And herein lies the seeds of speciation: a difference in a trait that genes influence – intelligence – affecting reproduction patterns. Coupled with policies of exclusion – building a wall, breaking up families to deport undocumented immigrants, targeting specific religious groups unified by their ancestry – the population sorting that may begin over the next four years could, with time and if sustained, alter the segregation of gene variants in a way that sets us on a path toward an unstoppable divergence.
I hope that as a nation we can accept, heal, reach out, and “be on the same team” as President Obama eeked out yesterday. But right now, the gash seems too deep to mend anytime soon, especially if the aforementioned actions of exclusion and discrimination actually emerge from the current state of shock and division. Here is the best description I’ve read of the sad basis of the Trump campaign and soon-to-be administration.
So much things to say, to quote Bob Marley, but I’ll try to restrain myself. And before I go further I will note, just for the record, that Trump really is scientifically illiterate and I fear that his advisors will be as well, and that that will surely lead to problems, though perhaps not the worst ones we will face from a Trump administration. Onward:
Ricki Lewis thinks that we may be headed towards “unstoppable genetic divergence,” that Donald Trump will be the chief progenitor of this separation, and that the primary criterion by which this separation will be effected is intelligence. All the smart people will be on one side of the Great Wall of Trump, and all the stupid people on the other side.
And yet all this will be accomplished by the will of the Stupids. Which suggests, on Lewis’s own account of things, that beyond a certain point — let’s call it the Trump Threshold — intelligence may not be adaptive. Indeed it may be maladaptive, as suggested in Idiocracy. So if you want to belong to the species that will succeed in the long run, you should probably start trying to get dumber now.
Lewis takes the title of her post, “Donald Trump and the New Morlock Nation,” from H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, a book she hasn’t read. (But she saw the movie. And looked up the book’s Wikipedia page.) I, however, have read the book, and when I read Lewis’s post, one passage from it came to mind:
The Upper-world people might once have been the favoured aristocracy, and the Morlocks their mechanical servants: but that had long since passed away. The two species that had resulted from the evolution of man were sliding down towards, or had already arrived at, an altogether new relationship. The Eloi, like the Carolingian kings, had decayed to a mere beautiful futility. They still possessed the earth on sufferance: since the Morlocks, subterranean for innumerable generations, had come at last to find the daylit surface intolerable. And the Morlocks made their garments, I inferred, and maintained them in their habitual needs, perhaps through the survival of an old habit of service. They did it as a standing horse paws with his foot, or as a man enjoys killing animals in sport: because ancient and departed necessities had impressed it on the organism. But, clearly, the old order was already in part reversed. The Nemesis of the delicate ones was creeping on apace. Ages ago, thousands of generations ago, man had thrust his brother man out of the ease and the sunshine. And now that brother was coming back changed! Already the Eloi had begun to learn one old lesson anew. They were becoming reacquainted with Fear.