Alfred Urrutia (
Mon, 21 Aug 2000 17:05:06 -0700

Richie Ramos wrote:

> At 09:03 PM 8/18/00 -0700, you wrote:
> >Those who claim that we "progress" or "evolve" through conflict are mistaking
> >technological and engineering innovation for progress and evolution. An
> armored
> >dinosaur or pincered beetle is not more highly evolved than a flying
> dinosaur or
> >butterfly, only better protected against a certain class of carnivorous
> >predator. Forging swords isn't progress, but beating them into plowshares
> is.
> >Progress comes AFTER the war, when the innovations are applied to cooperative
> >ventures.
> >-Z-
> I know that I may have sounded casual about violence and war, and I
> apologize for that. How can I explain how I feel? I don't like war, but i
> do see that it is one of the forces driving human development, no matter
> how ugly that fact is. I do not wish to fight, and yet I will gladly do so
> if I have to protect the people I care for. I really wish that there would

I sort of agree with you here. I believe that we do "evolve" through war. Now,
that doesn't mean that I use the word in a positive or war-loving light. Think
of it in the sense of roaches. Many roaches die when exposed to those little
poison traps. But some don't. So, while it may seem like that product is there
to wipe out roaches, since it doesn't and since some roaches are unaffected by
the poison what it really does is promote the breeding of poison-resistant
roaches. Something I'm sure few people would want. War, as an evolutionary
process, tends to wipe out those that are willing to fight on a battlefield.
Less so now, as the low casualty counts in the last few wars have shown, but WWII
and Vietnam numbers would say that a lot of guys willing to die in battle, did.

And looking at evolution through war as comparable to armored dinosaurs'
evolution is not quite the same. The dinosaur or beetle is dealing with a
localized threat, a threat that a similar dinosaur or beetle might not have to
worry about a hundred miles away. But war is global. All cultures seem to
somehow become involved whether they like it or not. A Gundam type war would
extend beyond Earth. In this sense the culture can be considered the evolving
entity and it has to either survive and adapt or die. And die means that the
loser is either wiped out or it changes into something else (slave, blasted back
to the stone age, assimilated) and basically the same as dead even if the people
making up the culture live.

If the agressor continues to win and fight then the evolution of a better war
creating machine continues. But if the defenders win then the evolution of
better war stoppers continues. The tools (microwaves, lasers, submarines, etc.)
are a side-effect.


"They've got the best babyback ribs.  Better than Viet Cong ribs."

- Kelly "Gunny" Port

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