The definition of evil from thefreedictionary.com:

Causing ruin, injury, or pain

According to this: Every activity which causes pain to you or anyone else is an evil.

Let me explain this concept with some example. I am sure that most/some of you would not agree with my examples that they are examples of evil. But to be frank, they are...

  1. Gym Workout : Gym workout is an evil to your muscles. But, It evolves them too.

  2. Studies: Studies, heavy schoolbags, strict teachers are an evil to the students and surely it evolves them.

  3. Eating Non-veg food: Chickens are evilfully killed and served in front of you and yes that actually evolves your health.

  4. In a broader sense even toothaches are evil. I don't know what evolution they may cause but continous toothache not treated over generations may make you a teethless species.

So evil evolves and continous evil over the course of time causes evolution.

The theory of evolution says the same thing "the survival of the fittest" and "Superior races replacing the inferior ones over the course of time"

Now, what if a revolution happens. Inferiors unite and win over superiors and they stop the evil. They start living happy and peaceful life and stop every evilful act.

So now actually the evolution is reversed, the growth is reversed.

I am not saying that we are not evolving in present days, but the thing which keeps us evolving are the evils done by our superiors.

In a broader sense, even the "downvotes" are evil and Thank you for the evolution. :D

  • 1
    You may find interesting to focus on the word FITTEST, not ONLY strongest survives, but also fastest, best at hiding, best at masking, best at poisoning, best at reproducing, best at surviving hunger. Evolutions is not about being EVIL, it is about being SMART. Lions are also using intellect to plan their attacks. Because Lions are NEITHER strongest NOR they are fastest :) And by the way Lions do use what you called "inferiors unite" to win. Lioness hunt in packs :) Evolutions makes sure that not ONLY weakest die but also that there are NO strongest. Harmony - Evolution.
    – Asphir Dom
    Jan 2 '15 at 18:23
  • My question is more towards human races instead of animals. Because animals don't have option to be good and kind with their food. But humans do have. Jan 2 '15 at 18:31
  • It's a bit unclear to me what you want with your 'evil' paragraph. How do you want to define evil? Without that, this question is too unclear to be properly answered, however, your last paragraph makes sense if we'd just skip the before-last paragraph.
    – user2953
    Jan 2 '15 at 19:43
  • Evil means some act which is bad.. it may be something which you may not consider bad but I may. for ex. Being a non-veg Jan 2 '15 at 20:00
  • Is there any chance you might be able to share a little bit more about what you might be reading that's made this problem interesting to you? What exactly are you hoping for someone here to explain to you? What does an answer look like in your mind?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Jan 2 '15 at 22:44

Simple characterizations of evolution with a phrase are at best analogies, and like all analogies are imperfect. You've chosen ones that don't give the right insights in the areas you wish to apply them.

The reason is that fittest is actually a technical term meaning "those who, for whatever reason, leave the most cumulatively fit progeny (sum of fitness of progeny)". Since the definition of fitness is recursive it is very awkward to work with. Luckily, in "normal" circumstances (e.g. with fruit flies) you can just count progeny.

But that alone doesn't work well for humans because our "environment" is social and social activities like wars and starvation-of-the-poor-during-a-famine can take generations to unfold. So, for example, if there were a "superior" race (let's call them the Overlords) and the "inferior" races (let's call them the Masses, since we probably need a lot of them for this thought experiment) united to wipe them out, would the Overlords actually have superior fitness? No! The Masses, due to their ability to organize and revolt, ended up with superior fitness.

So the whole good/evil evolution/revolution thing is an interesting idea, but really doesn't map onto the concepts well.

On the other hand, you ask, "will goodness and kindness slow down the evolution(ary) process?" Here the answer is: it will probably change it, and depending on how goodness and kindness manifest, it might "slow down" the process in that the particular gene variants each individual has are less determining of their fitness than they would be in the absence of such goodness and kindness.

But again, details really matter. Genes affect personality; personality affects how good and kind one acts. If part of the goodness and kindness of society as a whole is rapidly identifying and isolating non-good, non-kind individuals so they cannot cause mayhem, and reduce their fitness as a result, this could lead to a very strong selective pressure against gene variants that strongly encourage anti-social behavior! So it makes more sense to think of goodness and kindness changing the fitness landscape. In a kind society, certain kinds of defects (like genetic blindness) may be less detrimental, while other defects (like uncontrolled aggression) may be more.

So the set of gene variants in the population of humans will change based on who is reproducing and how much (evolution), but whether "faster" or "slower" is hard to say. There could be trends that we dislike, e.g. if those people who are best at advancing all of our wonderful technology do not reproduce, that wouldn't bode well for our continued advancement over many millenia (assuming no technological solution was found). But you have to look really carefully at what the data actually is. For instance, affluence and culture have bigger impacts on reproductive rates than do geekiness these days.

In closing, although it is tempting, one should resist the urge to mix up evolution with good and evil. Most simple attempts will yield confusion rather than insight. Sophisticated attempts may be valuable and insightful, but this is a non-trivial task since it requires good working knowledge of human society, evolutionary processes, and moral thought.


Neitzsche's 'genealogy of morals' would agree with you, if a bit sarcastically. He diagnoses Christianity as a revolution against the excessive power of ownership. The logic that let us move from a 'Roman' to a 'Christian' ethics is basically exactly the deduction in your question. He points out that this might have been very good for us, but eventually got well out of hand.

At the point a 'religion of pity' arises, the culture has decided to stop evolving physically, generating more power of it its own, and evolve 'spiritually' by 'pulling down power from Heaven'.

However this revolution, as revolutions are wont, places another kind of 'best person' in the ownership position. From Nietzsche's position this sort of person dominates in its martyrdom, and siphons off the vitality of Europe by honoring death over life.

We are losing the worst parts of Heaven's overreaching, but I think that modern society has stayed with the decision that our future power is not in biological evolution, in that we have decided that breeding for numbers is a losing game, and it is the game our genes would rather have us play.

Our leading classes have few children, and invest in them intensively whether or not they go on to breed (I as a Gay man thank God). Whole nations have adopted 'minimal breeding and maximal nurture' as policy, and others have adopted it as a matter of course in their notions of middle-class progress.

We still honor the power of priestliness over the power of physical investment, but our priests are scientists and handlers of information about the physical, rather than the metaphysical.

  • You mixed up everything. Which classes have few children? For all i see there are more people on earth than EVER and they have more power than ever. Especially with 3d printing :D Confusing answer. He asked does goodness slow evolution?
    – Asphir Dom
    Jan 2 '15 at 19:00
  • @jobermark: I liked your answer anyway. Jan 2 '15 at 19:12
  • No economic class, as a group, has more power than the American professional classes, who have few children. We are working primarily on the successful and educated to delay marriage and create less children, and so fewer copies of their own genes, and thus less evolutionary advantage. Is that making things worse, or better. I would say better, so counter-evolution, pro-good. But we should avoid going too far with this explicitly, or we end up back in the Middle Ages with everyone avoiding 'worldliness'.
    – user9166
    Jan 2 '15 at 19:18

If you extend your thinking a bit, you can get right back to your answer without needing to include evil.

Imagine that the genius of evolution sees things beyond the immediate survival of the next moment, and is mapped onto a greater survival of the species - and not just necessarily for tomorrow, but for the day after that as well - and (I don't know the accepted scientific position about this) that evolution is concerned with the survival of the species in the most logical and pragmatic way possible (I realize I am personifying something that is in no way a person).

This must be the case in some way or another - otherwise intellect would have much less value as a survival skill. Once you learn how to skin the cat, the one who's best at skinning should survive - and that would be the strongest or fastest.

We are a communal species. Hitler (for example) -- actually he's overused and undeserving of all the chatter -- let's use Pol Pot -- Pol Pot was certainly an evil individual by almost any possible definition - by wholesale slaughter and oppressive policies that lead to starvation and malnutrition, he was responsible for between 3 and 8 million deaths. His evil was a pure demonstration of survival of the fittest (although in this case the fittest were by no means necessarily superior in any way) or survival of the powerful.

If he continued, and others like him persisted to succeed in molding the world according to their whim - eventually humanity would kill itself off entirely. Atom Bombs or Country-wide gas chambers or something worse - the powerful would seek more power - and eventually humans would disappear or be seriously diminished.

I realize here, that I'm taking extreme liberties with how I interpret evolution - but for the sake of making a point without knowing many important details, let's call this a metaphor.

In the metaphor of Pol Pot the fittest and others like him, it is too easy to imagine the eventual destruction of our entire species. It probably came closer than we can imagine - and perhaps the Cuban Missile Crisis is a perfect example of evolution by kindness (not really - but thoughtfulness or responsibility). Were Kennedy or Khrushchev driven solely by the maintenance of power (i.e. surviving their power), then almost certainly, something existentially devastating would have taken place. The survival of our species would have been threatened, and the Will to Power would have produced an effect that was contrary to the intentions of evolution.

What ruled the day in that instance was the power of compromise,long-term thinking,rationality,and humanitarianism (If you read the play by play events surrounding the crisis, it's really quite inspiring). What prevailed - what furthered the survival of not just the individuals involved, but our entire species, were traits that are not associated with evil or power, but traits that are associated with concern for our fellow man; traits that are associated with goodness and perhaps even (sometimes) weakness.

Human evolution appears to be something different (or at least from where I look) than traditional dominance based evolution we are most familiar with. While the strongest, fastest, and most dominating animals in many species must be the ones who survive to procreate; in our species we have developed traits and capacities that extend beyond our physical attributes and it is the survival and evolution of those very traits that determine the boundaries of being human.

Unlike shark or alligator offspring, no human can survive on their own(*there are a few notable exceptions - see The Cambodian Jungle Girl - but in her case and every similar case, the feral child is more like an animal than a human being), and thus we depend on the survival of our species for our own individual survival. More specifically; even if all of us could survive individually (surviving the body) - that which makes us human (surviving the mind or the spirit) can only survive in community, and thus what survival of the fittest means for the evolution of our species can only be understood in terms of the survival of humanity as a whole.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.