When Elizabeth Gilbert wrote her book The Signature of all Things it involved her protagonist intimately involved at the time with Darwin, Wallace and her heroine was connected with publication of the origin of species (Darwin } an idea that the exception about mankind not necessarily engaged in the survival of the fittest (Darwin), and the exception of man in that descent(Wallace), with the drama of that triad of people in the evolutionary wars. Elizabeth has written one of the best books I have read since Cutting for Stone years ago. There is nothing in the book that defies the theories of evolution that all three of her scientists have independently arrived at other than this unique consideration of man. That mankind can or will act altruistically and not in their own interest or survival on occasion will differentiate mankind from other species in respect to the concept of survival of the fittest. That mankind has the capacity for altruism, acting to benefit the other without reward is a capacity that we can accept. Is this part of a capacity for transcendence? Is it part of a capacity for abstract thought? What it is not is an imperative to always act for survival of the fittest. It is not even worship of prudence. Let the cynical swing in the wind I say. Celebrate the risen elements of mankind from time to time. Examples of such actions spring to mind over and over again. Celebrate the goodness of mankind. Maybe transcendence and abstract thought are the sole provenance of mankind's species alone.
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