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Two mothers say a baby is theirs, simple solution, split the baby in two so they bot get half!

Lost your family? Find a new one!

Your husband cheats on you with your friend? Cheat on him too with your friend!

You forgot to feed the cat and its starving, end its misery by killing it.

Sick tired or hearing people's complaints? Cut your ears!

Those are all examples of homo troglodytes reasoning. Their logic works backwards, continuously back pedalling into a pitfall of ignorance and misery.

Can a population of humans who evolved to be utter morons survive to this day and achieve a basic societal structure, considering their mental capacities are the same but their logic is completely non-sensical and always aimed at solving the wrong problem?

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    $\begingroup$ "Their mental capacities are the same but their logic is completely non-sensical and always aimed at solving the wrong problem": is this an example of troglodytic logic? Because in human logic, the capacity of logical reasoning is considered an essential part of the mental "capacities". (And it is H. troglodytes, with an y; the ending could be -us instead of -es, especially in this barbarous modern age, but the y cannot change into i. It's a Greek word, it means "cave dweller", literally "one who goes down into a hole".) $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 19 '20 at 0:49
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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure that they solve the problem of not liking someone by killing said person then. Yeah there's a good chance these guys won't get to survive to the age of metal, dying by one another's hands an by predators taking advantage of their dumb decisions (guy went out in the night and didn't com back? Everyone, let's go into the night to find him!) . Their main hope is to be found by our species and used as horror movie characters due to their authentically bad decisions. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jun 19 '20 at 0:56
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    $\begingroup$ Similar to Dunning-Kruger effect which is prominent in today's society ;D $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jun 19 '20 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ @ProjectApex i dont know...... seems like they can survive by doing that, because now you have numbers, and considering prehistoric people behave like that, by genociding the threat including enemy tribe and others homo species to extinction. OP may think the solution is moron but hey aslong as it work! $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jun 19 '20 at 6:24
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    $\begingroup$ "Can a population of humans who evolved to be utter morons survive to this day and achieve a basic societal structure, considering their mental capacities are the same but their logic is completely non-sensical and always aimed at solving the wrong problem?"- Look outside. $\endgroup$ – Studoku Jun 19 '20 at 12:39
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No

They would all die upon discovering fire. To quote:

"Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him, and he's warm for the rest of his life." - Sir Terry Pratchett, Jingo

Thus, the only reasonable thing to do is to light all of themselves in fire so that they would indeed be warm for the remainder of their lives.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this could be thought out a bit more. The first people to discover fire may have lit themselves on fire, but the rest of them will then realize that that is a problem and will come up with another wrong solution to it $\endgroup$ – Kai Jun 19 '20 at 16:18
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If we read your question carefully, the answer is clearly Yes.

You ask, "Can a population of humans who evolved to be utter morons survive to this day"

Well, if they evolved to be utter morons then clearly that was an adaptive strategy for them at some time and some place.

Therefore your current question boils down to "Can a species of morons survive today."

Since you have asserted that there was a period of time during which they survived, then clearly they would be able to live in a similar environment today - provided that environment was available to them. This could be natural or artificial.


Really the "today" part of your question is irrelevant. The real question is "Is there any environment in which a species would evolve to become morons?"

With that in mind I will interpret your question to mean:

Is there any environment in which a species would evolve to become morons?

and try to answer that.

I think the only answer is selective breeding. Aliens or other humans would observe your species and note which individuals were most moronic. They would then breed them together to 'improve' the line. Instead of eugenics they would be practising dysgenics.

They would of course have to provide a protective environment for these creatures (isolation and padded cells for instance) to prevent them from harming themselves and others. Breeding might have to occur through artificial insemination.

If you think humans are incapable of such a stupid breeding scheme then just look at what we have done with some animals. There are dog breeds that are incapable of copulating naturally and have to be helped, some cannot give birth naturally and have to have Caesarian section as a matter of course. There are extraordinary fish varieties that would not last a day in the wild, so distorted are their features.

One Vet's Opinion: Why Do We Breed Dogs Who Can't Give Birth Naturally?

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/one-vets-opinion-why-do-we-breed-dogs-who-cant-give-birth-naturally

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  • $\begingroup$ Apes have absolutely no problem surviving, and they are pretty much morons - the only threat to their survival are their non-moron relatives... I guess that proves your point. $\endgroup$ – bukwyrm Jun 19 '20 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ This answer seems to consist of mostly circular reasoning / nitpicking: they can survive because they survived. Evolution might prevent this from happening, but the question mentions that they evolved this way, so it is fine. The answer is in no way specific to the "morons", so it seems to clearly go against what the question wants to know, which is presumably then whether this could happen with evolution. $\endgroup$ – NotThatGuy Jun 19 '20 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ @bukwyrm - Apes do not have the crazy logic that the OP proposes. Apes do what is best for them. The OP proposes a race that do things that are actually harmful to themselves. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jun 19 '20 at 11:40
  • $\begingroup$ @NotThatGuy - Yes, I am merely pointing out that the question itself is circular in a way that presupposes the answer. You say, the question wants to know, which is presumably then whether this could happen with evolution. I agree, that is exactly what I pointed out in the second part of my answer. However I also pointed out that is a different question from what was asked, and therefore off-topic. $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Jun 19 '20 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ If you believe the question as written is different from what the asker may have intended, the most appropriate course of action would be to leave a comment requesting clarification, or to answer both parts, or to just answer the question the asker intended and state how you're interpreting the question. $\endgroup$ – NotThatGuy Jun 19 '20 at 11:50
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MORAL FLEXIBILITY: No one believes they are bad people, but society rings people with laws that restrict freedoms. The only way to justify the survival of such a society is to ascribe their logic to a different value system. In this scenario, they are still smart, and looking out for their own productive interest. Skewed logic is another word for justifying bad behavior. They conveniently use alternative logic when it serves, and ignore it when it's inconvenient. Let's break down each of your points above.

  1. Two mothers say a baby is theirs, simple solution, split the baby in two so they both get half! Here, you have two women fighting over property. human life is cheap, and both are determined to eat half the child while proving themselves willing to do anything to win. You don't get into a dispute with either of these women, do you?
  2. Lost your family? Find a new one! Family obligations can be deeply binding, especially to younger sons not due to inherit. To justify getting out of family obligations, this logic allows them to start over elsewhere and try to make a new life.
  3. Your husband cheats on you with your friend? Cheat on him too with your friend! I don't think I even need to explain this one, do I? People today act this way.
  4. You forgot to feed the cat and its starving, end its misery by killing it. Let's face it, if you "forgot" to feed the cat, you don't really care if it's dead. It should be catching mice, and one that doesn't deserves to die.
  5. Sick tired or hearing people's complaints? Cut your ears! I imagine this to be a politician who wants to ignore the problems of his people. The king willing to stab himself in the ears as a statement of refusal to accept other's problems is making a personal sacrifice to gain greater power and be less accountable. Leaders have done much worse to gain and keep power. Mayan kings would run barbed cords through their tongues, because royal blood collected as such was a worthy sacrifice to the gods. The people gave them more authority because of their willingness to self-sacrifice.
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Humans already do this. That is why we have expressions such as "Cutting off your nose to spite your face."

Road rage is an example. It does neither participant any lasting good and, in severe cases, can cause serious injury to one or both of the combatants.

Your species is driven by emotional response and this overrides logic. In order to survive, members of the species must be very careful not to offend each other. There is a strict code of conduct that children are taught from an early age. If they don't conform then of course they are immediately killed by an enraged parent.

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It seems highly unlikely that being a moron would have a specific evolutionary advantage of its own. So the answer is no a population of all morons cannot survive without some other advantage.

However life is complex and there are a lot of qualifications to that statement. It is possible that being a moron is a side effect of some other positive trait in which case it would be selected for. The advantage would have to be huge to overcome the wastage from idiocy. But I note that peacocks survive with what might be described as a moron tail (for flight, fight and camouflage… etc)

It is also possible that morons only make up a limited percentage of the population. There is a gene that provides a limited degree of resistance to Malaria which provides an evolutionary advantage, but the gene has not spread to the entire population because unfortunately anyone with a double dose of the gene (from both parents) gets sickle cell anaemia. Something vaguely similar might be true of morons, meaning they always exist but they never make up a majority of the population.

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In what way are these people not actually us?
Humans, when left to their own faulty devices and philosophies, almost always come up with the wrong answer. We see this clearly when we examine our own follies, as individuals as well as as societies.

You mention the specific instance of the split baby: this is a well known story of one of the wisest humans in history deciding a case and two other people moronic enough to go along with the folly. Our courts are full of this kind of reasoning and our legal systems based on this faulty logic.

You mention cheating on the cheater: we see this all the time, and not just with adultery. Someone gets hurt and the first, natural instinct is simply to strike out and hurt back in the same way.

And so forth.

Conclusion
The answer to your question is obviously YES, because it's already been done, and modern human society, with its Twitter mobs and culture of outrage and just plain stupidity, is the obvious gigaitic output.

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    $\begingroup$ The (almost) split baby was actually on purpose; King Solomon's goal was to flush out the actual mother, which the gambit did quite well. $\endgroup$ – The Daleks Jun 19 '20 at 12:20
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    $\begingroup$ "this is a well known story of one of the wisest humans in history deciding a case and two other people moronic enough to go along with the folly." - Not that well-known, since you apparently don't know how the story actually goes. Only one of the mothers was willing to go along with the idea. The other abandoned her claim so that the baby would live. For this reason she was given custody of the living baby.. $\endgroup$ – Paul Sinclair Jun 19 '20 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulSinclair -- Review 1 Kings 3. Then two harlots came to the king, and stood before him. And so it goes from there: looks like two moronic humans who can't find the right solution agreed to go before the third moronic human who couldn't do much better to me $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jun 20 '20 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ Wow. I am not sure which is greater, the overweening arrogance of that statement, or the complete lack of understanding of the culture and situation of the story that underlies it. $\endgroup$ – Paul Sinclair Jun 20 '20 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulSinclair -- So, do you fail to recognise that we ARE the morons the OP is asking about! If we weren't so stupid & broken, the king wouldn't have had to take such an extreme measure; the woman with the dead baby wouldn't have stolen the other's baby in the first place. Do you not get it? $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jun 20 '20 at 13:37
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Intelligence is not instinctual. Survival is. As stated in another answer, apes have been doing quite well. Human intelligence has mankind bettering our lives/lifespan, but not necessary our instinct to survive.

However, the lack of intelligence or reasoning power can paralyze our instinct of survival in extreme conditions; such as matching wits against others' or nature itself because of the inability to problem solve. This is the underlying theme in William Golding's The Inheritors The reader experiences prehistoric life through Lok, a Neanderthal with low intelligence and reasoning power.

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