Venue: The 12th International Conference

Location: Ankara, Turkey

Event Date/Time: Aug 02, 2010 End Date/Time: Aug 06, 2010
Registration Date: May 15, 2010
Early Registration Date: Apr 15, 2010
Abstract Submission Date: Mar 15, 2010
Paper Submission Date: May 15, 2010
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The 12th International Conference
of ISSEI International Society for the Study of European Ideas
in cooperation
with Cankaya University

«Thought in Science and Fiction»

Ankara, 2-6 August 2010


Constantinos Maritsas


Till now we haven’t the universal definition of civilization. All definitions we have are anthropocentric: civilization and human activity are identified in them. In this paper I will try to offer new definition which isn’t anthropocentric. This definition will help to answer next questions. How did man progress from natural selection to civilization? Why other animals or plants did not follow suit? Why didn’t lions, dolphins or roses create civilizations? Or they did?

According to Darwin, “struggle for life is most severe between individuals and varieties of the same species” . Man (male) was doomed to extinction for two reasons: first, he was an easy prey for other animals, and, second, due to interspecific competition for reproduction of new generations.

Let’s trace the development of civilization step by step. Since his appearance, man is the weakest and most helpless living creature on our planet, but he has the largest brain. But there are also many animals that are “biologically weak”: rabbits, frogs, lambs and goats, not to mention plants: tulips, grass. Yet none of them has created a civilization! And man has survived, creating one! How did he do it?

And only man himself, thanks to his brain, has abolished the coercive interspecific competition and consciously terminated the process of natural selection.

Having abolished the coercive struggle, man has created a society of similar organisms – a society of people. But man had to find a substitute for the coercive interspecific competition, in which male individuals have been selected by the females. And he found it in dance. The simple re-enactment of the interspecific competition through dancing as a substitute is observed in the world of animals as well. Woman had to select the “virtual” hero, the winner, the best dancer in order to copulate with him.

The change in the selection criteria has led to other changes, which exist to the present day. The hero of the natural selection was the man returning as a winner from war or hunting, but the process of selection was made away from the eyes of the females, i.e. females do not witness the struggle for survival (selection) of the male who is worthy of reproduction. On the contrary, in the case of “war dances”, the process of selection occurred before the women and, as a rule, in public. Men started parading their qualities, dancing and singing before women.
According to Desmond Morris, most of our dance moves come from the same source, but in our case they have not developed into a static ritual kind. They have developed into a human way, i.e., into a civilized way and are of an inexhaustible diversity. The first generations imitated the nature. But the next ones, instead of imitating nature, began to imitate previous generations, losing the connecting link to the nature. By imitating, they lost the main purpose and imitation itself became the main purpose, it became a “ritual”, “magic” and “religion”, unnatural actions.

As the dance became estranged from the real fight, woman had to change her selection criteria. The instinctive cries of pain had to be replaced with acquired ones; hits had to be replaced with a simple touch. The woman selected the winner on the battlefield or in the sphere of sport or dance, which were a reflection of fight. Death was not the purpose to the rival; rather it was the right to reproduction.
So the woman had to replace the coercive preponderance criteria with others, civilized ones, to which males have adapted by means of natural selection.

The first selection criteria were found in nature. We suppose that they have been: song, beauty and gifts. In Desmond Morris’s book Manwatching: Field Guide to Human Behaviour we see another variant. In primitive conditions supremacy is achieved through making a parade of males’ physique. The strongest member of the group goes to the top of the pyramid, and the weakest one remains the last. In contemporary societies bodily strength is replaced with another type of supremacy. The bodily strength has retreated giving way to hereditary power. And explains that the physically fit are replaced by the Heirs, the Regulators and the Talent men.
The reason for the criteria change is the transition from natural violence to civilized non-violence.

Man got adapted to the new “civilizational” criteria. This hypothesis is based on two ideas. First, because even today “song, beauty and gifts” are expressions of love or preference of men (males) regardless of the level of civilization, and second, because it is the same with animals. It is well known that many animals seduce their love (reproduction) partner with an inborn or acquired singing, beauty and presents. Steven Pinker in his book The Language Instinct says that anthropologists observe that often tribal chieftains are gifted orators and have many women: this could wonderfully give rise to the fantasy of all those who cannot understand how it is possible for language skills to be of significance from Darwinian point of view. But in civilized societies successful and famous men are also good language manipulators: they have both ranks and women.
So, apparently, the first attempts of male were imitation of the nature; singing by imitating the natural sounds, decorating himself with natural colours, bearing gifts originating from the nature.
Nature was a criterion and a measure for people. The need to distance themselves from nature has developed in men (males) acquired qualities such as fantasy, abstractness, etc., which more and more estranged them from the animals. Man sang (acquired language), decorated himself (created beauty), and made presents (acquired property). Through fantasy the man created a new visual reality for the woman. Richard Leaky believes that people, armed with language, had the ability to create new types of worlds in the nature: a world of internally contemplative consciousness and culture, a world that we invent and share with others. Men were provoked to create such a world, so that when abolishing interspecific competition, they could give women selection criteria. This gives an answer to the question: “How did concepts – the generalizations and abstractions, of which language consists – emerge?”

We have already arrived at the first definition of civilization: “Civilization is replacement of the coercive interspecific competition with non-violent fights”. Woman, the female, selects the winner through the such criteria as song, beauty and gifts. Song contests gave birth to language, the beauty – to fashion, and gifts – to property. Thus the first step was made to provide for human existence.

But abolishing the interspecific competition, man got biologically weak and he became an easier prey for animals. Then he made the second step quite easily, that is, he terminated the coercive fighting with animals having replaced it with dance. In order for the presentation of the fight between men and animals to be authentic, dancers (males) had to imitate the type and roar of animals for women, who had to select the male winner. In order to succeed, males wore animal’s skins (bears, wolves, deer, etc.) and roared, thus reproducing animal’s roar. At the same time they had to ‘describe’ the fight. This gave rise to (male) fantasy. Wearing animal skins for the needs of the dance, men discovered that fur kept warm and offered protection. Men saw themselves forced to adapt to nature or otherwise they could became extinct. In this way, clothing for the needs of the dance was the reason for which men lost their fur and invented clothes for everyday use.
“There is already evidence – archaeological researches and contemporary primitive peoples – convincing that before going hunting, man performed a special ritual for luck. Special songs preceded the deed. They were uttered as an element of the magical power, so that the mission could be a success.”
’The primitive man’ did not believe in anything else, but in his own survival and the survival of the genus. I believe that so called “rituals” and “magical forces” were a way of selection of the male heroes.

Traditions, reminding of that stage of civilization, exist even these days. Thus we reached the second definition of civilization: “Civilization is a replacement of the coercive struggle for supremacy with a non-violent one.”

After totally eliminating violence as a criterion (natural selection), the woman began to select on the grounds of language (music, word), beauty (decoration, fashion, art) and gifts (wealth, property). Man has gone from the natural (subconscious) selection to the acquired (conscious) selection, that is, man is not a result of natural selection!

Final definition of civilization: Civilization is the survival of the weak.

In order for the weak to survive, someone should protect him. This is the Law. The laws are a result of the civilization, which is supposed to protect and ensure the survival of the weak members of society.
The term “human rights protection” is, by its nature, the other type of the legal action of an interpersonal relation: if I respect the rights of another man, I also require to respect my rights. Rights and obligations in a sincere human and interpersonal relationship create a mutual communication of respect and understanding.” The term “human rights protection” is opposite to “natural selection”; it contradicts to the competition between species. Respect protects the weak, who unable to defend himself.

Schematically, what was stated above can be presented in the following way:

Song Beauty Property
Respect, Justice, Peace, Fantasy, Love, Affection, Religion, Spirit, Life after Death, Art, Sport, Language, Philosophy, Science, Ethics, Politics, Aesthetics, Thought, Knowledge, Analysis, Abstractness, Dance, Theatre, Idea, Reason, Consciousness, Alphabet, Truth, Lie, Soul, Letters, Sense, Humanism, Humour, Remorse, Laugh, Cry, etc.

I would like to underscore that the stated concepts are not autonomous and independent of each other. For example, humour may be a combination of fantasy and knowledge, remorse – a mixture of ethics, humanism and knowledge, etc.

There is a link between the three forms of civilization, that is, between song, beauty and property. The key-words of any language are the verbs “to be” and “to have”. The verb “to be” relates to the selection of males by females on the ground of beauty: “I am handsome.” The verb “to have” relates to the selection on the ground of property: “I have property.” If civilization was based on other selection criteria, for example, running or fishing, the key-words would have been “run” and “fish”: “I run fast”, “I fish successfully.”


The natural selection principle, as formulated by Charles Darwin, applies always and to everything, but it demands the choose of the selection criteria and environment.

“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.” (Darwin, Ch. The Origin of Species)
Nature Civilization
Violence Voise Beauty Property

According to the above table we have:
A) Environment - Nature, Criterion - Force
B) Environment - Civilization, Criterion - Language, Beauty, Property

In nature the stronger one survives, in civilization the more communicative one, more handsome and richer one survives. The only difference between civilization and natural selection is in the criteria for selecting a man by a woman for reproduction.

Still, what does a selection criterion mean? Why does it exist? In my book Civilization and Natural Selection, I define Life as a decrease of entropy. And a live being decreases entropy. The stronger, the smarter or the better organized one decreases his entropy! In civilization, the creature that speaks and is rich and handsome is better organized. This creature, this man decreases his entropy at the expense of the increase in the entropy of his victims: the uncommunicative males became the victims of the silver-tongued, the poor – to the rich males, the ugly – to the handsome ones.

Selection criterion is the process of decrease in the process of growth of a creature (or generally, a phenomenon) at the expense of an increase in the entropy of another creature (or phenomenon).
It is the way, the criteria that change, while the essence remains the same. In nature, it is power, violence; in civilization, it is song, beauty and property.

The natural selection principle is nothing but decrease in entropy or in fact, Life.


Çankaya University

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