Ideas and theories seem like a mind confined impotent harmless things, now do they? “It’s just a theory” is a fabulously nonchalant way of relieving oneself from the responsibility of releasing the idea into the world. Ideas are not impotent, they are quite powerful shaping eras, ideologies, lifestyles and mind frames and. Ideas are living things that should be let into the world carefully, because they will echo in the real and copy themselves onto actions and their rationalizations.
Why did Mr. Darwin say and why was he wrong? The very often on the shorthand called just “Origin of species”, this 1859 book, fundamental to the development od evolutionary biology, actually has a longer title – “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life” – and proposes that the axiomatic and core principle on which species develop, advance and thrive is based in natural selection, survival of the strongest, the fittest while the weakest members, groups or species die. On what he observed in the animal species his book written for the laic and nonscientific reader suggested an overarching conclusion – that the core of life advancement was rooted in competition and struggle, that it was an unkind battle and a cruel thread that shaped the evolutionary tree and the branched pattern of evolution, mutation, extinction and substitution. You see the idea of advancement from ruthlessness and competition all around – the economies, the free market, the “nothing personal, just business” reoccurring themes, the conflict and increasing power and force to get your own way in global politics… Ideas matter, they translate into reality.
But Darwin was wrong. He had a good intention of explaining something not yet well explained and offered a lot of valuable insight, but he got the key note wrong. The growing body of scientific research and work in all areas of humanities, technology and systems, psychology and physiology shows the same thing – the way to greatest advancement is not aggressive violent competition but cooperation and mutual aid. The fundamental law of nature is not death, it is supporting life ( of which death is an inevitable side effect). Nature was not built on conflict but on symbiosis of various things supporting each other and befitting from mutual advancements. One of the fist most verbal proponents that introduced this, now multiple times reconfirmed conclusion was Alfie Kohn who originally in 1986 published the work “No Contest: The Case Against Competition” and sparked later investigations of this suggestion. A few hundred of studies later new ground is revealed that is slowly shifting the old sights of violent clashes as a means to prevail and advance. Some competition is good, a friendly game to get a trophy or an effort to better yourself to surpass your “opponent” is highly useful and a great motivational tool, but as Alfie said : “(Violent) competition is ALWAYS destructive.”
You’re made to work together and connect, you’re made to be a part of a community working for the good of all whatever your job may be, you’re made to stand together not alone in the rubbles of all the smoldering bridges you burnt. Reach out! Be a builder, not a destroyer of the worlds. Who knows, you may be just one more connection away from finding what you’ve been searching for.