Charles Darwin on Choosing a Significant OtherJames Dunphy
Charles Darwin’s main thesis in The Descent of Man is that mankind shares traits with animals and must have evolved from them via natural selection. Part of natural selection is sexual selection, which is competition within the species to impress mates. Darwin seeks to influence sexual selection in humans, imploring them to choose each other for their virtues rather than wealth or rank. He states that men should choose women for their intellectual and moral qualities in addition to their looks. This is common advice from older men, since a woman’s looks fade, while her character can remain strong.
Darwin advocates meritocracy. He believes people who lose out in this game and can’t provide for themselves should refrain from having kids.
In my opinion, meritocracy is not the norm in the developed world. Instead, it is a combination of friendship nepotism among whites and affirmative action among non-whites, leaving many whites without such connections in the cold. For this reason, white couples shouldn’t hesitate to marry before they can afford to buy a house together. Marrying while still living with a parent or parents is acceptable. With rents so high and nepotism networks so thick, the only way many can equal their parents’ standard of living is to spend years acquiring the specialized education necessary to enter growing fields where nepotism isn’t yet cemented, and they should delay having children while doing this. One set of my grandparents actually started having children while living with my grandfather’s parents. You wouldn’t be reading this if they hadn’t.
Darwin dislikes the idea of whites being descended from primitive brown people who treat their women badly. He believes our common ancestors must have been better people than the primitive Fuegian Amerindians he encountered in his travels. American Indians still struggle to adapt to the modern developed world’s living standards on their reservations, although this may not entirely be their fault because they have experienced considerable brain drain due to many of their brightest and best being incorporated into the white race as a result of miscegenation.
Darwin probably thought that whites’ ancestors over the past 50,000 years were better than Amerindians because ancestral DNA studies show that whites’ forefathers were more monogamous on average, and monogamy negatively correlates with psychopathy, both on the individual level and among the races. Psychopathic people exhibit more of the behaviors Darwin decries in savages, including a lack of mercy, remorselessness, and sadism. Darwin wanted people to choose significant others who are merciful, honest, and caring, yet courageous and willing to carry out altruistic deeds, such as some psychopathic people.
Without further ado, here is Darwin, excerpted from the end of Chapter XXI of his The Descent of Man.
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Man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle, and dogs before he matches them; but when he comes to his own marriage he rarely, or never, takes any such care. He is impelled by nearly the same motives as the lower animals, when they are left to their own free choice, though he is in so far superior to them that he highly values mental charms and virtues. On the other hand he is strongly attracted by mere wealth or rank. Yet he might by selection do something not only for the bodily constitution and frame of his offspring, but for their intellectual and moral qualities. Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian and will never be even partially realized until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known. Everyone does good service, who aids towards this end . . .
The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society. Man, like every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence consequent on his rapid multiplication; and if he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain subject to a severe struggle. Otherwise he would sink into indolence, and the more gifted men would not be more successful in the battle of life than the less gifted. Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring. Important as the struggle for existence has been and even still is, yet as far as the highest part of man’s nature is concerned there are other agencies more important. For the moral qualities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, etc., than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense.
The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly organized form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind — such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. They possessed hardly any arts, and like wild animals lived on what they could catch; they had no government, and were merciless to every one not of their own small tribe. He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins. For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey, who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper, or from that old baboon, who descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs—as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.
Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hope for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it; and I have given the evidence to the best of my ability. We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers — Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
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 Although they are very different races, there is some genetic overlap in the ancestry between Amerindians and whites, as they both descend partly from Ancient North Eurasians (ANE), who lived in Siberia some 24,000 years ago and are best represented by the Mal’ta Boy archeological find. The ANE proportion in whites stands around 10-20%. I haven’t found any data indicating what it is among American Indians, but I’d guess it’s higher among those having the R1 Y haplotypes, because it comes from ANE and is common among Indo-Europeans. Like many white guys, I have one. R1 among American Indians is highest among the Chipewyan people of Canada, who look more like modern Siberians than other tribes. It is also higher among Southeast American Indian tribes such as the Chippewa, who look more Caucasoid than most other Indians. The Chippewa have the best pow wow song I’ve heard, too, and maybe their apparent superior musical talent stems from their greater ANE ancestry. In any case, all those whites such as Elizabeth Warren who claim to be American Indian are not exactly vindicated, but they’re not entirely wrong; perhaps only 90% wrong.
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