Question

Psychological Evolution

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I am delighted to find you. I am a clinical psychologist.. I am following recent research into brain development and have reached the “what if” questions you raise above.

The theory is called epigenesis. It says that genes adapt to the environment expressing themselves in a unitary, indivisible way. Thus, differing environments develop different behavioral  predispositions. I believe that, since emotions develop in tandem with environmental conditions, changing environmental conditions can change expression of such emotions as morality, rage, love and spirit.

To make this understandable, I offer this possibility. There may be teeming life on Mars, for example, that none of our senses and tests can detect because of the different environments in which they developed.
 
Since humans were physically weak relative to other species and procreation was limited to females, acquisition of power among males and of care giving among females emerged. Both sexes had power but male power over and female power to, made male competitiveness controlling. Female power proved threatening to males and females were subjugated. It is interesting to think about what the world would be like if power were shared equally between the sexes.   

Male power and competitiveness led to the acquisition of wealth. That combination led to an assault on the Earth’s environment that continues today. The massive consumption of Earth’s resources by industrialized nations and wannabes has finally changed Earth’s environment, both human emotions and climate. People may not be able to adapt. In that case, humans will become extinct.   

It is unlikely that the physical environment can be changed in time to preserve humanity. A more likely possibility is to change, though no easy matter, the child-rearing practices of humans particularly during gestation, infancy, and early childhood when the environment is most alterable. 

Fear is a genetically based emotion. If the environment post-conception can be changed, significant change can be made in human behavior. Fear needs to be understood by the growing child and alternate ways of responding to it taught. Angry responses to fear can be modified. Fight or flight are not the only responses available to people.

War, unfettered competition, and other forms of aggression can gradually be reduced. Expression of morality can be increased.

 

  

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