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 Stop signs: The end of Darwin

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 27, 2002
We've done it. We've actually taken evolution and killed it dead. It doesn't matter what side of the evolution/creation argument you were on, the point is now moot.

Stop signs: The end of Darwin

We've done it. We've actually taken evolution and killed it dead. It doesn't matter what side of the evolution/creation argument you were on, the point is now moot.

In a nutshell Darwin's law can been reduced to 'survival of the fittest'. There is loads of evidence to support this assertion over geological ages, but we don't need to get into that because it doesn't matter anymore. Western civilization has determined that humanity at least will not evolve any more if we ever did.

How, you might ask, could this be true, if we are going to evolve, how can society stop it. Society as a whole certainly has no major control over the genetic developments that lead to mutations that lead to evolution of a species over huge samplings, etc...

True, but society does have control over stop signs. Same thing.

Think about it for just a minute.

Your average Joe is driving home from work during rush hour. Approaching a courtesy corner intersection he elects not to stop and see if anyone is coming, he's probably too busy chatting on his cel phone and fiddling with the radio dial to bother. Your average Jane is driving home from her work at the same time. Approaching the same intersection from a non-parallel direction she goes right through, after all, stopping would cause her to smudge her lipstick which she is applying in the rear-view mirror.

Joe and Jane meet in the middle of the intersection at 50km/h (30m/h), they crash, they die, and they remove themselves from the gene pool. Darwin has been proven correct, survival of the fittest by removal of the weak.

Had Joe and Jane had a brain in their heads, and thus been useful members of the gene pool, they would have slowed down and made sure it was safe before entering the intersection.

Had just Joe, or just Jane had a brain in their head, they would have slowed down, seen the other speeding through and avoided death, thus preserving themselves for the next generation.

But no, society didn't like that.

Consider what happens now to our idiot Joe and Jane who approach the same intersection that's been made into a 4 way stop. Joe comes up, notices the stop sign. First thought for idiot Joe... screw it, go through. Second thought... ohhh, can't do that, there could be a cop there with a radar gun and a nasty ticket book, that would suck, my insurance premiums are high enough already. Idiot Joe stops. First thought for idiot Jane... I really don't know about this colour lipstick with these shoes, where is .. oh, stop sign, guess I should stop. Idiot Jane stops. Idiot Joe looks at idiot Jane and sees a breeding chance, huhhh, female, must mate. Idiot Jane looks at idiot Joe and who the hell knows what she thinks. They meet, they fall in love, they reproduce. Thus killing the concept of survival of the fittest, we've just let the idiots breed more idiots.

Society has taken away the benefits of being intelligent, it reduces our need to think by doing it for us on so many occasions, most amazingly, basic personal safety through intelligence. An intelligent person should know not to do stupid things, that's part of the intelligent part I would think. Unfortunately, society as a whole has determined that it should do the thinking for us. Where there is no law in place to keep people from doing stupid things, or where there is no expectation of the law being enforced, people who have lost the need to think for themselves do stupid things.

In the best light, perhaps society is setting us up as a species for the next big wipe out, the cataclysmic weirdness that is going to reduce the idiots in the gene pool and lead to a more evolved 'type' taking over. If they took away stop signs and traffic lights, drunk driving laws and speed limits tomorrow, the death rates would be cataclysmic... in the short term. Those stupid enough to celebrate this softening of the law by driving at 150km/h (90m/h) through intersections while swilling Jack Daniel's would die out fairly quickly I would think. Sure they would take a lot of other folk with them at first, but the really intelligent people would just stay the hell off the roads for a wee while.

Before people flame this for being incomplete, I acknowledge this. Space is a consideration in this forum. I have many more thoughts on it, who knows, if there is some intelligent conversation following this perhaps I'll get to them.

For those with me I propose a new slogan;

"Save humanity, take a stop sign home today!"


point-by-point rebuttal (4.00 / 1) (#1)
by majubma on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 10:40:32 AM PST
Who said that being smart is presently an evolutionary advantage?

There are lots or reasons to think that genetic evolution is has become irrelevant to humans. But your argument is just silly.

-- All information wants to be free, especially information about what you do in the privacy of your own home.

but what about the nutty putty? (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by LLWhipist on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 01:01:32 PM PST
In a world where the super heroes of our children are wrestlers and homer simpson has achieved god status, you are likely correct, who does say being smart is an evolutionary advantage.

as for silly argument, well, yeah. do you think I advocate the wholesale theft of stop signs? Saddly, this would likely just cause confusion and accidents from people who were too stupid to figure out what to do if they weren't there. that being one of the main points of the argument.

people have stopped thinking for themselves. our governments support this position. a stupid population is more maleable? I dunno why.

On a side not, I bought my 10 year old (today is his birthday) some nutty putty (orange silly putty in a cute little peanut thing) last night. it specifies on the label that the product is not to be used as an earplug.

not only are we not to think for ourselves, but someone somewhere likely sued the company because they shouldn't be expected to be intelligent enough not to figure that out for themselves. that this advisory now exists is evidence that your average company fears that the government will legally support the average consumers right to be a complete moron and misuse things.

since it didn't say not to use it as a contraceptive, my wife and I are going to fashion it into a novelty condem. if she gets pregnant, I'm suing.

Our collective intelligence saves us here. (4.50 / 2) (#3)
by dmg on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 01:05:09 PM PST
Fortunately for the protagonists in your vehicular altercation, we have such inventions as airbags, seat belts, and we have qualified medical people. Although as individuals we may be of average intelligence, the miracles of mass-production mean that we may all enjoy the genius of our great inventors.

As for Darwin, isn't there enough pseudo-religious crap out there already without bringing his half-baked theories to the table ?

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

You are an idiot biofascist. (3.66 / 3) (#4)
by em on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 02:19:48 PM PST
Evolution is not about "survival of the fittest", but about differential reproduction". People don't "remove themselves from the gene pool" by dying accidentally; the proportion of their particular genes relative to other alleles in the pool diminishes as a function of reproductive failure. This would remain true even if all human beings were immortal.

Thus, your rantings about "evolution has stopped" are the pure unadulterated BS of an idiot who fashions himself smarter than the rest of us, and seeks confirmation of this in pseudo-science. You probably even think that the Darwin Awards are funny.
Associate Editor,

ohhh, a title (4.00 / 3) (#10)
by LLWhipist on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 04:59:57 PM PST
is associate editor and cool title or something, just checking if it's something you put after your name to make yourself feel cool or if you figure it makes you seem more important.

clearly the ability to understand meaning in words isn't part of your editorial skill set.

that's ok though, we can go to your points about evolution.

Darwin (you might have heard of him) in his book (doesn't seem you've read it based on your comments) "On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" on more than one occassion likens his 'Natural Selection' as "(t)his preservation of favourable variations and the rejection of injurious variations". I'm wondering if you understand what that means or how it refutes your argument. s'ok if you don't, ask your older sister to explain it to you when she is done watching Buffy.

hmmm, well.

He goes on much past that though, and should you like I'd be happy to write you a quick summary of his work for your perusal.

Perhaps then you can take your head out of your ass.

Past that though, you kept going, just for fun. Curiousity here, are you one of those idiots who hopes to race around like a fucking lunitic when you are old enough to have a licenese? Seriously, are you the type who wouldn't drive responsibly if it wasn't for the laws 'enforcing' basic human intelligence?

I don't fashion myself smarter than the rest of the people, or even you necessarily. Apart from this load of shit you've posted I've not seen anything else you've done so I can't comment on it.

And well, yeah, I admit to getting a kick out of the Darwin Awards, they're just funny.

You sir, do not belong here. (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 06:59:30 PM PST
Since em's argument went soaring far over your head, I suggest you take your contrived stupidity somewhere more appropriate, where idiocy, feigned or real, will go pretty much unnoticed.

Darwin awards.. (1.00 / 1) (#25)
by DG on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:21:43 AM PST
The site was funny for five mins. THen I realized It seemed mostly a rehash of the "huh huh,Dumbass People die.., so it must be funny.. right??" thing..

I feel more pity for the people they put up there than feel like laughing at them.

I did like the debating though.. then the creation naysayers beat the creationists so hard that it took the fun out of reading anything on the forums, just the same crap over and over again on how creationists are wrong. I like debate even if one side wins.

Any chance we might see a aq editor return and start some debates over there? At least they arn't like the zombies over at /. or kuroshit Just my thoughts there

2002, DG. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

4-way stops are better than stoplights (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 03:02:36 PM PST
from the perspective of the person needing to make a left turn.

That rather depends (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by dmg on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 04:43:04 PM PST
On which country you are in. Some degenerate countries (UK, India, Japan, The Bahamas, various African states) actually force you to drive on the wrong side of the road. Try and avoid that "Insular American" sterotype in future. I always try to.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Wrong side? (1.00 / 1) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 02:42:27 AM PST
How's that?

Well think about it. (1.00 / 1) (#16)
by dmg on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 05:07:51 AM PST
In those countries, you are required BY LAW to drive on the LEFT(!!!WTF) side of the road. If you drive on the right, you risk losing your drivers license.

These countries claim that we drive on the wrong side, but think about it: most people are right-handed. Surely its better to have the steering wheel on the side which allows one to operate the stick-shift with one's RIGHT hand...

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Hmmm! (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 06:55:41 AM PST
Quite logic. And in fact, most people being right handed is the very reason why they drive on the left side. Strange, no? N ow, let's see if somebody knows the answer to this mistery.

I don't see (1.00 / 1) (#21)
by Amitabh Bachan on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:06:47 AM PST
why you Americans are concerned with the positioning of the 'stick-shift'. I was under the impression that manual gears and a clutch were seen as 'difficult' over there and you all have some stick poking out of the steering wheel that you jiggle about until it goes to 'D' when you want to go anywhere.

Sophisticated countries drive on the left because it means that we change gear with the left hand. This leaves the right hand free for more useful tasks such as operating a mobile phone, opening a beer or gesticulating at other road users.

I assume you are a proletariat. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:08:56 AM PST
Firstly, you appear to know how to drive a car, so you are clearly not rich enough to hire a chauffer, or even use the poor person's chauffer, the taxi-cab.

Secondly, it appears your "car" has a "stick-shift", which must mean it is of the inferior manual-transmission sort. You obviously cannot afford even the slightest luxury - you probably don't have air-conditioning, airbags or power-steering either.

Alternatively, even if you could afford such luxuries, you would shun them in order to be "old-fashioned". Manual transmission the gearing equivalant of a hand-crank to start the car. Even Formula 1 racing drivers do not put up with manual transmission - and they are the best drivers there are. -- because it isn't

Darwin is alive and well and living in Mac OS X (4.00 / 2) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 03:23:49 PM PST
Darwin is the colonel of Mac OS X. It is available to anyone willing to shell out $129. It doesn't have anything to do with stop signs.

Maybe you should do some research before you post.

Research? (1.00 / 1) (#24)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:19:21 AM PST
What about you doing a little research. Darwin is available for nothing, nada, not a dime. Cheaper than Darwin you only have Lunix.

The real idiots of this story, (4.00 / 2) (#7)
by because it isnt on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 04:00:54 PM PST
are the people who came up with the idea of grid systems for street layout. What's really needed are ring roads.

Of course, if you really do need a crossroads, 4-way stops are the worst possible way to go about it. Alternating lights are a good idea, but what you really need is a roundabout, or a rotary as the Yanks call it. There is a constant flow of traffic on the roundabout. Roundabouts are built to give you ample viewing of the oncoming traffic, so you can know if you have to slow down or not. They also don't penalise drivers doing left/right turns.

For super-style, you can upgrade your roundabout with traffic lights and get a gyratory. Not only does it have a groovy name, but it allows better congestion management in the mornings, when some drivers are intimidated by the volume of traffic on the roundabout and don't get on it when they have the chance, thus holding up everyone behind them. -- because it isn't

Roundabouts (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by First Incision on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 04:53:25 PM PST
I've never heard the term "rotary," but I am a Southerner, not a Yankee. A roundabout was installed in front of my apartment complex about 3 months ago. Let me tell you, it is DAMN scary, when someone whipping around it at 45 MPH the wrong way.

But I guess it would be the correct way in England. So maybe I'm the one confused.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

It's just a case of getting used to it. (2.00 / 1) (#15)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 04:02:18 AM PST
We've had roundabouts for a long time in the UK, so pretty much everyone is used to using them. They're not difficult.

In the US, do you go round them anti-clockwise? That would seem to make the most sense, because then you'd be turning off to the right (away from the driver's side). In the UK they run clockwise so you turn off to the left.

getting used to roundabouts (1.00 / 1) (#17)
by richie roo on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 05:41:06 AM PST
Although roundabouts are easy to cope with if you've seen them all your life, nothing can prepare you for the "magic roundabout" in hemel hempstead (in the south of england, near London) - this creation of the devil has 1 central roundabout with 6 mini-roundabouts around the outside of it.

Magic roundabout? roundabout of doom more like..


Oh, God - *THAT* thing!!! (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 06:34:45 AM PST
New towns are bad as well - East Kilbride is just a big long string of roundabouts stuck together. The locals call it "Polo Mint City". Where the A90 runs through Dundee is nearly as bad.

If you think the A90 at Dundee is bad, (2.00 / 1) (#20)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:00:47 AM PST
you've obviously never been as far as Aberdeen. Say hello to the Haudagain roundabout, where the A96 crosses the A90. On a hill. -- because it isn't

I used to live in Aberdeen. (2.00 / 1) (#26)
by gordonjcp on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 09:22:58 AM PST
It has its fair share of scary roundabouts. The one at the Exhibition Centre with the traffic lights on it was the first one I'd encountered like that...

We do (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by First Incision on Sat Jun 29th, 2002 at 11:08:52 AM PST
We do go around the roudabouts "counter-clockwise" (as we say), and turn off to the right. But I don't think anyone told this guy who almost hit me.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

So let analyse this masterwork (3.50 / 2) (#12)
by PotatoError on Thu Jun 27th, 2002 at 08:32:37 PM PST
You open by stating that evolution is dead. Fair enough, but I expected to see some reasoning behind this.

You then started commenting about natural selection. I must say, I was quite stunned by the amazing revelation that natural selection can be reduced to "survival of the fittest".

Finally you summon up some mythical people named Joe and Jane and proceed to write a novel about their driving antics, which as you explain, leads to the demise of the concept of an almost two hundred year theory (like what the fuck?).

I'm not flaming your diary for being incomplete. On the contary, I am flaming it for being bullshit.


Has anyone else ever notice? (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 02:58:39 AM PST
That alot of people are idiots in the eyes of the person. Joe might think bob's a idiot, bob thinks Jane's stupid, and Jane thinks joe is a moron. Everyone seems to picture them selves "smart", I don't care if you think that you are "smart", if you got good grades, or you have a good job cause well no one really smarter then anyone else, some happen to be blessed with understanding. I have the same information in my head has Joe blow, but I or joe could have a deeper understanding of the info, giving him or me a edge. Any one can gain knowlodge, its understanding that gives you power. Does a plane control gravity, or defy it? Alot of people say control, shows you how much understanding of gravity they have.

A plane doesn't do either. (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 07:10:32 AM PST
Also, I am smarter than you.

And the winner of this years moron of the year is (1.00 / 1) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jun 29th, 2002 at 02:52:57 AM PST

Sympothetic and yet (none / 0) (#27)
by Pseudo on Fri Jun 28th, 2002 at 02:26:43 PM PST
I feel your pain stupidity is bad for everyone's health.

however there is much to be said for common sence. Many very intelligent folk haven't an ounce and they shouldn't breed either.


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