Re: Evolution, "adaptation", and what's currently adaptive

Len Piotrowski (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 18:34:05 GMT

In article <5121q9$> (Bryant) writes:


>In article <>,
>Len Piotrowski <> wrote:
>>In article <50q0i1$> (Gerold Firl) writes:
>>>The hamadryas baboon manifests behavior which looks an awful lot like
>>It seems to me you confuse a dominance hierarchy with "jealousy."

>Hm. Looks to me like you're confusing hierarchy with the motivational
>states and resulting behaviors maintaining hierarchy.

Firl interprets social structure in a hamadryas baboon troop as manifestation
of the "jealousy craving" and so Bryant can postulate a "hierarchy craving"
stimulated by, no doubt, a "motivational state neuropeptide," to serve as
archetype for his Panglossian view of the "jealousy urge" in the human
phenotype!? How exactly does "motivational states" result in "hierarchy
maintaining behavior" and social structure? How exactly can the social
hierarchy in a hamadryas baboon troop simply be the product of "motivational
states" of individual baboons? It requires a chaos metaphor of sociality to
juggle these artifacts of the imagination, one based on the chance interaction
of individuals independently stimulated by their own gene derived by-products
of their "motivational state" organs, periodically prodded into hapless fits
of jealousy in order to maintain a hierarchy without social properties or
social processes of formation.

How exactly could such a "social system" emerge by chance in all members of
the troop simultaneously to effect this "social" outcome and how could it
possibly have been retained through individual selfish motives to act as an
interactive integrating characteristic of the group? Human behavior as well as
the acts of the hamadryas baboon troop are patently alien to such a metaphor.