Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Anticipated well-being over survival?

  1. Sep 8, 2005 #1
    Can one replace the concept of survival in the theory of evolution with one of anticipated well-being? This covers both progressive survival of the self-aware and unselfish processes like altruism. Would you support that even primitive biota have a sense of what might be interpreted as well-being?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2005 #2
    well being? truism? the two don't match well from what i see, i would secpect(though i don't know) that all living things ahve a basic function to keep their offspring alive, after all, if animals didn't look after their young in that sense, there would be no life... although, it is quite often that an animal kills it's own blood...

    as for well-being, do you mean as in 'quality of life'?
     
  4. Sep 9, 2005 #3

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    It doen't matter what the phenotype feels , only what percentage of its genes make it into future generations. Genghis Kahn's well being, as he expressed it, was in killing foes and stealing their women, and he was apparently the most successful propagator known to history.
     
  5. Sep 9, 2005 #4

    LURCH

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Before I could accept such a theory, I would need an explanation of some mechanism by which the anticipation of well-being could result in the increased probability of a gene being porpogated.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2005 #5
    Sex, by far the primary progenitor of offspring and genetic self promoter, is one of the most popularly sought sources of well being.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2005
  7. Sep 10, 2005 #6
    As evolution progresses and creatures become more complex, survival becomes superseded by the maximization of well-being. Human females live 30 years past their reproductive usefulness, but usually enjoy a productive longevity, sometimes caring for their descendents. Modern drugs and medical procedures allow generations of lovers with faulty chromosomes to reproduce.

    (Anticipated well-being, as I use it, is the pursuit of a quality life with its choice of rewards often transcending genetics.)

    Genghis' own existence, in its pure Darwinistic form, seems reducible to the existence of his forebears and nothing more. I would prefer that, in contrast to gene selection alone, pursuit of happiness forms a stable environment approaching the influence that DNA has on future generations.
     
  8. Sep 10, 2005 #7

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    The thing is, cultural pressures CAN make a difference in the proportion of genes found in future generations, for example see the theories about Askenazi intelligence, ot look at the meritocratic advantage in concubines implicit in the Confucian mandarinate. But seeking well-being by itself? In the European Middle Ages intelligent people found their well being in entering the celibate priesthood or religious orders, denying their genes to reproduction. A thousand years of that may be why Europe was the way it was for so long.
     
  9. Sep 11, 2005 #8
    One theory goes that gay people contribute to the upbringing of the children in a community. Though they have much fewer offspring than straights, they have time and familiarity to offer. Only about 20% of schizophrenics have children, but consistently 1% of births in the general population eventually develop the disease. The statistics of inheritance are not confined to DNA, and in many cases the drive to thrive far surpasses its potential.

    I guess what I am trying to express in this thread is that there are certain pervasive constructs other than genetics that influence heredity in a community, including the one which I suggest, anticipated well-being. Symbiotic organisms form an environment which imprints upon the individual as effectively as the expression of phenotypes. Take away the bonding of communal interrelationships and most sentients wither away. Mostly outside of Darwinism, the anticipation of well-being is due more to euphony between multicellulars to man and beyond. Their are traits passed down from society in general as there are from one's ancestors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Anticipated well-being over survival?
  1. Frog Survival Freezing (Replies: 13)

  2. Need to survive? (Replies: 6)

Loading...