I've had this come up twice in a debate. They have asked me why does friendship happen, and why do I feel so strongly about you being my friend?

I said that its because I enjoy their company, and it makes me happy to be around them. They "countered" by saying if we are products of natural selection, which they agree we are, that they wouldn't be friends with me (I'm a small, skinny guy, they were both big rugby players) They said that was God, I said that doesn't mean god, you can tell me why you're friends with me, but they kept pushing the natural selection argument.

Any way I could have handled it better? In the future? Better answer? Why does friendship exist (outside of the fact that early civs banded together to increase odds of survival)?


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They are misrepresenting the concept of natural selection and survival of the fittest.


Saying that one person is competing against another for survival is not the same as a group of the species being able to compete better in a natural environment because of having a similar genetic change and that groups lineage being able to survive and out last the rest of the species without that genetic change.


Natural selection happens over long periods of time. Not over one lifetime.

Alright awesome, thank you both for the quick replies. I think I understood that at some level, but just couldn't articulate it quite like that. thanks!

Just tell them: "you're the muscle, I'm the brains."

In the immortal words of Bugs Bunny: “What a bunch of maroons!”

I agree with both of u, and I add that natural selection can't be applied that way in nowadays society. Small n skinny is irrelevant for survival now and big rugby players are not the fittest. Furthermore survival of the fittest doesn't explain much of our society maybe because as a kind we're the fittest.


Anyway, our relationships are explainded by other factors rather than survival, i think we're far beyond that.      

haha yes this did make sense, and it was beautifully written. kudos.

drunk posting???  lol, nice!

@TJ Your understanding of the meaning “Survival of the fittest” is incorrect. Many people who have not studied the basics of Evolution assume that “Fittest” means the “Strongest”. The most apt traits or best mutations to help the organism survive in its current environment are seen as the “fittest” and are passed on so that the next generation can reproduce. That is the aim of Evolution. It has no long term objectives. We should use the term “Natural Selection” instead.


Here is an interesting bit from Wikipedia 

Conflation of "Survival of the fittest" and morality

Critics of evolution have argued that "survival of the fittest" provides a justification for behaviour that undermines moral standards by letting the strong set standards of justice to the detriment of the weak.[16] However, any use of evolutionary descriptions to set moral standards would be a naturalistic fallacy (or more specifically the is-ought problem), as prescriptive moral statements cannot be derived from purely descriptive premises. Describing how things are does not imply that things ought to be that way. It is also suggested that "survival of the fittest" implies treating the weak badly, even though in some cases of good social behaviour — cooperating with others and treating them well — might improve evolutionary fitness.[17][18] This however does not resolve the is-ought problem.


It has also been claimed that "the survival of the fittest" theory in biology was interpreted by late 19th century capitalists as "an ethical precept that sanctioned cut-throat economic competition" and led to "social Darwinism" which allegedly glorified laissez-faire economics, war and racism.[19] However these ideas predate and commonly contradict Darwin's ideas, and indeed their proponents rarely invoked Darwin in support, while commonly claiming justification from religion and Horatio Alger mythology. The term "social Darwinism" referring to capitalist ideologies was introduced as a term of abuse by Richard Hofstadter's Social Darwinism in American Thought published in 1944


Wow, what a back handed dig: 'We're so Christian that we've condescended to be friends with you.  You, the puny guy, whose wimpy little mind, so beset by exotic theories, doesn't realize his world view lands him on the lowest rung of the social ladder.  Poor thing.  Well, friend, we're here to Chrisplain* it to you, so you can see just how great we and our religion are.  If you want to be redeemed, like us, don't (just) worship us...bow down to our God.'


Even if they didn't realize how insulting their comment could be, you deserve smarter friends. 


*magical christian explanation 




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