I have just watched the National Geographic documentary, obtained through Netflix, titled The Search for the Ultimate Survivor: The Mystery of Us. I watch a lot of documentaries in my quest for more knowledge of my world and the people in it, sometimes for research, sometimes just from curiosity or wanting more knowledge in an area of personal interest. But, in this presentation there was one segment that was more outstanding than learning of all the humanoids once occupying our world from the deep time of our history to the more recent time of each one’s existence. It was in reference to a gene for bullying. Due to my past, and more recent experience with a certain group of bullies, and my psychological background desiring to understand what divides the different types of personalities, I found the comment of one scientist most compelling.
The ability we developed to make us most superior was the ability to move our tongues and mouth in unique expressions, which may be what led to language, but that ability gave us another advantage. Primate researcher, Richard Wrangham, explained through his comparison between the behaviors of humans and chimpanzees. Chimps have no way of controlling the bullies within their own communities, which have aggressive behavior from a hundred to a thousand times more than ours within our communities. A few can dominate the many through sear force and are always threatening. Within human society we are more often very nice to each other, even though between our societies we can be very aggressive since we fight wars. Our tendency for war-like behavior, and our need for uprisings against oppressive governments aside, left for another discussion, within our own societies we are generally very peaceful.
Within every ape and human society there have been members who have always tried to bully others. But with language, according to Wangham, the ability for the weak to team up against the bullies has turned the tables. And we continue to team up against the bullies. We don’t have an alpha male who bullies everyone, but a group of non-alpha individuals who bully the alpha, a coalition of the timids who team up against the bullies. Over time, he says, this group of timids have hatched plots and actually killed off large numbers of the bullies. That kind of killing has selected against the gene that makes individuals aggressive within groups.
Again, over time, language created societies that grew into groups which were peaceful among themselves because they weeded out the bullies. This helped to eliminate the bully gene within society as our evolutionary development accelerated. We became more cooperative, allowing us to build on each other’s inventions. And we will never cease to come up with new ideas because our brains have developed, given us language, and the discerning ability to eliminate the bullies in our society.
With the diversity of humans over the last four million years, nature’s lab in human experiments is now closed. We stand alone, and while luck played a role (we almost became extinct 80,000 years ago due to massive volcanism that changed the climate), it was also talent that contributed to our unique circumstances — we learned, we were smarter. And we have ALL descended from the surviving 2,000 to 2,500 who survived (yes, that small number) .
The advantage goes to the cooperative ape — us. And as it has been said elsewhere, “There ain’t no stopping us now.” So, for those bullies out there who persist, your time will end. We will find a way to eliminate the bully gene further, probably by learning how to curb the cause of its continued behavior in your isolated groups. The abused are fed up and growing angrier. Don’t be surprised if many non-alphas team up against one alpha. There are more of us than you, after all.
A new day is dawning for the human animal, one that may also eliminate the term “animal” from our makeup and create an entirely new species of humanoid who mankind can be even more proud of. Just give us time, and maybe another natural catastrophe to catapult another select few of us forward. The smarter, more cooperative ones survived before. We will again, even if Nature becomes fed up and expresses her anger with our misuse of her bounty.
And, in the case of bullies, don’t join them if you can’t fight them. You’ll only lose in the end. Believe in nonaggression by not giving them anything or anyone to bully. Go through proper channels to report the abuse. Attention is being drawn more and more to their behavior and most don’t think its pretty. Like neglected children they only want the attention they think they need and deserve, even if its negative attention. You can’t change it so don’t reward it by responding. Punish it further by continued neglect. Force them to look inside themselves. Only then can a soul grow and change itself. They are destined for the perverbal mid-life crises, but are too naive to realize it. Nor are they aware of the rule of three, or karma. Your actions always come back to you, so make it good if you want good in your life. It makes the bumps easier to tolerate, and ignore.