Lesson 2: Mother Nature, The Bloody B***h

Activity and Assessment:

1.  After reading the following article respond to the question below with a blog post (located at the bottom of the article.)

Is evil a necessary part of nature? Give examples to back your response.

 2. After our fishbowl discussion on this topic, hand in your ‘Outside the fishbowl’ assignment. Outside the Fishbowl Discussion On the back of sheet, give your evolved or modified answer to the above question.  (Please note: This assignment can only be completed if the student is present for class.)

Standard: Career Related Learning Standards

  1. Exhibit appropriate work ethic and behaviors in school, community, and workplace.
  2. Demonstrate academic, technical, and organizational knowledge and skills required for successful employment.

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From The Lucifer Principle

Mother Nature, the Bloody B***h

“W e do not see, or we forget, that the birds which are idly singing around us mostly live on insects or seeds, and are thus constantly destroying life….” Charles Darwin, The Origin of the Species

“Mankind has always been cutting one another’s throats…. Do you not believe…that hawks have always preyed upon pigeons…? Then…if hawks have always had the same nature, what reason can you give why mankind should change theirs?” V oltaire, Candide

In 1580, Michelle de Montaigne, inspired by the discovery of New World tribes untouched by Europe’s latest complexities, initiated the idea ofthe”noblesavage.” Nearlytwohundred yearslater,Jean JacquesRousseau popularized theconcept when hepublished four works proclaiming that man is born an innocent wonder, filled with love and generosity, but that a Luciferian force ensnares him: modern civilization. Rousseau claimed that without civilization, humans would never know hatred, prejudice or cruelty.

Today, the Rousseauistic doctrine seems stronger than ever. Twentieth century writers and scientists like Ashley Montagu, Claude Levi-Strauss (who hailed Rousseau as the “father of anthropology”), Eric Jantsch, David Barash, Richard Leakey and Susan Sontag have reworked the notion to condemn current industrial civilization. They have been joined by numerous feminist, 2 environmentalist and minority rights extremists. Even such august scientific bodies as the American Anthropological Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Peace And War Section of the American Sociological Association have joined the cause, absolving “natural man” of malevolencebyendorsing”TheSevilleStatement,” an internationalmanifestowhich declaresthat “violenceisneither in our evolutionary legacy nor in our genes.”

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3As a result, we are told almost daily that modern western culture–with its consumerism, its capitalism, its violent television shows, its blood-soaked films,and itsnature-manglingtechnologies–“programs” violenceintothewide-eyed human mind.Our societyis supposedly an incubator for everything that appalls us.

However, culture alone is not responsible for violence, cruelty, and war. Despite the Seville Statement’s contentions, our biological legacy weaves evil into the substrate of even the most “unspoiled” society. What’s more, organized battle is not restricted to humans. Ants makewar andeither massacreor enslavearivalswarm.Cichlidfishgangupandattackoutsiders. 4 Myxobacteriaform”wolfpacks” that corner and dismember prey. 5 Groups of lizards pick on a formerly regal member of the clan who has become disfigured by the loss of his tail. Female bees chase an overaged queen through the corridors of the hive and lunge, biting over and over until she is dead. And even rival ” super coalitions” of a half-dozen male dolphins fight like str eet gangs, often inflicting ser ious injur ies. 6 Ants do not watch television. Fishseldomgotothemovies.Myxobacteria,lizards,dolphinsandbeeshavenotbeen”programmed” byWesternculture.

A host of writers gained attention in the late eighties and early nineties with books that celebrated a return to a mothering earth. They felt that if we scraped away large-scale agriculture, internal-combustion engines, televisions, and air-conditioners, nature would return to bless us with her primordial paradise.

Unfortunately these authors held a distorted view of pre- industrial reality. A pride of lions at their ease enjoys the kind of nature the radical environmentalists dreamed about. You can see the smiles on lions’ faces as they lick their paws and stretch out on the ground side by side, clearly pleased with the comfort of each other’s warmth. You can see the benevolence with which a mother keeps a cub from playfully tearing her tail apart. She lifts her huge paw and gently shoves the infant aside when his nipping becomes too painful.

But nature has given these lion mothers only one way of feeding their children. The hunt. This afternoon, these peaceful creatures will tear a gazelle limb from limb. The panicked beast will try frantically to avoid the felines closing in on her. But they will break her neck and drag her across the plain still alive and kicking. Her eyes will be open and aware as her flesh is gashed and torn.

Suppose for a minute that lions were suddenly stricken with guilt about their feeding habits and swore off meat. What would they accomplish? They would starve themselves and their children. For nature has given them only one option: to kill. Killing is not an invention of man. It is an invention of nature.

Nature’s amusements are cruel. A female sea turtle crawls painfully up the beach of a tropical island, dragging her bulk across the sand. Slowly she digs a nest with her hind flippers and lays her eggs. From those eggs come a thousand tiny, irresistible babies, digging out of the sand, blinking at the light for the first time, rapidly gaining their orientation from a genetically preprogrammed internal compass, then taking their first walk, a race toward the sea. As the infants scoot awkwardly across the beach, propelling themselves with flippers built for an entirely different task, sea birds who have been waiting for this feast swoop down to enjoy meal after high protein meal. Of a thousand newborns, perhaps three will make it to the safety of the ocean waves.

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Are the birds sadistic creatures whose instincts been twisted by an overdose of television? No, they’re engaged in the same effort as the baby turtles–the effort to survive.

Hegel, the 19th century German philosopher, said that true tragedy occurs not when good battles evil, but when one good battles another. Nature has made that form of tragedy a basic law of her universe. She presents her children with a choice between death and death. She offers a carnivore the options of dying by starvation or of killing for a meal.

Nature is like a sculptor continually improving upon her work, but to do it she chisels away at living flesh. What’s worse, she has built her morally reprehensible modus operandi into our physiology. If you occasionally feel that you are of several minds on one subject, you are probably right. In reality, you have several brains. And those brains don’t always agree. Dr. Paul D. MacLean was the researcher who first posited the concept of “the triune brain.” According to MacLean, near the base of your skull you’ll find the stem of the brain, poking up from the spinal column like the unadorned end of a walking stick. Sitting atop that rudimentary stump is a mass of cerebral tissue bequeathed us by our earliest totally land-dwelling ancestors–the reptiles. 8 When these beasts turned their backs on the sea roughly 300 million years ago and hobbled inland, their primary focus was simple survival. The new landlubbers needed to hunt, to find a mate, to carve

out territory and to fight in that territory’s defense. The neural machinery they evolved took care of these elementary functions. MacLean calls it the reptile brain. The reptile brain still sits inside our skull like the pit at the center of a peach. It is a vigorous participant in our mental affairs, pumping its primitive, instinctual orders to us at all hours of the day and night.

Eons after the first reptiles ambled away from the beach, their great, great grandchildren many times removed evolved a few dramatic product improvements. These upgrades included fur, warm blood, the ability to nurture eggs inside their own bodies, and the portable supply of baby food we know as milk. The remodeled creatures were no longer reptiles. They had become mammals. Mammals’ innovative features gave them the ability to leave the lush tropics and make their way into the chilly north. Their warm blood allowed them, in fact, to survive the rigors of the occasional ice age. But warm blood exacted its costs. It demanded that mammal parents not simply lay an egg and wander off. It forced mammal mothers to brood over their children for years. And it required a tighter social organization to take care of these suckling clusters of mammal mamas and kids.

All this demanded that a few additions be built onto the old reptilian brain. Nature complied by constructing an envelope of new neural tissue. That tissue surrounded the reptile brain like a peach’s juicy fruit enveloping the pit. MacLean called the add-on the mammalian brain. The mammalian brain guided play, maternal behavior, and a host of other emotions. It kept our furry ancestors knitted together in nurturing gangs.

Far down the winding path of time, a few of our fuzzy progenitors tried something new. They stood on their hind legs, looked around them, and applied their minds and hands to the exploitation of the world. These were the early humans. But proto-human aspirations were impractical without the construction of another set of add-ons to the brain. Nature complied, wrapping a thin layer of fresh neural substance around the two old cortical standbys–the reptilian and mammalian brains. The new structure, stretched around the old ones like a peach’s skin, was the neo-cortex–the primate brain.

The primate brain–including the human brain–had some awesome powers. It could envision the future. It could weigh a possible action and imagine the consequences. It could support the development of language, reason and culture. 9 But the neo-cortex had a drawback. It

was merely a thin veneer on the two ancient brains. And those oldsters were as active as ever, measuring every bit of input from the eyes and ears, and issuing fresh orders.

The thinking human, no matter how exalted his sentiments, was still listening to the voices of a demanding reptile and a chattering ancient mammal. Both were speaking to him from the depths of his own skull.

Richard Leakey, the eminent paleoanthropologist, says war didn’t exist until men invented agriculture and began to acquire possessions. In the back of Leakey’s mind, one hears a wistful prayer that agriculture would go away so we could rediscover peace. But Leaky is very wrong. Violence is not a product of the digging stick and hoe.

In the Kalahari desert of southern Africa live a people called the !Kung. The !Kung have no agriculture and very little technology. They live off the fruit and plants their women gather and the animals their men hunt. Their way of life is so simple that hordes of anthropologists have studied them, convinced that the !Kung live as our ancestors must have over ten thousand years ago, before the domestication of plants. In the early years of !Kung ethnography, anthropologists became wildly excited. These simple people had no violence, they said. Anthropology had discovered the key to human harmony–abolish the modern world and return to hunting and gathering.

Richard Leakey used the !Kung as his model of paradisal pre-agriculturists. The !Kung way of life proved that without the plow, men would not have the sword. Yet later studies revealed a blunt and still under-publicized fact. !Kung men solve the problem of adultery through

murder. As a result, the !Kung have a homicide rate higher than that in New York.

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!Kung violence takes place primarily between individuals. In both humans and animals, however, the greatest violence occurs not between individuals but between gr oups. It is most appalling in war .

Diane Fossey, the woman who devoted nineteen years 12 to living among and observing the mountain gorillas of Central Africa’s Virunga mountains, felt these creatures were among the most peaceful on earth. Yet mountain gorillas become killers when their social groups

come face to face. Clashes between social units, said Fossey, account for 62% of the wounds on gorillas. 74% of the males Fossey observed carried the scars of battle, and 80% had canine teeth they’d lost or broken when trying to bite the opposition. Fossey actually

recovered skulls with canine cusps still embedded in their crests.

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One gorilla group will deliberately seek out another and provoke a conflict. The resulting battles between gorilla tribes are furious. One of the bands that Fossey followed was led by a powerful silverback, an enormous male who left a skirmish with his flesh so badly ripped that the head of an arm bone and numerous ligaments stuck out through the broken skin. The old ruling male, whom Fossey called Beethoven, had been supported in the fight by his son, Icarus. Icarus left the battle scene with eight massive wounds where the enemy had bitten him on the head and arms. The site where the conflict had raged was covered with blood, tufts of fur, broken saplings and diarrhetic dung.

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Such is the price of pre-human war in the Virunga mountains.

Gorillas are not the only sub-humans to cluster in groups that set off to search for blood. In the early ’70s, Jane Goodall had lived fourteen years among the wild chimpanzees of Tanzania’s Gombe Reserve. She loved the chimps for their gentle ways, so different from the violence back home among humans. Yes, there were simian muggings, beatings and rage. But the ultimate horror–war–was absent.

Goodall published a landmark book on chimpanzee behavior–In The Shadow of Man–a work which to some proved unequivocally that war was a human creation. After all, the creatures shown by genetic and immunological research to be our nearest cousins in the animal

kingdom knew nothing of organized, wholesale violence.

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Then, three years after Goodall’s book emerged, a series of incidents occurred that horrified her. The tribe of chimps Goodall had been watching became quite large. Food was harder to find. Quarrels broke out. To relieve the pressure, the unit finally split into two separate tribes. One band stayed in the old home territory. The other left to carve out a new life in the forest to the south.

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Years later, biological ecologist Michael Ghiglieri traveled to Uganda to see just how widespread chimpanzee warfare really was. He concludedthat”thehappy-go-luckychimpanzeehasturnedouttobethemostlethalape–anorganized,cooperativewarrior….”

So the tendency toward slaughter that manifested itself in the Chinese Cultural Revolution is not the product of agriculture, technology, television or materialism. It is not an invention of either western or eastern civilization. In fact, it is not a uniquely human proclivity at all. It comes from something both sub and superhuman, something we share with gorillas, apes, fish and ants–a brutality that speaks to us through the animals in our brain. If man has contributed anything of his own to the equation, it is this: he has learned to dream of peace. But to achieve that dr eam, he will have to over come what natur e has built into him.

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26 Responses to Lesson 2: Mother Nature, The Bloody B***h

  1. i dont believe in what this has to say. i dont believe in evil, i think its a part of nature and i think that there is the life cycle, but it is certaintly not evil. yeah, lions leave their cubs or whatever but i really dont agree that the reason is evil. lions are just doing what they’ve been taught… i dont think evil exists. i think everything has a reason.

    • Eve says:

      Freaking settle it! use any democratic method, at least remotely allowed by the Party conntitutios, to permanently elect a leader.We’ve heard all of the speeches already.Get it done.Can’t we just prorogue the process or something? 😉

    • Novamente ouviremos muito o hino alemão, mas descansamos do Schumacher e já temos o Vettel…E Nelsinho Piquet já deve estar procurando outro lugar pra correr, por ele já deve estar indo embora. E minha Williams só faz lambança, do Sam Michael aos pilotos. Quando será que eles vão acertar a mão?

  2. Cj Tran says:

    Evil does serve a purpose in nature because if there wasn’t evil in nature man would not be where he is today. Lions would not have killed other animals to survive and nothing would have adapted to life. As Lucifier said “She presents her children with a choice between death and death”. In other words to survive you most take the life of something else. Those are my thoughts on the bloody bitch

  3. i agree with the article in that brutality and the will to hunt is programmed into us as a part of nature and a way of life, and has been for a very long time. It is animals’ way of surviving and there is never a second thought that they are doing something so evil, because they are simply carrying on with life and the way they were made to survive.

  4. Misty Reed says:

    Evil is simply a part of life and it just is. Whether people admit it or not they have evil inside of them, some people just don’t act uponit. I don’t think that we can really blame violence on outside influences because ultimiatly it is our choice what we do. Violence is in our nature just like it is in a lions nature to kill. Can we really call our nature evil? It may seem evil and somethings I would consider evil like harming someone who has no way to defend themselves.

  5. Zachary Lusby says:

    This article brought up a lot of really great points about the nature of humanity, something that is really quite elusive to many students considering that we are all so busy being caught up in the little dramas we go through each day.
    Are humans naturally evil?
    I say no, because in my mind there is simply no such thing as “evil.” Good, evil, all bounds and judgements we place on our human life, are simply a delusion that is, eventually created from society. Does society generate evil? Does it tumble us into the bloodstained war heroes we make ourselves out to be? As the article says, the answer is again, no.
    In nature there is no evil. There are no emotions, except in the gorillas and chimps so close to our own humanity it’s sometimes hard to see the difference. Back to the point, though, when it comes to survival there is nothing we can do but kill or be killed. Like the lions and fish and ants that all mercilessly march to the murder of this Earth’s inhabitants, they have no remorse. No guilt. Is that a bad thing, either? Of course not. They eventually must if they want to keep their existence sound.
    Ants don’t have any bible to classify their actions as evil.
    There is only one species that can classify what is right and what is wrong, and that is the human race, held to our own delusions of good and evil.
    And that’s not because we were programmed to murder and kill. It’s because we were born in a society that creates the concept of Good versus Evil for us to follow.
    The fact of the matter is we were all once, many, many years ago, born to kill, but now that we’re at the top of the foodchain, what do we have to do? We don’t have to kill for our food in most part of the world. If we did, it wouldn’t be evil
    But if I walked into a grocery store and killed the cashier because I didn’t have enough for a pineapple, society would call that evil.
    Because we have to use this delusion to keep us safe, otherwise we’d all be murdering each other.

  6. Trumpus, Meghan says:

    I think that evil is one of the most natural things in life. Mother Nature has design animals to kill for survival, so that they have food. Animals have been doing this for thousands of years. People and animals are born innocient but we all have to survive some how, whether this means killing, lying, or stealing.

    • Kayleen says:

      Completamente de acuerdo. No me está gustando nada el tufillo que está adoptando el gobierno ú.Izmamenteltlegaliiar ANV es darle la razón a la derecha y lo que es peor, es ilegalizar una idea y por mucho que nos duela, las ideas nunca pueden ser ilegales.Veremos qué pasa.Saludos

  7. Dial, Deborah says:

    Is evil a part of life?

    I would sadly say yes. I think even the sweetest people have a dark side. It is in our brains and nature. Even if people have good intentions, they can be around the world and catch on to all of the horribleness that it is. But I still think that everyone has some sort of evil in them. It’s just natural. Unfortunately.

  8. Mckenzie Bailey says:

    I think that there is evil in our nature because it just seems like it. And also that the article is telling us about how different animals like female lions go and hunt down and piratically torture gazelles.

  9. Francesca Bonanno says:

    I believe in creation and that we were made from a creator. Meaning God. I strongly disagree with the part where it says we are developed from reptiles. We are one specie. We can’t turn into another specie. Just like dogs can’t turn into cats. It doesn’t work like that. I believe that man is made good because we are made in the image of God. But we are also born into sin. We have the choice to choose to be evil. It might come natural to us but we have a choice to turn against it. But it also comes natural for us to be good. It’s just how you look at it. This is how i look at it for myself. I don’t think that animals are born with evil ambitions. They kill other animals so they can survive. It’s the circle of life. Just something they have to do. They don’t do it with evil intentions. It’s just what they are taught to do.

  10. Williams, Molly says:

    I believe that all people are born innocent. They have no knowledge of evil till they are older because they don’t know right from wrong. Animals can’t think for themselves so they kill for survival and they kill for food. They are innocent. I call the evil sin. From Adam and Eve, there has been sin for people. We cannot get away from it. But everyone has their own beliefs of right and wrong.

  11. kaylee gribling says:

    Is evil a natural part of life? my first thought with this question is, what exactly is evil? Animals attacking others for survival? Not really, not in my book at least. Humans attacking other humans because they don’t like something about that other human? Yeah I guess so. I think something that is utterly evil is something that is completely set on destroying another thing just for the joy of it, or has no emotion towards it. The article that we read backs this up. It gives examples of animals in nature, having to attack other animals so they can survive. Is some of it cruel? Sure, killing other animals is cruel, is it necessary? Definitely, it’s done to survive, not everything can be vegetarians and just avoid killing other living animals. War, I consider a bit evil. people killing other people is disturbing to me, to have the mentality to actually kill someone is scary. I understand self defense, and all that, but really? Anything other than that just seems a little to across the line.

  12. Bobbi Connelly says:

    Okay so, I believe in creation and that we were all created. I disagree strongly with the opinion that we evolved from reptiles. I was taught that one species cannot become a entirely different species. For instance, there are many different breeds of dogs, but a dog can never be a cat. I believe in natural selection and the idea that we can adapt over time, but not into an entirely different species. As for the question ” Is evil a natural part of life? in other words, does evil exist and serve a purpose in nature.” My opinion on it is that; i believe that people are not born “evil” but we do have natural instincts to survive. Animals don’t feel guilty after they kill something because they’re just trying to survive. But we are not animals and we don’t live like them. We have the basic necessities we need to live, we don’t really need the natural instincts we had to have before we had all the technology we have today. In conclusion i don’t believe we are born evil or that evil serves a purpose for humans, but that people can choose to be evil and be driven by bad motives. Money, Power, Greed. ect.

  13. Bobbi Connelly says:

    FRANNY. what the duck man taking my example. -___-

  14. Megan Bryant says:

    When you are born, you are pure and innocent. You have not yet been introduced to the ideas in society that can make you ‘evil’. I think everyone is born with something that is good. It’s called your conscious. It is something inside of you that has always been there and will always be there. I think that evil is something that grows inside of you through time and through your own experiences. I don’t think it is something that was placed by mother nature inside your great, great, great grandmother that you inherited along with your great uncles nose. I think humans get their feelings from their own experiences and ideas on matters and situations. If it does come from mother nature, that would imply that we don’t create feelings. That we are simply given choices between them; happy, sad, excited, angry, etc. instead of feeling those things throughout our life events.

  15. Valerie Troyer says:

    As far as I can tell, the author is either an atheist or an evolutionist, possibly both. I hold the worldview of an old earth creationist. I think that we are all created by God and we are separated from animals by the soul He gave us. The author makes this statement in the last paragraph “he has learned to dream of peace. But to achieve that dream, he will have to over come what nature has built into him.” Nature has not built brutality into man, and we are not evolved apes or lizards. “Evil” for humans is a product of the fall of man, when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden when humans were introduced to sin. For animals this brutality is a product of natural instinct, and the struggle for survival. The lion eats the gazelle for survival, not because the gazelle insulted the lion’s religion. The difference between killing for animals and killing for humans is the reason we kill. Animals kill for survival, but humans do it for whatever reason/idea we decide is important enough to kill for.

  16. Sophie Breunig says:

    The example with the !Kung reminded me on a story I´ve heard from an other poeple:
    When babies were born, the first thing they do is pushing the baby under water and wait a certain time. If the child is still alive when they take it out of the water, than it is a member of their poeple, if it`s dead, then…not.
    Why are they doing that? The answer is very easy: Every day they fight for their food and with this also for their lives. So they can´t need ill and weak members. This Custom is the test if the baby is strong enaugh to fight and to stay alive.
    What I want to say is, that the evil is for everybody something different.
    For me is it a natural part of live and I think that it is good that some animals eat others, because if they would not do that, we would have to much creatures on our earth.

  17. Moseley, Isabella says:

    I agree with the article, that nothing is really evil, but is made cruel. I don’t think that they’re trying to intentionally be evil, however, it is just part of a nature they cannot control. I think that people can be made evil, and surely they can be cruel just on they’re own, but it is not because of nature, it’s not because they were born that way, they were made into that kind of evil.

  18. Dilly says:

    If I didn’t enter what would I have to moan about? ;o)Seriously though, while I hated the riding, the actual experience has some great memories, some of them gas powered. I think it’s Thetford Carb Gas actually.I am competitive in the form of wanting to put out a fast team to beat the Dorking Cocks! We were close last time. Just call me “The Ma&87er&#a221;In#821g;m hoping we can field 3 teams as well as solo riders as a minimum and looking to take my lap times sub 70 minutes! ;o) Small achievements!

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