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Freedom Expanded: Book 1—The New Biology

Part 8:5H The Self-Domestication Hypothesis

In terms of providing a nurturing-avoiding, human-condition-escaping explanation for bonobo behaviour, the problem with the SEM is that it only offers a supposed explanation for bonobos’ lack of aggression, and so still falls well short of being able to provide a supposed explanation for bonobos’ extraordinary ‘personal restraint’, ‘respect for others’, ‘loving’, ‘moral’, cooperative, harmonious, gentle state. There is a big difference between not being aggressive and being loving. Given this shortfall, nurturing-avoiding, mechanistic biologists clearly needed to come up with a more sophisticated version of the SEM, one that could supposedly account for the bonobos’ extraordinary cooperative, gentle, peaceful, loving nature. This supposed solution was provided in 2012, with the presentation of the so-called Self-Domestication Hypothesis (SDH) by anthropologists Brian Hare, Victoria Wobber and Richard Wrangham (one of the originators of the SEM) in a paper titled ‘The self-domestication hypothesis: evolution of bonobo psychology is due to selection against aggression’ (Animal Behaviour, 2012, Vol.83, No.3).

The first point to note is the use up front in this title of the paper of the idea that the ‘evolution of bonobo psychology is due to selection against aggression’, as if being able to ‘select…against aggression’ is a normal, acceptable biological principle, a fait accompli, when it isn’t. As emphasised, genes are selfish; outside of the love-indoctrination situation they don’t allow for ‘selection against aggression’ between sexually reproducing individuals. What is being put forward is the superficially persuasive but biologically flawed ‘cooperation is more advantageous than competition and therefore cooperation can be selected for’ argument that the SEM relies on, but to be putting it up front in their title is an outrageous bluff, a desperate deception, an all-out effort to create the illusion that ‘selection against aggression’ is sound, acceptable biology.

Another point that should be made before looking at the soundness or otherwise of the SDH is that its proponents suggest that it not only explains bonobo cooperation but potentially human morality as well by concluding their 2012 paper with the statement: ‘The self-domestication hypothesis is therefore a potentially powerful tool for understanding the processes by which selection shapes both psychological and other seemingly unrelated traits, including those in humans.’ (Incidentally, the ‘psychological’ ‘traits’ they refer to are behaviours, such as tolerance and playfulness, not a psychosisso like the theory of Eusociality, the SDH does not address the psychology of the human condition, rather it is another desperate attempt to deny it.)

Which brings us to the accountability of the SDH. Supposedly inspired by research into domestic dogs and the experiments of the Russian scientist Dmitri Belyaev in domesticating silver foxes for the fur industry, the SDH proposes that ‘selection against aggression’ inadvertently involves selection for youthfulness or juvenileness, so that adults in subsequent generations end up retaining juvenile traits. Hare, Wobber and Wrangham’s paper describes these juvenile traits as being the ‘pro-social’ behaviours of ‘increased tolerance’, ‘increased adult play’, a ‘decrease in predatory motivation’, and ‘decreased xenophobia [fear of outsiders], and says they are accidental or ‘correlated by-products’ of the original SEM-derived ‘selection against aggression’ process. Because this cascade of juvenile ‘by-products’ resulting from an original ‘selection against aggression’ is also thought to account for changes between wild animals and their domestic descendants, such as changes between wolves and dogs, it is also known as the domestication syndrome.

Essentially, when the proponents of the SDH say that ‘In addition to showing less severe forms of aggression compared to chimpanzees, bonobos show differences…that appear analogous to the domestication syndrome’ (ibid), what they are claiming is that the increase in ‘pro-social’ behaviour that characterises the ‘domestication syndrome’ bridges the gap between the mere ‘lack of aggression’ that the SEM could only hope to account for, and bonobos’ extraordinary ‘personal restraint’, ‘respect for others’, ‘loving’, ‘moral’, cooperative, harmonious, gentle behaviour. However, juvenile ‘pro-social’ behaviour does not replace or override the selfish genetic need to aggressively compete for the fundamental biological needs of food, shelter, territory and mates. In fact, species that have been domesticated, like dogs and foxes, still aggressively compete for food, territory and mating opportunities, something that is almost entirely absent in bonobo behaviour. So the SDH’s claim to bridge the gap and explain bonobos’ selfless, loving behaviour is simply another giant bluff. The truth is that without the involvement of love-indoctrination to first establish unconditionally selfless love in the system, retarding stages of maturation alone can’t create a state of unconditionally selfless love.

Certainly, as will be more fully described below, we humans have domesticated dogs and even silver foxes by selecting for tamer and more social juvenile characteristics, the effect of which has been to retard the development of these animals so that they retain the tamer, more tolerant and more ‘pro-social’ behaviour of juveniles into adulthoodwith the juvenile physical characteristics of floppy ears, more neotenous faces, etc, also carrying through into adulthood. However, while retarding development does bring the tamer, more tolerant, more ‘pro-social’ characteristics of the juvenile stages to adulthood, it doesn’t free the genes from their need to be selfish, and so doesn’t eliminate selfish competition and aggressiononly love-indoctrination can do that. Juvenileness is a form of more ‘friendly’ and tolerant socialness but it isn’t a selfless state. In fact, as stated, dogs and foxes who have been ‘puppyfied’ still aggressively compete for the resources of food, territory and mating opportunities, behaviour that lies in stark contrast to bonobos’ selfless and loving behaviour. Being more friendly, prepared to mingle and socialiselike domesticated dogsis an improvement on the SEM’s reduced aggression theory for bonobo behaviour, but the truth is it still falls well short of being able to account for bonobos’ unconditionally loving behaviour.

A brief summary of the love-indoctrination process that was described in Part 8:4 may help clarify this failure of both the SEM and the SDH.

The love-indoctrination process states that by selecting for longer infancies (which primates, with their arms semi-freed from having to walk on all fours, were able to do because they could hold a helpless infant), and for more maternal mothers, all within an ideal nursery environment of ample food and few predators, an infant’s brain is able to be inscribed or indoctrinated with unconditionally selfless love, thus allowing it to grow up to behave selflessly. An accidental, but fortuitous, side-effect of this indoctrination or training of a mind in selfless, truthful, effective thinking, however, was the emergence of consciousness, for once liberated, the conscious mind could then support the development of selflessness by consciously favouring (especially in mate selection) more selfless individuals, thus greatly speeding up the development of selflessness. Since the training in selfless love tended to wear off with age, selection for selflessness became, to a degree, a selection for youthfulness, resulting in more youthful, neotenous characteristics in adults. Both the SEM and the SDH, in effect, describe this process but without the key element of the involvement of the nurturing of unconditional selflessness; they omit the whole process of love-indoctrinationa glaring omission that created two problems. First, it necessitated the development of the flawed, dishonest ‘selection against aggression’ argument to attempt to explain how selfless cooperation could emerge without love-indoctrination. And, second, since this ‘selection against aggression’ could not, in fact, create unconditionally selfless love, only a supposed reduction in aggression, it could only ever lead to less aggressive, tamer, more tolerant, more social characteristics in adults. The point is, unconditionally selfless love is not produced by the situation espoused by either the SEM or the SDH, whereas love-indoctrination does produce love, which can then be actively selected for. So neither the SEM or the SDH explain the extraordinary ‘personal restraint’, ‘respect for others’, ‘loving’, ‘moral’, unconditionally selfless, cooperative, harmonious, gentle behaviour we see in bonobos and in our own moral instincts. The delaying of the onset of adult competitiveness and aggression that the SEM and the SDH describe does not produce an unconditionally loving individual; to produce that you have to be selecting for individuals that have been nurtured with love, but that is a process neither the SEM or the SDH recognise.

To suggest that selecting for juvenileness can lead to less aggressive juvenile ‘psychology’ being carried through to adulthood to the point of eliminating selfishness was simply a deceptionanother bluffby the proponents of the SDH. In interviews Hare has conducted about the SDH we can see him trying to bridge this gap between the extraordinarily cooperative, gentle, peaceful, unconditionally selfless, ‘loving’ behaviour that bonobos display, and what the SDH is able to supposedly explain, namely ‘pro-social’ traits such as tameness and ‘increased tolerance’, when he describes bonobos as ‘peaceful’ (Claudia Dreifus, ‘Why Bonobos Don’t Kill Each Other’, The New York Times, Science, 5 Jul. 2010) and ‘kind’ creatures (Brian Hare speech at Poptech 2010: see <www.wtmsources.com/139>) who ‘absolutely are upset if there is any hint of aggression in the group’ (‘Bonobos – Making Love Not War’, Catalyst, ABC-TV, 20 Sep. 2007), and who find ‘joy in working with others’ (Virginia Morell, ‘Dogged’, Smithsonian mag. Oct. 2007)as if those traits and emotions are what his hypothesis is able to explain the origins of.

This attempt by Hare to bridge the gap between the extraordinarily cooperative, selfless behaviour that bonobos display, and what the SDH is allegedly able to explain, is very similar to Wrangham’s earlier claim that the SDH is able to account for bonobos’ extraordinary (and these are his words) ‘personal restraint’, ‘respect for others’, ‘loving’, ‘moral’ behaviour. Furthermore, it was also described earlier how, in their 2012 paper, Hare, Wobber and Wrangham said their ‘self-domestication hypothesis is…a potentially powerful tool for understanding the…psychological…traits…in humans’‘a potentially powerful tool for understanding’ the origin of our unconditionally selfless moral nature no less! Hare has also proposed that ‘bonobos display…what might be thought of as our better angels’ (Seth Borenstein, ‘“Hippie chimp” genome may shed light on our dark side’, Science on NBCNews.com, 13 Jun. 2012), which again is our unconditionally selfless moral nature!

The truth is, domestication or juvenilisation cannot create this type of behaviour without there having been love-indoctrination, it can only stymie the growth of adult types of behaviour, and so Hare and Wrangham are having to exaggerate its effect to account for bonobos’ love and gentleness. Yes, it is only as part of the nurturing, love-indoctrination process that juvenilisation can produce real ‘loving’, ‘moral’, ‘peaceful’, ‘kind’, ‘joy’ in cooperation, ‘personal restraint’, and ‘respect for others’, and an abhorrence ‘of aggression’.

All my publications have included a description of the love-indoctrination, mate selection process, with an account of humans’ domestication of dogs appearing in my 1988 book Free: The End of the Human Condition (see <www.humancondition.com/​free-love-indoctrination>), and a description of humans’ domestication of both dogs and foxes appearing in the 2009 edition of my book The Great Exodus (see <www.humancondition.com/​exodus-mate-selection>). (I should note that Wrangham was sent Free in 1988, and in 2005-2006 all three SDH authors were sent another of my publications, The Human Condition Documentary Proposal, which also contains a description of the love-indoctrination, mate selection process (see <www.humancondition.com/doco-maternalism>)). The reason I referred to how ‘domesticated dogs are derived from their common ancestral wild type by neotenyretarding development at some juvenile stage’ (Free: The End of the Human Condition, p.142 of 228) was because the domestication of dogs and foxes does dramatically illustrate some of the aspects involved in the love-indoctrination, mate selection process, particularly how powerfully effective conscious selection can be in producing a change (it ‘Explains [the] speed of human development’ (ibid. p.142)), and how the development of stages of maturation is retarded by selecting for youthfulness (it ‘is a marvellous illustration of the development of neoteny’ (ibid. p.141)). However, I explained that ‘self-selection’ (as I termed the process that bonobos and our ape ancestors employed to assist in the development of unconditionally selfless behaviour) differs to the selection we employed to domesticate dogs and foxes in that without love-indoctrination to create the unconditionally selfless love that could then be selected for, ‘self-domestication’ (or, again, as I originally termed the process in all my books, ‘self-selection’) can only achieve tamer, more tolerant and more social characteristics in adults, not unconditionally selfless, love. As I emphasised in Free, ‘On their own genes could not develop selflessness but once there was love-indoctrination [they could](p.47).

An illustration of the difference between the effects of love-indoctrination and the effects of domestication put forward by the SDH, which is merely selecting against aggression, can be seen in the work of the famous ‘dog whisperer’ Cesar Millan. As mentioned in Part 8:4D, Millan is forever informing dog-owners that the mistake they are making in trying to control their dogs is that they are attempting to love them into behaving less aggressively when what they have to do to achieve control and reduce aggression is impose dominance. Millan is, in effect, recognising that domesticated dogs haven’t overcome the ‘animal condition’ of selfishly having to ensure their genes reproduce, which is why they are still highly competitive for food, shelter, territory and a matea competitiveness that can only be partially overcome through the imposition of a dominance hierarchy, where each individual accepts its position in a hierarchy that is determined according to the competitive strengths of the various individuals involved. Dog owners try to, as it were, fill the heads of their dogs with love, try to train them in selfless love, try to nurture them into behaving integratively, in fact, try to love-indoctrinate them, but our selection of dogs has only been for juvenile tameness, not for unconditional selfless love, which can’t be selected for unless the love indoctrination process has established it in the system in the first place. Incidentally, this is why the taming/​domestication of dogs and even foxes has been able to be achieved in a relatively short time, a much shorter time than it takes to achieve love-indoctrination, which, as has been explained, is a difficult, time-consuming process because it has to overcome the powerful intrinsic selfishness of genes. The fact is, there is a huge difference between the love-indoctrination supported by mate selection process and our domestication of dogs and foxes. Domesticated dogs and foxes are still ‘locked out’ of the fully integrated, ‘heavenly’, unconditionally selfless, all-loving state. As Millan teaches, dogs are competitively trying to dominate all the time. Real love, giving away a competitive advantage, is not a consideration of theirs. ‘Pro-social’ or ‘tolerant’ behaviour and love are very different.

The following extract from my first book, Free: The End Of The Human Condition (1988), describes how humans have been able to select for both more friendly, social behaviour and cute, neotenous features in dogs: “There is a marvellous illustration of the development of neoteny in an article that appeared in the April 1982 edition of the Smithsonian magazine titled ‘Livestock-guarding dogs that wear sheep’s clothing’. The authors, Lorna and Raymond Coppinger, ‘believe the many breeds of domesticated dogs are derived from their common ancestral wild type by a process of neotenyretarding development at some juvenile stage. The authors divide the maturation of a puppy into four stages. The first stage is characterised by such behaviour as the puppy licking its mother’s face to stimulate food delivery, some fighting over spoils with litter mates and the tendency to scurry for the den yelping if threatened. Second stage pups play with objects. The third stage is characterised by ‘stalking’ behaviour, pouncing and short chases to cut (‘head’) off a litter mate’s retreat. In the fourth, pre-adult, stage the pups start following a parent (‘heeling’) and may even participate in a hunt. The authors argue that cattle driving dogs or heelers such as Welsh Corgis and Australian Blue Heelers have had their mental and anatomical development retarded at the fourth stage. For instance, they have the pricked ears characteristic of this stage in wild dogs. Collies that muster or round up sheep belong to the third ‘heading’ stage and have the characteristic half pricked or ‘tulip’ ears. Most pet breeds fall into the second stage: flop-eared, broad-headed, object players, chasers of sticks and balls. Hounds, retrievers and spaniels are retarded or ‘stuck’ in this stage. Shaggy ‘livestock [sheep]-guarding’ dogs that stay with the flock day and night to protect them from predators are of the first type. They have the looks of mop-eared fluffy puppies. They play with each other and ignore sticks and balls. They lick the faces of the sheep and their behaviour towards the sheep are the responses of a puppy in ‘loose association’ [integration] with the rest of its litter. Their apparent aggressivenesstheir barkingis derived from that first-stage adverse reaction to novelty and change. The article says that ‘In a relatively short period of time, perhaps as little as 10,000 years, the dog has adopted many shapes. Breeders continue to change these shapes and behaviour by speeding up or slowing down (retarding) the developmental rate.’

Alongside a bookmark containing the words ‘Explains speed of human development’, I continued in Free: The End Of The Human Condition with the following reference to the work of Jacob Bronowski: “To reveal how important self-selection was in human development what has been said above about the speed of the development of breeds of dogs can be compared with a statement made by Jacob Bronowski in the book, The Ascent of Man (1973), which accompanied his TV series of the same name: We have to explain the speed of human evolution over a matter of one, three, let us say five million years at most,’ Bronowski stated. ‘That is terribly fast. Natural selection simply does not act as fast as that on animal species. We, the hominids, must have supplied a form of selection of our own; and the obvious choice is sexual [mate] selection.” Yes, Bronowski was right, ‘Natural selection simply does not act as fast’ as the changes that took place in ‘human evolution’, and therefore ‘We, the hominids, must have supplied a form of selection of our own; and the obvious choice is sexual [mate] selection.’ As emphasised, ‘sexual selection’ did greatly assist and ‘speed’ up the development of the love-indoctrination processas Bronowski said, ‘human evolution’ occurred ‘over a matter of one, three, let us say five million years at most’but that speed was nothing like as fast as our domestication of dogs and foxes has been, which, as has been explained, was a lot easier, albeit a less integrative, process.

For brevity’s sake, I didn’t include in Free: The End Of The Human Condition the following diagram from the Smithsonian article, but it is so revealing of the neotenising process that it should be included here.

 

A chart comparing the neotinisation (head profile) of dog breeds with the developmental stages of infancy to adulthood.

Diagram of the neotenising of dogs from the April 1982 Smithsonian magazine

 

As mentioned, humans have not only domesticated dogs by neotenising them, we have also employed the process to domesticate foxes. As described in the 2009 version of my book The Great Exodus, on 5 November 2000 I saw and taped a 1998 documentary titled The Secret Life of the Dog about the domestication of dogs, which also described the domestication of silver foxes for the Russian fur industry. (Note, this documentary directed and produced by David Malone and David Paterson, is not the similarly titled documentary that was directed and produced in 2010 by Dan Child.) Attempting to explain how wolves were transformed into dogs, the documentary reported researchers postulating that By choosing the cutest looking and friendliest puppies we inadvertently helped the dog evolve to be better at exploiting us.’ The commentary continued: ‘No one really knows if domestication of the dog was simply a matter of it becoming more friendly, could it really be that simple? This mystery has been solved by an astonishing 40-year long experiment on domestication. Zoologist Dr Liudmilla Trut and colleagues at an experimental farm in Central Siberia have…transformed wild silver foxes, a cousin of the dog, which…are usually aggressive and afraid of people and can’t respond to human affection…into not just a tame animal but one that actually is domesticated. To mimic evolution the experiment was simplicity itself. Only those that didn’t bite would be allowed to breed the next generation…These tame ones are the result of 40 generations but the original aggression disappeared after only three or four generations. After that the experiment tried to increase the positive reactions. After five generations they created foxes that had lost the worst of their fear and aggression, but they were still a long way from being domesticated…After 10 generations the wild fox had been transformed from a creature afraid of humans to one like the dog which craved human contact…The first physical changes happened in parallel with profound behavioural changes. It was only after the tenth generation that they began to have these physical changes [such as white markings, floppy ears and curly tails]…they finally had not just tame foxes but truly domesticated foxes. Animals that were themselves born childlike in their openness and playfulness. For wild foxes the period of friendly socialisation stops when they are two months old…In the tame foxes this friendly period never does end, they stay playful and never do become fearful. The Russian experiment had proved that simply breeding for friendliness they could tap into the deepest level of the fox’s brain, unhinging the animal’s natural adult instincts and kept it forever young, trapped in a playful childlike state’ (Equinox, Channel 4 in assoc. with Discovery Channel; aired on ABC-TV 5 Nov. 2000). Since watching that 1998 documentary I have seen many similar reports on the Russian fur breeders’ experiment in ‘taming’ foxes.

Again, humans have been able to ‘domesticate’ dogs and even foxes by selecting for the juvenile characteristics of ‘tameness’, less ‘aggression’, more ‘openness and playfulness’ in dogs and foxes, the effect of which has been to retard the development of some dogs and foxes so that they retain these ‘tame’ and tolerant characteristics into adulthoodin addition to the juvenile, neotenous physical characteristics of floppy ears, curly tails, etc. However, while retarding development does bring the more tolerant juvenile stages into adulthood, it won’t free the genes of their need to be selfishonly love-indoctrination can do that. Juvenileness is a more tolerant state but it isn’t in itself selflessin fact, dogs and foxes who have been ‘kept…forever young’ still aggressively compete for resources such as food, territory and mating opportunities. So yes, while the domestication of dogs and foxes does illustrate some of the aspects involved in the love-indoctrination, mate selection processparticularly how powerfully effective in producing change conscious self-selection can be, and how the development of stages of maturation is retarded by selecting for youthfulnessit is not the same as the love-indoctrination training in selflessness practiced by our ape ancestors and by some primates today, especially bonobos.

With regard to domestication occurring in the wild through ‘self-selection against aggression’, Hare, Wobber and Wrangham suggest that not only does the SDH account for bonobos’ evolution, it also raises ‘the possibility that self-domestication has been a widespread process in mammalian evolution’. They suggest that self-domestication may operate in at least three other situations: in urban ecosystems where greater tameness could allow an animal such as the Florida Key deer an advantage over less tame individuals (in a similar way to how proto-dogs evolved from wolves); in highly competitive, densely populated habitats like islands where animals such as the Central American spiny rat have been observed to be less aggressive than their mainland brethren; and lastly, they suggest that self-domestication might account for the relatively high level of tolerance Sulawesi macaques display compared with other species of macaques.

While populations in the first two situations may exhibit relatively less aggression, using them to support the explanation for bonobos’ highly cooperative society is irrelevant and misleading, because in both cases the selection for less aggressive traits is being driven by environmental factors, or natural selection, rather than by sexual selection, which is what is occurring in bonobos, where female individuals are dictating mate selection. Tamer deer and rats are not proactively selecting for tame partners, rather those individuals who happen to be tamer are better able to exploit a new niche (in the case of deer), or aren’t wasting energy defending an undefendable territory (in the case of island rats), and so are at a fitness advantage compared with other individuals, and hence more likely to survive. As we have seen, a fundamental flaw of the SEM and the SDH is that they claim sexual selection is able to reduce mating aggression between individuals, and, outside of the love-indoctrination scenario, it isn’t. There may be particular circumstances in nature, as in the species cited, and in dogs and domesticated foxes, where natural selection may favour a slight reduction in aggression, or increase in tameness, but it has nothing to do with sexual selection by females against aggressive males. Natural selection against aggression can only occur to the degree that individuals retain a competitive fitness advantageand so individuals still need to aggressively compete for food, shelter, territory and mates. Species in these environments do not begin to show any tendency toward the love or selflessness so readily apparent in bonobo society.

On the other hand, it is possible that the third example given by the SDH authors, Sulawesi macaques, including the Tonkean macaque, have actually begun the love-indoctrination process and so do show characteristics similar to bonobos, but, importantly, not because of ‘self-domestication’. As described in Part 8:4B, being semi-upright as a result of their tree-living, swinging-from-branch-to-branch, arboreal heritage meant primates’ arms were largely freed from walking and thus available to hold dependents. This means that primates are particularly well placed to increase maternalism where conditions are conducive, and as the Tonkean macaques ‘have no non-human primate competitors or strong predators’ (B. Thierry, et al, ‘Tonkean macaque behaviour from the perspective of the evolution of Sulawesi macaques’, Current Primatology, Vol. 2: Social Development, Learning and Behaviour, 1994, pp.103-117) it is likely that they have begun the love-indoctrination process, which would explain their tolerance.

It should be mentioned that in addition to claiming that the SDH explains bonobos’ cooperative ‘psychology’, self-domestication also claims to account for the emergence of consciousness. As Hare puts it, ‘we would not have evolved the kind of intelligence we have…if we hadn’t had a shift in temperament…Controlling one’s fears, paying attention to others, finding joy in working with othersthat’s the path to intelligence…whether for dogs, apes or humans’ (Virginia Morell, ‘Dogged’, Smithsonian mag. Oct. 2007), or more succinctly, ‘Humans got their smarts only because we got friendlier first’ (Brian Hare & Vanessa Woods, ‘Out of Our Minds: How did Homo sapiens Come Down from the Trees and Why Did No One Follow?’, What’s Next? 
Dispatches on the Future of Science
, ed. Max Brockman, 2009, p.180 of 237). What is, in effect, being argued is a more sophisticated version of the Social/​Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis where complex social situations were said to give rise to conscious intelligence. As was explained earlier, social problem solving is an obvious benefit from being conscious, but all activities that animals have to manage would benefit enormously from a conscious mind’s ability to reason how cause and effect are related, to understand change, to make sense of experience, to be insightful, so it is completely illogical to argue that it wasn’t until the need to manage complex social situations that consciousness developed, whether that was enabled by tolerance towards others or not. As explained earlier, the nurturing of selflessness liberated the fully conscious, intelligent mind from the block that exists in non-human species’ minds against thinking selflessly and thus truthfully and thus effectively.

A comparison between the predictions made by the SDH and those made by the love-indoctrination process further highlights the limitations of the former. Because the self-domestication hypothesis uses aspects of the truth, such as the fact that female bonobos do select for more cooperative mates, and that bonobos are neotenised, it does account for certain aspects of bonobo morphology and behaviour. But its limitations are made very clear by what it does not account for. For example, self-domestication cannot account for the fact that nurturing and infants are the primary focus of bonobo society; it does not account for the expectation of nurturing that is instinctive in bonobos infants, and why they are so distressed when they don’t receive it that they die; it does not account for bonobos’ increased length of infancy; it does not account for the reliance of males upon their mothers throughout their lives; it does not account for bonobos’ more prominent breasts; and it does not account for why bonobos are more bipedal than chimpanzees. As Part 8:4 shows, all of these traits can be accounted for by the love-indoctrination process, as they are all adaptations that have occurred either to facilitate nurturing or as the result of it.

In summary, there is a quantum difference between the claimed reduction in aggression that both the SEM and the SDH can supposedly produce and the very real love we see in bonobos. Neither the SEM or the SDH begin to offer an accountable explanation of that species’ extremely loving behaviour, whereas the nurturing, love-indoctrination explanation fully accounts for it. Although genes are a tool for developing order, they are limited in the sense that they can’t normally develop unconditional selflessness, which means that genetics is a selfish, cold, loveless process; it is not going to produce bonobos’ warm, gentle, cooperative, loving behaviourunless the love-indoctrination path is taken, for it alone has the power to superimpose love on an essentially selfish system. As Drummond said of nurturing love, it was only ‘once this fire began to warm the cold hearth of Nature and give humanity a heart, the most stupendous task of the past was accomplished’. In contrast, the SEM and the SDH are desperate and hopelessly flawed attempts to explain bonobo behaviour and the origins of our moral nature without admitting the critical role of nurturing.

Having now analysed the mechanisms of both the SEM and the SDH, we now need to describe the immense danger they present to the human race.