Re: virus: RE: virus, Abortion, etc.

John Steele (
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 13:07:41 -0600

> Life is is a competition with other people to get our genes into the next

I penned this a few posts ago. Let me just say first off that "genes"
was, strictly speaking, the wrong term. I should have said DNA.

We are, in one view of life, simply DNA replication systems. There are
many different systems, each differing in varying degrees in the
strategies they employ to replicate their DNA molecules.

Humans' distinguishing strategy is our highly developed intellect. But as
strategies go, having the largest intellect on the planet is not
necessarily the best way to replicate DNA. For example, the symbiotic
strategy wheat employs with humans has been pretty successful for
replicating wheat DNA.

Our intellect probably evolved because living in a social group requires
a finely tuned sensibility to the behaviour of others in the group.
Having a well developed intellect helps this sensitivity to others, and
in humans this sensitivity has evolved to such an exquisitely beautiful
level that we call it "morality". Indeed, it is the capacity to think in
moral terms which, I believe, distinguishes us from other animals.

So we are Moral Animals. That still doesn't mean we're not here simply as
one type of DNA replication system.

For a more lucid description of this idea, and an introduction to the
whole area of Evolutionary Psychology, I highly recommend Richard
Wright's book, The Moral Animal.


John Steele Foresight Technology, Inc.
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