Evolutionary process Versus Love, friendship and cooperation…

In a racist world like this every country and every man, either through social media or commentaries on talk shows, trying to draw a difference upon that one group of men is entirely incompatible with other, but no one is focusing that actually and genetically every human being is preordained to be universally similar either in relationships, friendship and even in cultures. How about we check it out through our revolutionary chain and find out about the common humanity that joins us irrespective of nationality, gender, race or religion.

Nicholas A. Christakis in its latest book namely Blueprint-The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society- beautifully describes this important aspect of social life of human beings. In a social life we generally share most of the emotions and relations, Unintentionally and not thoughtfully. In a reality show back named Castaway in 2000, a group of thirty six people were had to live on a stranded Scottish island of Taransay for a period of one year, to have a bold social experience as how it would be to start a new society. Seven out of thirty six people withdrew from show with a complain that ‘we were excited to have a different experience from that of general society but disappointed to see experience that all of them are living like a society in general’. Not those other twenty nine participants were intentionally behaving like a general society, but that was so unintentional that they would have no idea. In its evolutionary process, human being taught itself how to constitute, live and manage the society and social behavior. It’s in its blueprint.

Members of Castaway Reality show
We don’t always need words to understand one another. Most of the time human behavior is understandable even with people with linguistic and cultural differences. Unfortunately though, the social suite also includes a tendency to favor your own “group.” For example in a study conducted in 2011, it was found that five years old kids wearing a red T-shirt liked and privileged other kids also in red T-shirts and discriminated against kids who were not wearing different colors, without even knowing them. This even occurred when kids were told that the colored shirts had been allocated randomly. Such like studies reveal that there is empathy and affinity for ‘likeness’ among humans, no matter how small one perceive that likeness to be.

Each of us came into this earthly world with skills to recognize and develop individual human identities. For example universal human practice of using personal names (even if we hold a pet like cat or dog, we would like to have a name for him, though there may be no such thing exists among pets themselves). Among other traits of human suite, this is fantastic thing to have as without it we would be unable to discriminate between two persons and would have no way of favoring over person the other, such as love and friendship.

But it’s not the case every time. Every time in a debate about human behavior, it is difficult to understand whether such behavior was a result of genes or of environment, but on the other hand there is no such major difference between genetic or environmental behavior. But then the question is that how can one surely say that the social group of human behaviors are really intrinsic due to evolutionary adaptations instead spontaneous response to any given situation. For this purpose we have to conduct experiments in which human were raised in an environment without any older people or pre-existing society, but this is legally and ethically impossible. But in an unfortunate case where some shipwrecks found themselves on deserted islands without any mark of established human infrastructure.

Yes, I am talking about accident of two different ships crashed in 1864 ended up on different sides of Auckland Island i.e. Invercault and Grafton. None of two group survivors knew that other was there, but most importantly their strategies about existence were different from each other. Grafton survivors showed with everyone complete social suite of behaviors by helping each other since their ship was crashed. For example their captain’s mate would have died if the rest of the crew had not worked together to pull him out of the water with ropes. But on the other hand Invercauld survivors till approaching the shore, left behind the man to die who was weakest among them. And this was the start of their deteriorated fate. No one tried to manage or help each other and men continually split up by deserting the sick and weak and even in a worst scenario ate one of them. And till they were rescued, only 3 out of 19 were survived. And on the other hand Grafton group continued as they begun i.e. cooperating to survive and working together. Result is, not only did they remain as one group demonstrating their close social bonds but also they left no man behind. Interestingly they even set up improvised and temporary school engaging themselves in learning and teaching (one of the most important social suite behaviors), while waiting rescue. Not only has this unfortunate accident demonstrated the evolutionary benefits of social suite in shape of boost human being’s chances of survival, but also shows that some humans really do have blueprint for social behaviors like teaching, helping others, cooperation, which direct behavior even outside of their normal environments.

Shipwreck site, Auckland Island

Traits of failed communities like Grafton, Invercault and cannibals, do not challenge the centrality of the social suite. The social suite offers a successful and evolutionarily time-tested strategy for group living. Sometimes, groups cannot unite to express the social suite, yet they do not have any practical alternatives to it.

This social behavior also beneficial for society overall, as in 2015 was the case of 15 years old poor Zavien Dobson who was sitting in his porch with three friends in Tennessee, when a car stopped by opened fire on them. Without hesitation he covered his female companion and die. But this raises a question that why someone feels such love for his friends? Evidence suggests that friendship is a universal feature of almost all human societies, not only this but vast majority of societies share the same core essentials of friendship, either naming it as affection, mutual aid or trust. This is the reason that one may accept vulnerability when one of your friend tease you and you don’t mind as you trust that he didn’t meant that really. Although this may not be the case of every society e.g. in most societies, physical contact is a typical and natural gesture of friendship by hugging and cuddling but this is not common in America. For example in 2005, many American were surprised to see that US President holding hands with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Most interestingly, when an ethnic group in Mozambique i.e. Tsonga, asked about kiss, they were amazed with this ‘strange practice’ with the question ‘why someone want to share saliva and all its accompanying germs from other’s mouth’.

Tsonga, Ethnic Group of Mozambique

This ability to develop and maintain friendships gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage. In earliest human societies, bad weather, or lack of food, illness or injury were constant threats to anyone and his offspring’s survival chances. And in order to survive these unstable situations, it was quite important to have relationships with people you could rely on to help you out in case you need. These also needed to be people who weren’t always expecting alternate in return i.e. genuine friends. This is still true today. For example in poorer American communities, people are more likely to call on their friends for childcare, loans and home repairs than their middle-class counterparts.

In this regard Humans and animals share many resemblances. Scientists were confused as to how to repair damage of heart valves caused by cardiovascular disease, until in 1964 French surgeon called Alain Carpentier tried replacing them altogether, with valves transplanted from pigs. Incredibly, his technique worked, and is still used today. But what if animals are similar to us in even more subtle ways? As science progresses, we are increasingly looked with scratchy fact, that the very same animals we experiment and eat on might share many characteristics of our social suite. For example, elephants have friends, gorillas have their own language, and rats feel empathy. Not convinced? Then just think similarities between capuchin monkeys’ social behaviour, and our own. These South American primates put their fingers into other monkeys’ mouths and allow them to gently bite down on them, thus exhibiting the apparently human trait of accepting vulnerability in front of one’s friends.

Capuchin Monkey
Evidently we share many traits with other animals, but how? Answer is, again, evolutionary junction, whereby different species arrive at same evolutionary adaptation separately. Similarly, humans and some other species like whales, elephants and apes, have all evolved separately to share many social traits, like recognizing individual identity, cooperation and even social learning. The reason for this convergence is that all of these species, including our own, allocate almost similar environments i.e. social environments.

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