Machiavellian Monkeys Made Us Compassionate

first_imgLove, loyalty, patriotism – all the qualities that imbue a romantic novel with soul – came from Rhesus monkeys acting badly.  This is the belief of Dario Maestripieri, a primatologist and Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, according to an article in Science Daily.    Dr. Maestripieri observed behavior between groups of Rhesus monkeys and saw “ruthless aggression, nepotism, and complex political alliances.”  Machiavelli was right, he figured: success involves using whatever tactics necessary to hold onto power.  But alas, sometimes poor outcasts became the patriots of a new revolution.  Thus, us:  “Our Machiavellian intelligence is not something we can be proud of, but it may be the secret of our success.  If it contributed to the evolution of our large brains and complex cognitive skills, it also contributed to the evolution of our ability to engage in noble spiritual and intellectual activities, including our love and compassion for other people”, Maestripieri said.But why shouldn’t we be proud of something evolution has built into us?  What is the evolutionary origin of shame?  If anything, we should be ashamed of the kinds of senseless values – noble spiritual and intellectual activities, love, and compassion – that contradict the secret of our success.    Maestripieri did not explain whether his new book, Machiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World, intended to propose something that might be true about the world, or was itself a Machiavellian ruse to gain personal power for himself (see self-referential fallacy in the Baloney Detector).  He also did not explain why the Rhesus monkeys got stuck in an eddy with small brains in an endless cycle of group power struggles if, in our case, during the same period of time, big brains and complex cognitive skills were natural by-products of the very same process.His theory also ascribes evolutionary success to those who use sex for power.  Ladies and gentlemen used to despise their fellow humans who acted like brute beasts.  It’s not that people prior to Darwin failed to notice that we share much in common biologically with other creatures.  They just understood that there are superior values to our biological drives, such as self-control, honor, integrity, righteousness, fairness, justice, unselfishness, rationality and common sense.  Brute beasts, lacking these moral and intellectual capacities, were never held responsible for them, but neither were they held up as models for human behavior.  Evolutionary philosophy, by contrast, celebrates our baser nature unconstrained by reason and ethics.  Darwinists only get away with it by borrowing rationality and ethics long enough to dispense with them, a self-refuting position.    For undermining all vestige of human nobility by ascribing it to monkey antics under mindless evolutionary forces, for excusing bestial behavior as the secret of success but then saying we should be ashamed of it, and for shooting his argument in the foot by assuming the ontological existence of love and nobility, Maestripieri handily wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.  We can’t believe anything you said, professor; you’re just in a mindless, truthless, toothless, ruthless power grab.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

$7.5 Million for Institutional Strengthening of PIOJ

first_imgA sum of $7.5 million has been allocated to the Institutional Strengthening of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) III project, as contained in the 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure.The project seeks to ensure an effective utilization of the government of Jamaica/European Commission co-operation funds, enabling the work to be performed efficiently and effectively, as stipulated in the Cotonou Agreement.This will be achieved through the continued development and improvement of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) capacity in fulfilling its role related to programming, identification, formulation, implementation, evaluation and audit of activities under successive National Indicative Programmes in a timely and efficient manner.In terms of achievements up to February 2013: two experts were contracted to assist with the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement Capacity Building Project and the capacity of the European Union (EU) unit; training provided for personnel in the implementing institutions; assistance provided with the programming of the 11th European Development Fund from the EU; and purchased printer and software to support project database in External Co-operation Management Division.It is expected that for the new financial year the project will commence procurement of specialized equipment for the Plant Protection and Bureau of Standard Laboratories.The project which started on April 2012 is expected to be completed by March 2017.The Cotonou Agreement is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Since 2000, it has been the framework for the EU’s relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).The 2013/2014 Estimates of Expenditure is now before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives for its consideration.By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporterlast_img read more

Jamaica to Receive $200 Million More from IMF

first_imgJamaica is set to receive some US$200 million more in financial assistance under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, than initially anticipated.A statement by the lending agency on Monday, April 8, noted Jamaica’s progress in the implementation of the economic programme thus far, and the Government’s efforts to complete the prior actions and structural benchmarks.“On the basis of this progress, Fund management will submit to its Executive Board a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in the amount of SDR 615 million (about $958 million, or 225 per cent of quota), with the recommendation that it be approved,” the statement said.This is more than the US$750 million that was previously agreed under the Staff Level Agreement in February. “Since the conclusion of a staff-level agreement with the Jamaican authorities in February on an economic programme that can be supported by the Fund, the authorities have submitted documentation to the IMF to confirm that all prior actions have been met. In addition, the Fund has engaged with the authorities and its development partners on the financing for the programme, including through important contributions from the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank,” the IMF statement said.It is expected that the IMF Board meeting will take place by the end of April, wherein the deal will be approved.By Andrea Braham, JIS Reporterlast_img read more