Charles Darwin pointed out that what we see in animals today reflects which traits survived and reproduced in the past. History connects to the present, as filtered through adaptation to reality. Most humans do not like to see how this applies to us.
If, in our daily activities, we screw up and either kill ourselves or sterilize ourselves, we are said to have won a Darwin Award. These are given to those who through stupidity destroy their ability to reproduce, as ably explained by the founder of the Darwin Awards:
In his seminal work, “The Origin of Species,” Charles Darwin presented evidence that species evolve over time to fit their environment better. Do the Darwin Awards really represent examples of human evolution in action?
Consider that there are three requirements for evolution to occur. First, a species must show diversity. For example, some people are taller than others. Second, there must be a selective pressure working on this trait. If people live among trees, and tall people whack their heads on branches and kill themselves more frequently than their shorter fellows, then short people will have a survival advantage. Third, the trait must be inheritable. On average, short people have shorter children than tall people, so evolution favors short people in this example. Within a few generations, our species would become shorter, and it would also become better at evading low branches.
The Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives: by eliminating themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chance of long-term survival. In other words, they are cautionary tales about people who kill themselves in really stupid ways, and in doing so, significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race.
We can all laugh at the guy who tries to see inside his gas tank using a flame for light, but we become uncomfortable when we discuss the death of civilizations. Not every ethnic group from the past is still with us, and many have been bred out or died out.
Western Civilization looks to be getting a Darwin Award in the near future. Its people are not breeding; they are miserable in corporate jobs, commuting through ugly cities, being slaves to appearance, and spending all of their money and activity on unproductive pro forma activities just to get by.
Costs have gone shooting up so that we can feed the monkey on our back, equality, which requires constant sacrifices to raise up the lower so that we can all feel better about ourselves. Quality has gone rocketing downward, since when you penalize success, you get more of the failure you subsidize at the expense of productivity.
Our epitaph will relate that we destroyed ourselves by doing the “right” thing according to the largest intersection of humanity. Most people live in confusion and know little, and have the mental capacity to learn or analyze little, so they always fall back to the same: share the wealth, power, and prestige equally and then everyone will be happy.
It turns out that happiness is a false goal, like an oasis floating over the sands that we chase for hours through the hot desert until it kills us. We cannot make everyone happy; only they can make themselves happy, and that requires work and honesty that most will avoid.
However, we could have made them a stable civilization full of opportunity — especially if mediated by a caste system, aristocracy, nationalism, and traditional society — but instead we chose to keep all those faces smiling, and thus we failed to reproduce and got a Darwin Award.