Natural selection favoured friendliness in early humans

“… in Homo sapiens natural selection favored friendliness — that without realizing it we were self-domesticated by our own evolution, and that our more agreeable demeanor is responsible for our success and propagation across the planet.”

and more ominously…“There’s a network in the brain that may dampen empathy and no longer calculate what those who threaten our own group are thinking–you don’t necessarily perceive those individuals as fully human”


Buddhism includes a process similar to evolution of species in the gradual development of right view, the difference being this process is spiritual not material and is dependent on conscious will to progress, not universally driven by material survival. In the untrained mind lacking knowledge to exert wise attention (yoniso manasikara), the mind makes unwise choices:

“The mind is not a blank slate. Even before contact is made at the senses, the factors of bodily, verbal, and mental fabrication have already gone out looking for that contact, shaping how it will be experienced and what the mind will be seeking from it. Because these fabrications, in an untrained mind, are influenced by ignorance, they lead to suffering and stress. This is why insight has to focus on investigating them, for only when they’re mastered as skills, through knowledge, to the point of dispassion can they be allowed to cease. Only when they cease can suffering and stress be brought to an end.”—Thanissaro

"The Blessed One said, “Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned.”—MN 2, Sabbasava sutta

The asavas are sense-desire, desiring eternal existence, and ignorance, for practice presented as the ten fetters.