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BIOLOGY AND HISTORY
So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life — peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food.  Animals eat one another without qualm; civilize men consume one another by due process of law.
War is a nation’s way of eating.  It promotes co-operation because it is the ultimate form of competition.  Until our states become members of a large and effectively protective group they will continue to act like individuals and families in the hunting stage.
The second biological lesson of history is that life is selection.  In the competition for food or mates or power some organisms succeed and some fail.  In the struggle for existence some individuals are better equipped than others to meet the tests of survival.
Nature loves difference as the necessary material of selection and evolution; identical twins differ in a hundred ways, and no two peas are alike.
Inequality is not only natural and inborn, it grows with the complexity of civilization.  Hereditary inequalities breed social and artificial inequalities; every invention or discovery is made or seized by the exceptional individual, and makes the strong stronger, the weak relatively weaker, than before.  Economic development specializes functions, differentiates abilities, and makes me unequally valuable to their group.  If we knew our fellow men thoroughly we could select thirty percent of them whose combined ability would equal that of all the rest.  Life and history do precisely that, wit a sublime injustice reminiscent of Calvin’s God.
Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias.  For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies.  Leave men free and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically…
Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way.  Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity.  A society in which all potential abilities are allowed to develop and function will have a survival advantage in the competition of groups.  This competition becomes more severe as the destruction of distance intensifies the confrontation of states.
The third biological lesson of history is that life must breed.  Nature has no use for organisms, variations, or groups that cannot reproduce abundantly.  She has a passion for quantity as prerequisite to the selection of quality; she likes large litters, and relishes the struggle that picks the surviving few; doubtless she looks on approvingly at the upstream race of a thousand sperms to fertilize one ovum.  She is more interested in the species than in the individual, and makes little difference between civilization and barbarism.  She does not care that a high birth rate has usually accompanied a culturally low civilization, and a low birth rate a civilization culturally high; and she (here meaning Nature as the process of birth, variation, competition, selection, and survival) sees to it that a nation with a low birth rate shall be periodically chastened by some more virile and fertile group.
If the human brood is too numerous for the food supply, Nature has three agents for restoring the balance: famine, pestilence, and war.
But much of what we call intelligence is the result of individual education, opportunity, and experience; and there is no evidence that such intellectual acquirements are transmitted in the genes.  Even the children of Ph.D.s must be educated and go through their adolescent measles of errors, dogmas, and isms; nor can we say how much potential ability and genius lurk in the chromosomes of the harassed and handicapped poor.  Biologically, physical vitality may be, at birth, of greater value than intellectual pedigree; Nietzsche thought that the best blood in Germany was in peasant veins; philosophers are not the fittest material from which to breed the race.
In the United States the lower birth rate of the Anglo-Saxons has lessened their economic and political power; and the higher birth rate of Roman Catholic families suggests that by the year 2000 the Roman Catholic Church will be the dominant force in national as well as in municipal or state governments.
    —     Will and Ariel Durant
From their book: “The Lessons Of History, Chap.III
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On This Day In:
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2019 I’m Still Hungry
2018 What Matters
2017 By Far
2016 Until…
2015 Or Infinitesimal
2014 I’ve Looked At Clouds
2013 Undiscovered Ocean
2012 Feeling Old? (Part 2)
2011 What About Freedom?

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I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.
   —    Carl Sagan
[Perhaps, having seen the corruption and malevolence of the Trump Administration, the next four years can see the beginning of an American renaissance…  I hope so.  As I prayed four years ago:  “I may not agree with all (or any) of this President’s policies, but I pray he makes America a better place.”  Hopefully #45 was the “just” the darkness before the new day’s dawn.   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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“Are you a socialist?” Ted Turner asked Carl Sagan.  “I’m not sure what a socialist is,” Sagan replied.
But I believe the government has a responsibility to care for the people,” Sagan said.
“I’m talking about making people self-reliant, people able to take care of themselves,” he continued.  “There are countries which are perfectly able to do that.  The United States is an extremely rich country, it’s perfectly able to do that.  It chooses not to.  It chooses to have homeless people.”
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On This Day In:
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2018 Mine, Too
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2016 Before You Vote In November…
2015 Two Faithful Thoughts
2014 Love Light
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2013 Nothing Ridiculous
2012 Keeping Faith
2011 Summon Us, Don’t Criticize Us
2010 Obama’s Wars – Book Review
Game Two – Hearbreaking Loss

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We always live in an uncertain world.  What is certain is that the United States will go forward over time.
    —    Warren Buffett
[And the whole world will get through this, too…    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 I Asked My Family Doctor Just What I Had
2018 You Have Just Begun To Climb
2017 Equal Protection Under Law
2016 A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion
2015 Or You Don’t
2014 If You Ever Fall…
2013 Glory Days (part 2)
2012 They Follow A Pattern – If You Know What I Mean
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2011 Giving

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Below are two charts representing Corona Virus (COVID-19) fatalities in Italy and then the United States (below that).  The line on the Italy graph represent where the United States is now (between 500-700 deaths).  It also represents the projection of where we can expect to be in two weeks.
When looking at these charts please recall the Italian government called a national shutdown which is now going into the third week.  Notice the plateau at the far right of the Italy chart.  This shows the number of citizens who died is not zero, but the rate of deaths is no longer increasing.  We (the U.S.) have yet to impose a national shutdown.  In fact, if we do not maintain (increase) the shutdown we are almost guaranteeing we maximize the number of deaths from the virus.
The two following graphs show the COVID-19 death rate by age and then a comparison with the “standard” flu.  If you are young, you might be saying: “Well, it’s mostly old people dying.”  Yes, it is significantly more deadly if you are older.  BUT, before you say who cares, observe that COVID-19 is 10 to 20 times more lethal at every age group.
Finally, a chart showing the rate of deaths for the U.S. versus all significant occurrences world wide.  We are tracking almost parallel to Spain.  The problem is Spain has less than 50 million population and the U.S. has over 330 million population.
My suggestion is that you make NO plans to attend Easter services this year…
If we are VERY lucky, we will have herd immunity by the end of September.
We have a choice.  We can self-isolate…  Look after each other – family, friends and neighbors – while keeping a safe distance.  We are all in this together.  Stay well.
Chart sources are:  CDC (U.S.), CDC (China), Business Insider and MSNBC.
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On This Day In:
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2018 Nothing
2017 Approval First
2016 In Search Of Words
Day 2 – Blending
2015 At What Price?
2014 Intricate And Subtle Order
2013 Attention To Detail
2012 Aequanimitas!
2011 Consider This

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