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Are you a victim of Artificial Selection?

If we just step back and look at the repercussions of our decisions throughout time and space, we will see that there is much more at work than we can actually perceive. One of the processes whose repercussions we can see around us is the process of artificial selection, which we have been rampantly indulging in. But, the fact that we always seem to forget (or neglect) is that we are also subject to this incessant process of artificial selection which we have created.

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To understand this, let us look at artificial selection and natural selection in a way that we understand the subtle nuances of the same. Artificial selection basically involves external interference, which is always from us humans, that has the power to radically change some natural process or phenomenon in such a way so as to warrant maximum benefit for the perpetrators of the act themselves. Artificial selection is rampant and apparent in everything around us, from domesticated animals to the weather. The selection of particular crops to grow in a farm; the selection of a particular variety of organisms to thrive; the selection of particular genetic combinations in crops in order to ensure maximum yield or endurance, all of this is artificial selection.

Tripped Out Fact: The different breeds of dogs, from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane, have evolved as a result of artificial selection from a common ancestor, which was more closely reminiscent of the wolf.

On the other hand, natural selection is when nature takes over the act of actually “selecting” which organisms would thrive and which would perish; which genetic characteristics would be inherited by the successive generations and so on. Natural selection has always been directed at ensuring that the best and most suitable characteristics of any species are maintained through hereditary progression. This natural selection is the process which has ensured that we humans have evolved to this degree of consciousness while also ensuring that our primitive instincts are intact through the millions of years of evolution. This is where the fun starts!

The evolution of humans has a certain pattern reminiscent to it, which basically stems from the observation that our genome and our environments have evolved in such a way that we have essentially become social animals. On the other hand, we have retained our most primitive urges and primal instincts which we no longer pay much heed to, even though these instincts were our primary “powers” during the early stages of our evolution when our only aim was survival. This process of natural selection that is intricate, relentless and beautiful at the same time has ensured that we evolve to be more socially amicable while also retaining a large degree of our primal urges and instincts. This means that the pattern which has been followed is not as random as it may seem, begging the question that if we still have our most primitive urges and instincts intact does that mean we still have to attribute a substantial degree of importance to them in our modern-day lives?

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To understand the importance of these retained primitive instincts, we have to first look at the artificial selection which we have been subjected to in our modern-day society. For the past millennia or so, man has been programmed consistently through media and propaganda in order to ensure that we as a species are rooted in constant fear of well, pretty much everything. This can be seen as a process of artificial selection by the puppeteers, in the form of laws, religion, the government and so on, where they have artificially selected characters like fear to be the essential driving force for generations to come. This has been a calculated move in order to ensure that humans become mindless slaves to their propaganda and keep on consuming in order to satiate their fear and self-indulgence.

Tripped Out Fact: Emotional intelligence or the awareness of one’s own instincts and emotional responses, has been observed to be a much more important aspect in the process of decision making and empathy than IQ.

On the other hand, the way out of this artificial selection process that has been induced upon us has always been programmed into our “firmware”, which are essentially our instincts. As children we are not affected substantially by the conditioning that in later stages of life are instilled upon us by our parents, societal norms, religious beliefs and so on. At this stage, the main driving forces behind our actions are our inherent instincts and primal urges. A child is inquisitive and curious to know more and explore the world behind set norms and rules which are then instilled upon us. A child follows its instincts without the fear of being looked upon as a mentally-ill individual. But, the insanity is essentially in the fact that whenever an adult is more inclined to follow his/her instincts rather than the set rules and fundamental norms dictated by society as a whole, he/she is either persecuted or sentenced to a padded cell.

What essentially has to be kept in our minds is that our instincts are essentially the controls that drive us towards what we are passionate about. Our instincts alert us in times of danger and also fuel our curiosity. By numbing ourselves to our instincts and essentially depriving ourselves of our inherent emotional intelligence, we are allowing ourselves to be artificially selected to become slaves to corporate and materialistic organizations. What essentially has to be attained is a fine-tuned balance between our primitive instincts and the characteristics which make us socially amicable to others and to the world around us. So, the next time you feel the forests calling you or the mountains whispering to you, do not turn your head towards the television.

Further Tripping…

Check out how becoming a slave to your instincts can also have dire consequences

Check out the inherent details as well as the contrast between artificial and natural selection

 

About Ashwin Ramesh

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