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Posts Tagged ‘natural selection’

Arranged Marriages make Darwin turn in his grave!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on October 9, 2012

This afternoon I was reading “The Theories of Darwin and their relation to Philosophy, Religion and Morality”. To be honest, this is my first serious attempt at understanding Darwin’s theories more deeply. It is indeed exciting to explore the theories of descent, evolution and selection. There is so much logical reasoning that drives this study. I have not yet formed an opinion on the validity of his arguments, but I certainly know that arranged marriages do not go down too well with the theory of selection.

Arranged marriage is an ancient tradition in India and still account for 90% of unions here. In most cases, the match for the boy and girl is decided by the parents on either side. A lot of parameters influence these decisions, one of which is the economic and social background of the families. With so many criteria to match, the characteristics of the boy and the girl end up being pushed down the measuring scale to quite an extent until in some cases, the boy and the girl do not matter at all.  Religion, Caste, Financial strength and Astrological charts over shadow what the bride and groom to be really want.

Natural selection allows mating among individuals in a species in a way that the characteristics most desirable to survival are passed ahead. In my head, these characteristics can be categorized as Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual. Ideally, we would want to see a union of individuals who are strong in at least one of the four areas. The more the better. While families measure each others collective strengths before setting up a marriage, they do not focus completely on the individual strengths of the boy and girl involved in the union. This gives rise to matches where mating selection is not being based on selection of the fittest, and the result can be off-springs that do not possess any significant prowess in either Physical, Emotional, Intellectual or Spiritual domains.  We may not be passing the best characteristics to the next generation.

When a union is based on love, I trust the boy and girl to select their match based on strengths in at least one of the above mentioned four categories. You may love someone for how physically strong they are, or how emotionally balanced they are, or how intellectually or spiritually gifted they are or all of the above. Such unions have a better chance of passing desirable traits to the next inhabitants of Earth. Hence, I am in favor of love marriages over arranged. I do not comment on their influence on the success of the marriage, but I feel they have a better chance of sustaining human evolution.

P.S: I have just come from a 26 hour train journey that has rattled every bone in my body. It may have also had an impact on my thinking and the above post must be read with that in mind. The image above is that of my kindle on my “Super Pants” 🙂

Also, I do not suggest that arranged marriages “always” produce undesirable outputs. I am only suggesting that their probability to do so is higher.

As always, comments are welcomed.

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

 
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