Paper 3 Potential Topic: Fatally Flawed

For my final paper, I think I might want to explore and research something Jdahya mentions in “Womb”. In a conversation with Lilith, he explains to her that the genetic design of the human species was “fatally flawed”. This flaw is a result of “a mismatched pair of genetic characteristics”: intelligence and an intense affinity for hierarchy. Jdahya explains that while intelligence has helped us, our hierarchical tendencies are the oldest and most entrenched genetic characteristic and the more harmful to our species. He maintains that possessing these two genetic characteristics led to – or at least helped speed up – the destruction of mankind on Earth.

Reading this I wondered if humans are actually genetically inclined to destruction, whether it be the destruction of self or destruction of the perceived Other. Do we build hierarchies because we are genetically inclined/driven to do so? Are hierarchies necessary to the structure of our world? Do we use our intelligence as Jdahya suggests to deny and blind ourselves to the powerful and harmful consequences of establishing hierarchies? I want to explore whether or not any of these questions have been asked by other scholars and if any actual research has been done to investigate whether or not the human race is genetically primed for destruction or in the very least an oppressive existence.

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One response to “Paper 3 Potential Topic: Fatally Flawed

  1. Hey! This totally reminds me of a discussion we had on monkey hierarchies in my human biology class. As our closest living relatives, primates have patterns of social behavior (such as dominant and submissive roles) that deeply mirror our own (probably due to our recent divergence as a separate species from chimps/bonobos). You may want to consider looking into old world monkey/primate social hierarchies to show our predisposition to forming similar hierarchies. Interestingly, the type of hierarchy and its stability typically depend on the mating system (polyandrous, polygynous, polygamous, or pair-bonded). Just something to think about!

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