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Try "The Two Faces of Tomorrow", by James P. Hogan.  Fictional evidence, to be sure, but well thought out fiction that demonstrates the problem well.

Personally I think I actually tend to anthropomorphize more as a result of my ability to guess what others are thinking being learned rather than instinctive.  Because I really am using the same circuitry for comprehending people as I do for comprehending car engines and computers and using it in essentially the same way.

But I may not be typical.  Best guess is that my particular quirks are mostly the result of a childhood head injury rather than anything genetic.

A lot of the things that ancient cultures attributed to God are this kind of thinking.

If you see a dead pig on the side of the road with no signs of violence, stay the heck away from it.  You don't have to know which specific disease it died of, or even what a disease is.  People have just noticed that anyone who goes near such a thing tends to die horribly later and maybe takes half the tribe with them.  The precise intermediate steps are largely irrelevant, just the statistical correlation.

There are two failure modes to watch out for.

The first is when people start worshiping their own ignorance and refuse to update the rules as their understanding of the underlying principles improves.

The second is when people recognize that the idea of "God" as an old man with a long beard who lives in the clouds is patently ridiculous and assume therefore that all of the principles and rules intended to "stay his wrath" may be ignored with utter impunity.


To the first type I generally point out that whatever creator they believe exists gave us our intelligence as well, and refusing to use that gift to the utmost would be an insult.

To the second I like to suggest that, since "Thor" is imaginary, maybe they should go stand in an open field and wave a metal stick around during the next thunderstorm...  A "primitive" understanding of something is not the same as being stupid, and a few thousand years of experience that says, "If you do X, bad things happen," should not be ignored lightly.

If there weren't people who had a strong desire, not just for sex, but to actually have a child, and a willingness to go to extreme measures to do so, then sperm banks wouldn't be a thing.

Given the number of people who specifically, and openly desire to make babies, postulating a subconscious desire that might push them to "forget" their contraception isn't unreasonable.  Especially given that cycle timing and coitus interruptus have been staples of human sexual behaviour since...  Well...  At least as far back as we have any records about such things.  Dawn of civilization.

The two sets of replicators reminds me of an article I read about a species of birds that seems to be splitting into effectively four sexes.  Male and female, but then also coloring patterns that have formed a stable loop that alternates back and forth.  If the loop were unstable they'd split into two species, but it alternates generations regularly, so they keep mixing, but in a pattern of four.

Alternatively, consider the various sects in history which have thought that the world was evil and therefore bringing children into it was doing them great harm.  Needless to say, the majority of them seem to have died out...

I would submit that most other species on the planet, were they to rise to our level of intelligence, would not bother inventing condoms.  In most other species, the females generally have no particular interest in sex unless they want babies.

Humans though, are weird.  Because of our long phase of immaturity, and the massive amount of work involved in raising a child, we need really strong social bonds.  Evolution, being a big fan of "The first thing I stumble across that gets the job done is the solution" repurposed sex into a pair-bonding trigger, and then, as our ancestors' offspring required longer and longer care, divorced it from any specific attempt to make a baby at that particular moment.

Now fast forward to the point where infant mortality drops and churning out babies as fast as possible is no longer the best strategy.  But we still need the pair bonding because the length of childhood hasn't gotten any shorter, and it still goes way better with two sets of hands to look after the little one.  Evolution would probably come up with another quick hack for this...  (One might suggest that it already has in the form of oral sex.)  But it will take a while.  Our brains are faster.

Evolution now will simply need to favor genetics that introduce an explicit desire for children, rather than the other behaviours which used to inevitably lead to them.  Which...  There are a lot of people out there for whom not wanting children is a dealbreaker when looking for a potential spouse.  So it seems like it's already on top of that one too.

Personally I think the Inquisitor has a much better case than the Phlogiston theorist.  

If humans have an immortal soul, then saving that soul from an eternity of torment would easily justify nearly anything temporarily inflicted on the mortal body in the same manner that saving someone's life from a burst appendix justifies slicing open their belly.  While brutal, the Inquisitor is self-consistent.  Or, at least, he could be.

Magnesium gaining weight when burned, however, has to be special-cased away to fit with Phlogiston theory.  There aren't really any coherent explanations for it that don't boil down to "Magnesium doesn't count."

Still, it's a good example of the lengths to which people will go to justify their own preferred courses of action.  The Inquisition was, after all, largely political rather than religious, concerned with rooting the last of the Moorish sympathizers out of Spain.

Reminds me of one of the early AI research projects using some variety of optimization algorithm to try to "learn" the ability to solve a wide variety of problems in a single program.  Genetic algorithm I think, random mutation and cross-pollination of the programs between the best performers, that kind of thing.

After a while, they noticed that one of the lines that had developed, while not the best at any of the test problems, was second-best at all of them.

Yet when they tried to make it the base of all their next generation...  it didn't work...

Cue a massive analysis effort to rip it apart at the machine-code level and figure out what the heck was going on.  Eventually they found that it had stumbled upon a security flaw in their running environment and learned to steal answers from the other programs running on the system.

Evolution doesn't care if it's cheating, only if it works.

Hard to say if politics was the entire reason...  We are also endurance hunters and trap layers and both of those require being able to predict what your intended prey will do many steps in advance...

Question is, which came first?

And really, evolution didn't come up with a general intelligence to solve ape politics.  Pay attention when you're thinking about things.  How often do you reflexively think of inanimate objects as "wanting" or "happy"?  You're probably modeling plants and animals and machines and complex physics as though it were another ape.  Ape behaviour is so complex that other, complex systems can fit right into that rules processing engine, but that engine leaves its fingerprints all over the results...

Which is the entire reason this website exists.  If we truly had a general-purpose intelligence most of the glitches in our thinking that we have to learn to be careful of wouldn't be there to start with.

'I say "evolutions", plural, because fox evolution works at cross-purposes to rabbit evolution, and neither can talk to snake evolution to learn how to build venomous fangs.'

Interestingly, as we're getting better at analyzing genomes, we're discovering that this isn't strictly true.  Rabbit and fox cross-pollinating with snake would be a bit of a stretch maybe, but there are actually a number of what we once thought to be entirely separate lines of evolution which genetic testing has revealed to be true-breeding hybrids between a set of nearby species.

Also, it's looking like viruses can play a fairly substantial role in picking up genes from one species and ferrying them around to others.

Of course, all of that will pale in comparison to genetic engineering once we finish sorting that out.

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