Miller presents a good theory in “The Mating Mind” [1] on why we homo sapiens sapiens have huge brains. Miller explains that brains probably evolved as a response to sexual evolutionary pressure, and not in response to survival pressure. Huge brains are not required to survive; we see this in most animals, a mosquito doesn’t have a huge brain, but still survive very well. However, a well-functioning brain might be very beneficial for humans in the mating process, something I’ve experienced firsthand. If I remember correctly, Miller also states that there are no principal reasons why we couldn’t also have evolved as competitors for females by hitting each other in the head; those who were the strongest would get the females. This is where I disagree with Miller, something you’ll see throughout this article.

Large parts of our society today (2015) is organized around the use of force, which libertarians principally disagree with, as use of force without using intelligence* leads to consequences that are harmful to people who want to live in peace[2]. I use the term force in a physics sense; the Newtonian definition where F=ma (force = mass x acceleration), and not in a moral sense (where fists are aimed at rational faculties).

*Intelligence in this article is used as “an understanding of where to apply the force to achieve maximum effect for minimal expenditures of energy”.

Here we get into some hypothesis that I have on why there’s strong evolutionary pressure to use more intelligence and less force.

 

Hypothesis 1: The energy cost of using force is orders of magnitudes higher than the cost of using intelligence.

 

Calculating the amount of energy that is required to achieving a goal using only brute force I think is much greater than by achieving the same goal using a combination of force and intelligence. We see this trend almost everywhere in society. People who combine taking action with planning; force and intelligence are much more effective at achieving goals than “mere brutes” who don’t understand where to apply force.

Let’s take an example: I want to eat fish. By taking the most brute force route, I walk into a river, and start trying to catch fish by my hands. I might spend the whole day to catch a single one. By taking the route of combining force with more intelligence, I might spend a little time up front getting a fish-rod, and I can now spend very little energy to catch a fish, sitting calmly by the riverside, spending very little energy to achieve the same goal. Applying even more intelligence I can set up a system, a trap, to catch fish, so I don’t even have to wait around for the fish to bite.

We see quickly that there’s a huge benefit in using more intelligence, because the force under our control can be applied much more effectively.

 

Hypothesis 2: If intelligence and information is cheaper in terms of energy usage, evolution should favor intelligence.

 

In his excellent book The Selfish Gene[3], Richard Dawkins explains a lot about how the genes work. Genes are digital information system, by this we mean that digits are used as the base for the information system; probably you’ve heard of DNA and their GTCA codes. This is opposed to analogue copying mechanism, which has much lower fidelity. It can be compared to copying a digital file as opposed to copying with a fax-machine. One has high fidelity, the other very low. The implications for my theory are that DNA succeeded because it’s an information system. Because DNA can store information with high accuracy, they can “learn” over generations, thus providing a sort of intelligence that evolution strongly favors.

 

Hypothesis 2 can be falsified by demonstrating that brains in different animals tend to decrease over time.

However, I would strongly argue that we’re seeing an increase in intelligence in all animals that are complex enough to have brains, with humans being just one example. While the process have been set in overdrive by sexual selection in humans, we do tend to see an increase in very many animals[4].

brainTime

Hypothesis 3: Higher intelligence and rational thinking in humans is correlated with libertarian values.

 

This hypothesis should not be expected to correlate strongly as of today, as there are many reasons why an intelligent person would avoid libertarian philosophy. The most obvious is that an intelligent person might choose to pursue money or academic achievement, career paths that often are contradictory to libertarian values. As for money; you might have to work inside of a government rigged system like banking to make a lot of money. Thus; it might be beneficial to your career to avoid thinking about philosophy too deeply, as this might lead you to think about what you do to society and where the path you take might lead you. Similarly with academic achievements; if the government pays your salary, you don’t want to think too deeply about philosophy, as this could damage your salary. So there’s significant pressure for your brain to avoid thinking about philosophy.

Thus, a test of the above hypothesis should be adjusted for obvious factors like who’s paying the salary. Ideally we would have two groups of people with very similar genes (perhaps only a couple of generations apart) who live in two very different societies, one more socialistic and the other strong libertarian.

The reason I think this hypothesis plays a role, is because as a scientist I am always looking for flaws in my own reasoning. This relentless search have thus far taken me to the most logical and coherent philosophy I’ve found thus far; libertarianism. I would argue that anyone who struggles to make their thoughts consistently rational will come to similar conclusions.

This struggle also have lead me to abandon my thoughts about money and the banking system, then religion and finally almost everything I was taught as a kid, as it was not consistent with the evidence reality presented to me.

Hypothesis 4: A libertarian society provides better environment for humans to prosper.

Ideally we would set up a libertarian society to test this hypothesis, let it live for perhaps a generation or two, and then see how it was doing compared to more socialistic or tyrannical societies. The determining factors could be measures like life expectancy, satisfaction with life, and expectations for the future. There are indications that more libertarian values are in fact beneficial, as we can see if we compare North and South Korea.

If we set these hypotheses in a row, we get to the following progression:

  • Using force is expensive in terms of energy usage.
  • Evolution favors intelligence, because evolution favors adaption, aka minimal energy usage for max output.
  • Rational thinking is correlated with libertarian values.
  • A libertarian society is better for humans to live in.

 

The conclusions of all of these factors are that we should expect libertarian philosophy and societies to prosper and out-compete – out evolve if you want – societies that are relying on use of force, as more free societies can more effectively adapt to the environment by using less energy.

In the same way, libertarian philosophy should over long periods of time out-compete less rational philosophies, as more intelligent usage of energy leads to more effective adaption to reality.

My take-away is that we should to set up a libertarian society to test if libertarian ideas work in reality.

To do this, I suggest libertarians exit their present societies and start contributing to building new societies aligned with libertarian philosophy.

 

References

  1. Miller, G., The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature2000: Anchor Books.
  2. Herman, C. Earth: 248 armed conflicts after WW2; US started 201 (81%), killing 30 million so far. Arrests are when now? 2014; Available from: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/earth-248-armed-conflicts-ww2-us-started-201-81-killing-30-million-far-arrests-now.html.
  3. Dawkins, R., The Selfish Gene 1976: Oxford University Press.
  4. Jerison, H.J., Paleoneurology and the Evolution of Mind, 1976, Scientific American.