll prepare vegetables and wash dishes, but that doesn't involve other people. Yesterday I was lucky: I only stood on line one and a half hours to get my car registration (I have spent as much as four!). And I satisfied myself that we are going to evolve into a Utopia.
Those of you who have been following my thoughts on evolution are aware that Spencer's version, "survival of the fittest", is simply wrong and that Darwin's original version, "non-survival of the unfit", is the version that explains things like the evolution of species, the plethora of variation in the Burgess Shale, and, in general, the evolution of complex entities and organs. The difference is that in Spencer's view any slight change has to justify itself by creating "the fittest", while in Darwin's view a change merely has to avoid being so harmful that it causes premature non-survival. Darwin's rule gives a lot more scope for variation that can develop into a complex organ.
I pushed this a little farther than I had before, when I noticed that for a species with "culture" (a collection of behaviors that are traditional among the breeding group) Darwin's rule favors global egalitarianism, ecological responsibility, altruism, cooperation and creativity. That was what I had been looking for in the first place (i.e., the 1970s) by trying to explain the crazy behavior we were doing. I put that argument on the start page of the book at [http://we.karleklund.net] and it means the rest of that long, complicated and difficult book merely has to explain why we are acting crazy. If we don't get in its way Evolution will lead us to a sane condition.
That is, obviously, a much easier task since the main point is on one page and the rest is, in effect, a footnote; and relieves me of the urgency I felt in getting someone to understand my argument. Now they just have to understand one page, and if they can't understand that they simply don't want to.
And, to all of you who have read this, a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. Now I'm going to load my iPod up with Christmas music and wallow in it. Sally sends her greetings, too.
Villa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines