One of the patterns you observe at every level in nature is that there are niches: Roles to play in an ecosystem that allow you to survive for an extended period of time. As you enter a niche and begin to dominate it, your environment will polish you like a raw gem, until eventually you perform your role in an optimal manner.
There’s this example, of Fortune 500 multinational corporations, which signal the pride flag in Western nations, but not in the Middle East or Africa. Institutions don’t really hold beliefs. Rather, they attempt to fit into their local niche through mutation. In the West that means the Catholic church for example will pretend to be OK with homosexuality. Corporations can go a step further, unbound by tradition they can proclaim they’re all in favor of all sorts of stuff.
Natural selection operates on institutions along with organisms. The Catholic church has survived for 2000 years, because it always sought to maintain appeal to wide sections of society. And so although it technically teaches you can go to hell for masturbation, it can simultaneously uphold an impression of having no real qualms with homosexuality anymore. The truth is that it will teach whatever its environment requires it to teach.
Religions are like viruses that infect the mind, they can be benign or virulent, depending on the environment they find themselves in. They also compete for hosts. Virulent versions like Salafism or Mormon fundamentalism can destroy lives, as patriarchs will end up marrying teenage girls and raping their own sons. These religions suffer from interference however. A more benign version like Hinduism, Buddhism, Evangelical Christianity or Catholicism will prevent such a highly virulent version from finding a host for itself.
As the population’s immune system develops, as people begin to recognize the damage caused to their society by virulent expressions of a religion, it becomes forced to evolve towards more benign forms, as its alternative is extinction through aggressive rejection. The Catholic church became more tolerant over time, as its alternative was to go extinct. Dutch priests who spend their days bemoaning unmarried couples living together, or homosexuality, or emphasizing other such doctrines tend to alienate what little flock they have left. Survival thus only happens insofar as the system purges more virulent variants of itself.
Once a religion becomes too benign however, once it ceases to control its followers lives, it risks moving towards extinction. If it’s benign enough to tolerate birth control, it becomes harder to produce new adherents. If it’s benign enough to cease warning people of hell, it’s benign enough for people to stop bothering with proselytizing. If a society’s immune system has grown sufficiently intolerant of the religion, it can drive it into extinction, but its myopic focus on its target can lead it to be blindsided by more virulent primitive versions that move into its host.
LGBTQI+ can be thought of as a competing religion that the immune system doesn’t recognize as a danger. It has its own theological doctrines reminiscent of neoplatonism, with people who have pre-existent “male” or “female” essences, that can be born into the “wrong body”, which can be solved through surgical and hormonal alterations to produce the “right body”, congruent with the pre-existing “gender identity”. It’s a religion shrouded in mystery that takes hold in societies that have eliminated competing religions.
Organisms tend to manipulate their environment to favor their own proliferation. If you have lactic acid bacteria and yeast in dough, they create the kind of PH and other environmental conditions that make it impossible for other organisms to conquer the bread. Similarly, religions try to create the kind of environment in which they can sustain themselves. For Catholicism this means abortion is eliminated, along with Internet porn. This then leads people to seek out sex with others, which leads to pregnancy, often unplanned, which then forces young people into the nuclear family framework that is compatible with Christian culture.
LGBTQI+ similarly creates an environment compatible with its own proliferation. You bombard social media with beautiful girls, so that the other girls start feeling insecure, they dissociate from their gender, feel unattractive to men and consider lesbianism or “non-binary” gender and associated solutions to their situation. Similarly, proliferation of Internet porn creates perverse sexual fetishes in men, which also helps proliferate the religion. Islam does similar things: By encouraging polygamy, the religion creates a deficit of women that men can have marital relations with. Those men are then encouraged to go out and conquer other communities.
This is basically the mob principle. You have different mobs to which you can pay protection money. The benign mob shatters your store’s window, the more virulent variants leave a horse’s head in your bed. If you pay the benign mob, it will help you avoid having to deal with the virulent mob, as they don’t wish to lose their milk cow.
But if you zoom in deep enough, at the level of self-replicating genetic material, you also encounter this principle. Before SARS-COV-2, there were four known corona viruses that regularly occupy our body. Those viruses are a product of natural selection. Their ancestors would have been relatively virulent, they would have injured or killed quite a few people they infected.
People who were infected with virulent variants of these viruses, would develop immunity that is relatively long-lasting and aggressive. People who were infected with more benign variants on the other hand, would develop less aggressive immunity. This would open them up to tolerance of the virus, or it would enable reinfection. Over time, the population would develop immunity against epitopes associated with virulence. And thus over time the four corona viruses known to infect our species became relatively benign, as is generally the case for all respiratory viruses capable of reinfection.
You don’t need the whole population to have immunity against every single epitope associated with virulence. In fact, a homogeneous immune response against anything is quite dangerous. Rather, you just need to make sure that every epitope associated with virulence, invokes a sufficiently aggressive immune response in a portion of the population, that more benign alternative varieties end up with a fitness advantage. When one in every ten shopkeepers shoots a mob guy who threatens him with a gun, variations of the mob that simply break your window will have a selective advantage.
The four known hCov viruses need to be thought of as benign domesticated versions of religion. You could think of a version of LGBTQIA+ that ceased believing in making fake penises out of forearm skin but now simply encourages girls to have boyish haircuts, or a version of Mormonism that ceased believing in polygamy. Through interference, these benign versions prohibit more virulent versions from spreading themselves. When you create a vacuum on the other hand, when you leave the niche unoccupied, it’s conquered by whatever shows up first, which tends to be something that aggressively replicated itself without consideration for its host.
The hCov viruses are capable of causing asymptomatic SARS-COV-2 infections, or preventing infection altogether. They are benign versions of the mob, that prevent SARS-COV-2 from spreading itself. Other viruses like rhinovirus also show such an effect. The social distancing experiment could be thought of as an attempt at State Atheism, that basically sought to ban all religions. Then once the experiment ended, Salafist extremism rapidly became the new form of Islam.
Rather than eliminating SARS-COV-2 through its social distancing experiments, Germany appears to have succeeded at almost eliminating the hCov viruses. The social distancing experiments would have caused a genetic bottleneck for these viruses. Whatever versions then survived were no match for the rapidly expanding genetic diversity and increasing ACE2 affinity of novel SARS-COV-2 variants. Just as the hCov’s interfere with SARS-COV-2, SARS-COV-2 interferes with its four cousins. And so the result could be a virological state shift: Just as a jellyfish dominated ocean creates the kind of conditions in which fish can’t replenish themselves, SARS-COV-2 can prevent the hCov’s from reestablishing themselves.
And so now you’re dealing with a situation where you chased the old mob out of town, only to be met with a new mob that is far more cruel. And when it comes to the process of viral domestication, people have been far too optimistic. You can go back a year and see how everyone hailed the arrival of Omicron as the end of the pandemic, yet today your excess mortality in the EU is higher than it was in 2021 and 2020 for the same period. The virus became less virulent but better capable of spreading itself. It is now readily returning to higher levels of virulence, as there is simply no proper discrimination against virulence-associated factors yet due to the mass vaccination program.
Medieval Europeans had wolf bounties, you could be paid for exterminating wolves, as they were recognized as dangerous animals that kill people and livestock. This is how wolves were exterminated in multiple countries. The same thing was done to bears, people received bounties for killing bears, which drove Norwegian bears into near extinction by the 1920’s. To such people, the idea that we would eventually regret extermination bears or wolves, that we would come to recognize them as vital elements of our ecosystem, would have been unthinkable.
In a similar manner, I’m quite convinced that as the global SARS-COV-2 experiment continues, along with the LGBTQI+ experiment, people will eventually start to look for ways to reign in the effect that these virulent viruses have on our population. There is a live vaccine against SARS-COV-2, that naturally spreads through populations. It’s called an hCov virus. How much genetic diversity of these viruses have we already lost? There may be rare variants out there, now lost to time, that would have infected people who were now infected with SARS-COV-2.
With every new virus that infects a population, it remains to be seen whether it is capable of losing its virulent characteristics. We’ve seen with Islam numerous times throughout history that virulent forms resurface. We’re biased by the anthropic principle: Viruses that don’t lose virulence would have wiped us out, so we wouldn’t be around to observe them today.
It could be that LGBTQI+ can’t lose its virulence, that installing fake penises on insecure teenage girls or making surgical wounds in porn-addicted nerds is a kind of fundamental pillar of this religion that no mutation can eliminate. LGBdroptheT was an attempt at producing a less virulent version of the religion, but it doesn’t get far.
Similarly, there’s no strict guarantee that SARS-COV-2 can lose its virulence. We fundamentally just don’t know. If virulence enables reinfection by killing or damaging T-cells, or if the virulence is tied to the furin cleavage site and losing that site creates a massive transmission disadvantage, then it’s possible to see a scenario in which this is just a permanent burden on our population that reduces life expectancy and accelerates the aging process for the rest of human history.
In that case, your best option may be something akin to rewilding of European nature. Rather than continuing the catastrophic social distancing experiments which attempt to artificially maintain a vacuum, you could become witness to intentional seeding of the hCov viruses. For those viruses to receive a helping hand in their natural role of functioning as a benign version of the mob against more cruel corona viruses that jump into our species from other animals could then enable them to move SARS-COV-2 towards extinction, aided by our own buildup of immunity against virulence associated epitopes over time.
Does this sound strange to you? Well then I would ask you: What do you think the polio virus vaccines are? They are an attempt to reduce the health impact of polio, by spreading more benign versions of the polio virus. Instead of 5000 cases of paralysis per million infections, these benign versions cause 3 cases per million. And similarly, the hCov’s are benign corona viruses that have withstood the test of time: We know they won’t spontaneously revert to some malignant form.
Attempts to eliminate the benign respiratory viruses need to be thought of as the insistence that the left has to kill off the vestiges of religion in the West. More virulent forms will just invade the niche: Salafism, LGBTQ, tradcats etc.
And just as the benign respiratory viruses train and strengthen the body so that it can deal with more malignant viruses, the benign religions train and strengthen the mind, so that it learns to be critical of authority. The absurdities and cruelties that happen within the religious system teaches you that all power has to be examined skeptically, even when it appeals to absolute unquestionable truths.
Without this kind of provoked immune response against authority, people stand no real chance when they are faced with a far more a malignant form, like a wealthy surgeon who proclaims in the name of “Science” that their LGBTQIA+ adhering daughter should have her breasts amputated.
And so perhaps we shouldn’t just be seeding the hCov’s. Perhaps we should start seeding the old religions again too.
Small quibble, but Catholicism historically, and even up to today, thrives best in an extended, rather than nuclear family framework.
The nuclear family is a luxury/abomination only available to the masses after the industrial revolution.
This is a fascinating reflection on how a small evil might by necessary to save us from a great evil. Without the small evil we are lost.
However, even if your general point is valid, it remains to be demonstrated that your examples, viz. LGBTQI+ and Salafism, fit in your insight. Although I think that your examples are plausible, your line of thought so far rests just on parallel reasoning. But strictly speaking, you can’t compare viral diseases with (quasi-)religious movements.
What would a demonstration that such examples fit the insight look like?
I remember reading something about Staphylococcus aureus being associated with eczema flare-ups and a bunch of anti-microbial interventions to get rid of S. aureus failing to generate evidence of benefits.
Then new promising studies were exploring probiotics to colonize the skin with a benign mob of bacteria that naturally antagonizes the malignant mob of S. aureus.
So how does your analysis linking together immunity with community —epigenetics with epimemetics— apply towards your own policy regarding commenting?
In some sense, the website, as with a holobiont, is a separate entity from the person Radagast that needs the influx of voices and views to stabilize and sustain a healthy space for its own perspective and emergence. Moderate (or moderating?) perspectives and benign contrary takes facilitates its evolution within its niche —so what will exclusion of the more divergent viewpoints and perspectives accomplish?
You could look at me as a predator, who improves the overall ecosystem by hunting down low status white males who insist on pretending climate change is a hoax.
“low status white males”
That’s a particularly feminine form of ad hominem logical fallacy to make, colloquially known as “argument with holes”: Basically “agree with me or you are a low status male who won’t get sex (access to holes)”.
Commonly used by women, especially less self aware women, as what seems to be possibly even an evolutionarily selected for form of subconsciously manipulative behavior, bases on the very powerful threat (evolutionarily) of being excluded from the small tribal breeding pool, it is, amongst “men”, ironically, only really used by low status feminised males, as true masculines stick to the facts, eg, that: CO2 has never been this low, and any lower would have wiped out almost all plant and animal life, and raising CO2, up to levels at least double to triple current levels, promises many likely benefits and very few significant downsides, and is almost entirely unrelated to global temperatures, as there is already far too much CO2 for any extra to make much difference as a greenhouse gas…while leaving the retaliatory ad homs as only secondary flavor for those who need some of their own medicine.
Bit of a self burn there Radagast…