Evolution is the biological stance of a plasticity to the development of species, physical and emotional changes are divided between factors of species variation such as environment and physical and psychological differences in all humans such as race*, gender and social affairs. When I state the biological plasticity I am describing the use of environment on species development (meaning that if a species develop in jungles than that species will have long arms for use of trees, however if a species migrates than this will change according to the environment (On similar record and I’m sure that this is redundant but I’d feel at fault and amiss if I didn’t mention this question (please forgive me if this is a tangent, but I feel it necessary). Why Chimpanzees still exist alongside Humans if we supposedly evolved from their sub-species? The simple answer is we didn’t, all great apes from Africa and Asia evolved from sub-species mutation and minuscule amendments from a common ancestor. So whilst we were evolving in Africa as the Homo Habilis our common ancestor group were spreading out to new geographical areas and either inter-breeding forming new species or going through the long process of Darwinist (Or Lamarck) micro-evolution. That our common ancestor died out due to not adapting as fast as her sub-species.)). This can play a role in two key ideas which will form my paragraphs and the last being the relevancy to “The Outsiders” as a concept
One: Why evolutionary psychology plays into the individual today and what characteristics are still present also, why are Humans near inherently violent yet moral?
Two: Nature over nurture and how evolutionary behaviourism acts upon the actions of individuals
Three: Why is this relevant to in “The Outsiders”?
Individuals of the philosophical persuasion often ask why is it that Humans are so inclined towards evil, greed and violence, whilst other members of the great ape family such as Bonobos are less inclined to innate violence and work (even with their enemies) to achieve fairness (we can see the community in the zoo studies which taught us Bonobos would free one another and share the food instead of taking all of it)? The answer to this question is long and complicated and to fully answer we must return to a time of early cellular life. (Cellular life and where/how it originated is a question that encourages further discussion on theology which I do not want to involve myself to avoid offence and wish to simply talk off facts) Cellular lives which mainly populated the ocean which was plentiful of all resources and encouraged cellular life to evolve to suit abundance. Abundance granted us to develop bigger bodies (similar to that of the Coelacanth and Caldes) which can be supplied by the abundance of plant and animal life in the oceans. When we evolved to suit the falling water availability and inadequacy of food the organisms that would soon be humans started to colonise the shores with gradual changes. Humans gradual changed from near-reptilian organisms to heavily amphibious Ape creatures. However this point in the timeline circa Seven million years ago we diverged from our common ancestor with microevolution with mimicry of our common ancestor and by environmental evolution and mutation we became adaptable to our environment, however, not without cost. It is said that we evolved in the Riverlands of Africa and more precisely Ethiopia, and archaeological finds can narrow it down to Awash river, this land is a resource poor and this lead to “gang” or “tribe” mentalities to protect resources (oh and to spread genes more efficiently). Many Ape species fought and created raiding parties to steal resources and spread their genes to protect their tribe (sound familiar?) (we can even see this with the Male bone structure being more protective than female bone structure so that males can raid better). Whilst this was happening the Bonobos who were living in the lower rivers that were slightly more abundant (also geographically peaceful in comparison to the upper rivers) and they self-domesticated themselves by females dictating breeding measures with nonaggressive apes. Violence is innate to humans because our evolutionary background dictates competition rather than compromise. Throughout all of history we see that domestication came and we became more peaceful but the tribe mentality never fades because we love our resources and breeding prospects. Even today we are competing with one another, we shall go back to the birthplace of Humans the Riverlands in Africa where African poachers are competing with one another to hunt, skin and capture the most bonobos to gain resources for our “tribes”. However, as the famous latin saying goes Homo homini lupus (Man is a Wolf to Man) however we are a wolf to anyone who threatens our resources.
Psychology of the human species is quite odd. Seldom will you find a species that is so manipulatable in the sense of ideology, pride and prejudice, the ideas that are ingrained into us as a species can be attributed to two major categories. Indoctrination of a populace or individual in time of uncertain circumstance. The second category is innate behaviourism from birth, and the debate stems from whether we as a populace are more inclined towards natural impulse or ingrained behaviour.
Now have a random hypothesis:
(This is a theory that I have been thinking about for a few hours) I have a hypothesis that I believe may have some validity (however, I’m not a scientist therefore, the hypothesis holds no ground outside of my observations and worldview) I have talked about nature vs nurture and how I believe that today we are driven heavily by nurture rather than nature. Yet, this has given me an idea that is quite akin to the genetic determinism theory. However, my hypothesis takes it one step further and is summarised in one question “If equations of physics and molecular biology show us that behaviourists of particles and cells replicate over periods of generations of replacement, what if larger mammals such as Humans have perceptions, physical behaviours and critical thinking skills are determined by indoctrination of not only by figures of your family but by actual pre-existent genetic and physiological preconditioning. For example, racism may be a genetic trait that is fostered by indoctrination. An individual may say that is extreme, to which I’d agree however let’s do something more minuscule. Twins that were separated (both named James) shared exactly the same lives from career prospects, hobbies, both got divorced, had similar ideology and pets, this may be a coincidence however this hypothesis gains more credibility each time an adoption study comes out that shows that the offspring shares interests, political views and even habits of that of their biological parents (and If I may share an anecdote here for a second my brother scarcely` knew my father and he didn’t have time to gain traits, but many of his habits and ideology fall very similar to my father (I have been taking mental notes whenever this has happened)) this has led me to believe that all behaviours especially physical habits that we may possess are innate. However, mental standings and processes may be corrected over time, physical habits that are innate cannot be corrected so easily. I would attribute this to chemical and muscle retention that may transfer through offspring we can see that this happens to a lesser extent physically in mammals and even has small traces of credibility in mitosis too which lends credibility to the theory. Or I may just be analysing this, not sure.)
The Outsiders promotes many prompts of writing, which is why I believe it was chosen as a book to read when children are starting to achieve the pinnacle of critical thinking in their lifetime. The Outsiders when it is viewed via the window glass of a biologist is an allegory for the human experience and natural aggression of humans for senses of pride and resource. From the Greaser-Soc divide to the murder of Bob to the realisation of likeness we can see that the allegorical devices for the absurdity of the human nature is shown in The Outsiders.
I read many of the works of Darwin, Phil Mason and Sam MacLeod, Dr. Anjeanette “AJ” Roberts for reference.
Terms and notes:
*(Read the bell curve if you wish, it is used in many white pride circles, but it gives us a view of the controversial opinion of innate intelligence based on genetic determinism. However, those who like to say that “Africans are inferior humans” I would reply that according to pure statistic Africans didn’t interbreed with the Neanderthals meaning that Sub-Sahara Africans are the most human out of all of the other races. Which gives them no more right over anyone.)
Natural selection: The fittest to adapt to a new environment will be the species that can survive
Genetic determinism: The relations of subjects of race, gender and many other aspects on abilities or behaviours of people
Now, I wish to create some paragraphs that describe the mentality of violence on characters in The Outsiders (Written in a rushed manner as I was totally incompetent and forgot all about it but then remembered just as I was about to sleep, it was like that Spongebob episode. Apologies)
Why violence is carried out and opinions of violence are homogeneous in near every aspect. Each group can be categorised into three that being the jingoists, reluctant subscribers, and the oblivious companion. This model goes into near all groups not just the Soc-Greaser divide in the book. The model can show the philosophical leanings of the pack mentality. Not just the individual’s leaning towards the issue of violence but the casus belli they use to justify such action against the other group or neutrals. With this we see the Greaser-Soc divide turn into a discussion of Ceaser level defensive imperialism and a discussion into how this applies in the real world.
The Jingoists would encompass the feelings of violence of Tim Shepard, Dally and Bob. They are the extremes of the spectrum. They strive for expansion of gang activity and view the other group as inferior and would stoop to a many a level and tactic to rid the greasers or sock of the upper hand or chance in any event. They have been ingrained with a near pseudo-speciation complex where they view the other group as inferior to them. They don’t use justification to convince anyone that they need to fight. This group simply does it out of pure hate or revenge. “The Jingoists” opinions on violence is that is that they will advance their own or gang’s agendas as detailed in the explanation of Dally “The shade of difference that separates a greaser from a hood wasn’t present in Dally. He was as wild as the boys in the downtown outfits, like Tim Shepard’s gang. In New York, Dally blew off steam in gang fights” And to detail the Soc’s jingoist Bob and his actions in jumping Johnny “but I had seen Johnny after four Socs got hold of him, and it wasn’t pretty. Johnny was scared of his own shadow after that.” Which goes to show that the gang mentality can be both collectivist and individualistic in nature. However, both push the agenda of the gang to promote pseudo-speciesism towards the other group.
The reluctant subscribers would be centrists such as Cherry, Ponyboy, and to a lesser extent Randy and Sodapop. They realise the other group’s position and that the fighting and conflict is pointless and that so much could be achieved if they worked together. But the gangs have too much a history shrouded in a cult of personality of their leaders. Therefore, they subscribe to a gang mostly for self-interest and not because of a deep psychological or ideological hate for the other group. One of my favourite quotes from the book (from Cherry) is “”I could just tell. I’ll bet you watch sunsets, too.” which details that behind all the ideological games they are all people who are bringing detriment to their communities. They don’t have any justification besides self-interest.
The last group who are the obvious companions, which encompasses everyone in the gang who doesn’t fit the other two roles. They simply are a part of the gang due to the circumstance of a greater nature. They have a negative view of the other group, but they are simply there to be enablers and pawns in the chess master’s game. They do not have any justification and follow the Jingoistic I don’t have any quotes that truly detail this. However, just think about the character Steve. He was useless story wise but played roles in all the gang lucrative activities and rumbles.
A common theme is that, from the information gathered from the book, the Soc-Greaser divided doesn’t have a casus belli nor do the groups have an official bellum finis however just a conglomerate of individualistic ambitions which will not be achieved. This shows us how pointless the gang warfare and riots are in the modern world. With little justification and no bellum finis, they are meant to spiral into total devastation until they are fighting over who will rule the ashes they once called their communities. Violence isn’t justified in this book…
(Oh, and thank you for letting me do another book for the next task, as much as I like The Outsiders as a piece to, I seldom can stand writing about this wretched book anymore. My sincerest apologies for the ramble here, however, I feel like we’ve covered the entire Human endeavour and how it relates to this book and these characters. So my deepest and most sincere gratitude and gratefulness is extended to you for ridding me of the book for the next task.)