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Author Topic: Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?  (Read 11295 times)

Offline ...lets split up...

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I was just wondering if the human species has ever been a more solitary species further up the evolutionary tree, and if were moving towards a hive sort of existence.

Thought it would be interesting to see the changes that take place.


 

Offline beren323

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
« Reply #1 on: 31/10/2008 16:36:25 »
interesting thought. i believe the opposite is true though. i read somewhere that the human race is evolving at an increasing rate. it is similar to culture too. more and more subcultures are opening up and as more people are born and the population of the world increases every aspect of world culture, from economic to entertainment etc. will become more and more diverse as every human being attempts to find his or her niche in a society that is already flooded. we will be exactly the opposite of a hive, many seperate groups who each feel unique and seperate from other groups because they have seperate goals to achieve.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
« Reply #2 on: 01/11/2008 06:47:25 »
How far back up the evolutionary tree do you want to go? You asked about "human species" - at what point is it considered that "humans" appeared?

But to give my opinion - which is a layman's opinion as I am neither an anthropologist nor a social psychologist (I did, however, study social psychology as part of my degree; most of which is now well and truly consigned to the other side of the wall of academic amnesia) - I think man has always been a social animal. Although we cannot always draw valid conclusions from a  comparison of apes with humans, it is sometimes useful. No apes are solitary; they all live in families or other groups.

Compared to many other animals, humans have always been weak with very little in the way of natural weapons. As a consequence, early man would have found it very difficult to survive alone in the wild. "Safety in numbers" would seem to be a requisite for survival.

Beren raised an interesting point, although I don't necessarily agree with all of it. As a rule, people like to fit into their society. Yes, most of us have had our "rebel years" - normally in our teens - where we have deliberately gone against the social norms adhered to by our parents; but what we have done instead is find a group with a different credo into which we could fit. I remember the Teddy Boys of the 1950s, the Mods & Rockers and Hippies of the 60s, Punks in the 70s and 80s, right through to today's Townies, Goths, Grungers and Emos etc. Although some members of those earlier groups still cling to their dress code and way of life, each group has eventually more-or-less died out and been replaced with another.

I do, though, have to agree with Beren that there appear to be more groups around these days, and in a lot of cases the dividing lines between them are very indistinct. For instance, in the UK we have dividing lines based on musical taste and even as a musician I find it difficult to distinguish between some of the different types of dance music. But to the people involved, those differences can be very important.  My opinion is that a lot of the differences are contrived simply in order that someone somewhere can boost their own ego by claiming to have invented a new musical genre; but it is still enough to cause polarisation.

In my younger days, if I went to a disco, there would be a variety of music played. Nowadays, though, you get clubs that are devoted to only 1 particular style and even just a tiny variation in a drum beat can be enough for it to be classified as a separate genre. I know many youngsters who only listen to 1 rigidly-defined style of music and their entire social life is based around that. As a case in point, the pub I used as my local when I lived near Ipswich had a drum & bass night once a fortnight. Several other pubs had drum & bass on different nights and you could guarantee to get the same crowd at each of them. You would not see any of those people on other nights.

So, yes Beren, I agree that there does seem to be more polarisation within society these days (or, at least, within the society with which I am familiar). And before anyone shouts at me about tar and brushes, I am not suggesting that all youngsters fit themselves into these sort of groups; but it is quite prevalent, even in rural areas where one would expect the relative scarcity of peers to draw people with slightly different tastes together more than in towns and cities where there is a much greater chance of finding people with identical tastes to oneself to associate with.

However, we must also realise that there is a coalescence of cultures too; and that has been happening for all of human history. Very good examples of such mingling of cultures are the Mogul influence in India and the spread of the Christian and Islamic faiths.  Another example is that of African music and occult practices in the Caribbean. In the UK we too have a diversity of cultures that not only co-exist but also influence one another. For example, how common is it now for white English people to go for a curry or a kebab when they leave the pub? How many listen to Reggae music? How many go ski-ing nowadays compared to 30 years ago? Although these may seem like trivial examples, they do demonstrate the fusion of cultures that is continually taking place.

How a sociologist might rank the importance and effect of these wider cultural meldings against the divisions created by, for instance, musical taste is something I would not even hazard a guess at. Maybe someone with more knowledge of the subject than I possess would care to enlighten us.

Gawd – don't I go on!  [:I]
« Last Edit: 01/11/2008 07:03:43 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline ...lets split up...

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
« Reply #3 on: 01/11/2008 09:56:50 »
Thanks, I've been waiting for a reply on this post FOREVER!
Was starting to suspect my question had some obvious answer that no one wanted to waste their time posting.

I agree that the human race is evolving at an increasing rate, and that our culture is too. We are unlike any other creature on the planet in terms of our intelligence and the complexity of our culture (religion, social order etc.).

This is just my opinion, but you could think of culture as a kind of survival skill through learned behaviour to compensate for a lack of physical evolution to an environment. Eight of the ten commandments have to do with living with your neighbor, creating a better social order (no killing, no adultery to aggravate killing) and in turn a better chance of survival for the group.

Culture acts like an organism in that it changes with the environment to better suite the survival of the people (cells of it's composition). Cultures clash, like two species vying for dominance, and either one wins or they mingle.

The way i view a highly populated city in most first world countries is like a rain forest with a multitude of insects and organisms. All these little offshoots from the main cultural genus are like over-specialised insects that wouldn't survive in a different environment. If Bush accidentally pushes the button for a nuclear holocaust, all those little goth, punk and emo subcultures wouldn't survive because they don't help with the survival of the people outside the rain forest.

I think more space is needed for a healthier culture. We should colonise other planets.

Sorry about going off on a tangent, had something to do with culture and human species being like a hive.

And despite not mentioning it, i did read what Doctor Beaver wrote, thanks.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #4 on: 01/11/2008 11:23:54 »
Firstly, what makes you say the the human race is evolving at an ever-increasing pace? I have read articles that say human evolution has almost stopped. 1 of the major evolutionary steps humans have taken is in brain size, but the human brain is now at its optimum size. Michel Hoffman, among others, states that if the brain were any larger, its functioning would slow. This opinion is based on physical constraints imposed by the structure of the brain. One such constraint would be getting rid of the excess heat that would be generated in a larger brain.

I think you will find that The Code Of Hammurabi pre-dates the 10 Commandments by at least 300 years - circa 1750 BCE for Hammurabi's laws and circa 1450 BCE for the 10 Commandments. In fact, some authorities claim the 10 Commandments were written as late as 922-622 BCE.

But, regardless of which came when, both sets of laws are to do with getting along better with others. The 10 Commandments, although very simplistic, are a fairly good basis for a social system.

I disagree with the originator of this thread insofar as I make it 5 commandments that help a society run smoothly:-

You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

The remaining 5 are concerned with honouring your parents, faithfulness to God and not working on the Sabbath. Although honouring your parents could have some bearing on social cohesion, faithfulness to God and not working on the Sabbath are irrelevant in that respect. In fact it could be argued that faithfulness to God and keeping the Sabbath holy have caused more social discord than they have prevented.

Have you noticed, though, that none of the commandments says anything about not driving your chariot too fast in a built-up area?  :D

« Last Edit: 01/11/2008 11:39:59 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline ...lets split up...

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
« Reply #5 on: 01/11/2008 14:32:44 »
I agree that keeping the Sabbath holy is pretty pointless other than maybe putting a crimp in making people work all day every day.

But you could argue that faithfulness to god creates social cohesion in the belief of what happens if they don't follow the rules. Maybe a bit of a stretch. But you do get the term "god fearing christian".

You just made me think of my next question to you guys.

And i forgot to add that i guess you're right about the evolution thing, but remember that a shark hasn't changed much on the outside for the past couple million years but it's internal workings have evolved, same goes for the ceolacanth (spelling?). Maybe humans will go the same route.

But on second thought there's not enough natural selection going on, people aren't dying that would in  the wild, there's too many medicines and such. Not that i want people dead, i'm just saying that it's causing genetic choas. That's why i eat stuff off the floor.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2008 14:46:57 by ...lets split up... »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #6 on: 01/11/2008 14:52:52 »
But you could argue that faithfulness to god creates social cohesion in the belief of what happens if they don't follow the rules.

Sorry, I disagree. You are assuming that everyone not only believes in God but that they all believe in the same God and how to worship him. If that were the case, I would say you are correct. But the real world is not like that. Believers from not only different religions but also factions or creeds within the same religion argue about who has the 1 true faith in that they adhere most closely to God's will. Just take the case of Christians, Moslems & Jews. They all worship the same God but are not exactly bosom buddies.
 

Offline ...lets split up...

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« Reply #7 on: 01/11/2008 15:32:32 »
Dude, are you constantly logged on? You guys are diligent.

I'm not talking about one religion, i'm just using one as an example. Each one of those three religions is a different social groups no matter the roots. All three have the concept of a hell. And if the groups clash, it's a clash of different cultures as i mentioned before

Culture acts like an organism in that it changes with the environment to better suite the survival of the people (cells of it's composition). Cultures clash, like two species vying for dominance, and either one wins or they mingle.

But i guess you could argue whether it's beneficial for the culture to clash with others or not.

And i know i talk about religion and culture as being almost one thing, but that's because they mesh in many areas. Let me know if that bugs you.
Personally, i'd wear the holy shroud like a t-shirt.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2008 15:35:58 by ...lets split up... »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #8 on: 02/11/2008 14:56:14 »
Dude, are you constantly logged on?

I've got my option set to "Stay logged in".

True, there are cultures that are firmly rooted in religion - some Islamic states, for instance. Islam is an all-encompassing religion. It controls practically every aspect of a Moslem's life. Even in the most Catholic of countries, religion does not play the same controlling role. Then there is France where some animals (e.g. frogs) have been re-classified so they can be eaten on Fridays!  :D

More secular countries, however, have tended to distance religion from culture to a certain extent. Certainly in the UK church attendances have plummeted over the past 50 years to the extent that many churches have been sold. Even in the little villages where I have lived, very few people make their way to church on Sundays and that used to be 1 of the focal points of village life. I would certainly struggle to find ways in which religion impinges on my life other than through the laws of the land.
 

Offline ...lets split up...

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« Reply #9 on: 02/11/2008 16:22:26 »
I never went to church when i was a kid, started going to chapel on Wednesdays when i attended private Anglican high-school, i'll never get the hours i spent sitting in cubicles back. Maybe the spiritual tolerance and openness (or skepticism) of the cities is starting to spread to the country.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2008 17:05:23 by ...lets split up... »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
« Reply #10 on: 02/11/2008 16:58:29 »
I think it's that many people can't see a role for religion in modern society.
 

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Is the human species becoming more and more like a hive?
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