Quote note (#251)
From Niven and Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye (end Chapter 3):
“They used to teach us that evolution of intelligent being wasn’t possible,” she said. “Societies protect their weaker members. Civilizations tend to make wheel chairs and spectacles and hearing aids as soon as they have the tools for them. When a society makes war, the men generally have to pass a fitness test before they’re allowed to risk their lives. I suppose it helps win the war.” She smiled. “But it leaves precious little room for the survival of the fittest.” […] …
“You were saying about evolution?”
“It — it ought to be pretty well closed off for an intelligent species,” she said. “Species evolve to meet the environment. An intelligent species changes the environment to suit itself. As soon as a species becomes intelligent, it should stop evolving.”
It makes you think (or rather, the opposite). The original sin of intelligence — falling back in blind homeostatic antipathy against its own conditions of emergence — isn’t so hard to see.