Theory of evolution tells us how with millions of years the universe, its planets and organisms living on those keep on changing with time. As far as “living” are concerned we know only about earth that we proudly call “our” planet. Sometimes, I feel that the usage of “our” is so profound that it tells us that we own the planet; just like a bicycle or a toy. As we evolved seems like this feeling kept on getting stronger. As we understood the evolution and defined ourselves at the top of the food chain, it just became our default behavior. I assume I do not need to describe evolution here as most people hopefully know it and if not it is much better to access Wikipedia to read directly from the main reference point. I ask you to read it again to be aligned on its meaning. The reason is because the phrase “Survival of the fittest” by Herbert Spencer is more close to people than Darwin’s detailed explanation. As it is mostly the case, the simplification of a theory or phenomenon can make it more popular but can create confusion about its meaning. I know myself many people who aligns the term “fit” with “strong” as an example and that completely changes the definition of evolution.
If we have to believe Darwin’s theory of evolution, it would tell us that a species in general need to stay adaptive, generation after generation. This means they must be adaptable enough to respond to change and find ways to overcome the challenges. The challenge may be from within species, from other species or in general environment. It does not mean, however, that every individual in a species becomes exactly the same. But on average the species is stronger to survive. E.g. not every deer or cow need to run at the same speed to survive a tiger’s attack to keep the species alive. But they must be able to avoid predator area, detect danger, run as needed and ensure that they have more offspring born than deaths on average.
I wrote earlier about the reversal of evolution in a bit different context; “Are we turning into monkey’s again?” Somehow it is one of the most popular blog that I ever wrote! Today, I believe I am writing in a different context, keeping the above context of evolution in mind. As we consider ourselves as the best species on earth, we have come to believe in very strange theories. It is interesting that it is one of our capacity to create strange theories that made us so successful to survive so far. Today, we believe that every human life is important and must be saved. We believe in this so much that we have people today living in beds with no activity at all. In old times if an infant could not drink milk from its mother, it was sure it would die. Today, we put other means to keep it alive and later the kids grows up to one or other illness or sickness or disability. We have kids with different disabilities living long into their old ages with support of others. This would not be possible with rules of evolution or natural selection. We have people who cannot pass on their genes to the next generation by nature. But we find alternate means to create next generation. These are some of the pure physical/biological level conditions which makes these individuals/groups struggle in their life as well as to keep the species going in large. But, we have another aspect to evaluate “fittest” i.e. cognitive power.
We cannot talk about human evolution by simply referring to physical capacity or strength. It was not the physical strength that made us defeat Neanderthals or other bigger species. It was our cognitive power that made us overcome those obstacles. We were much clever to organize ourselves based on our capabilities. People understood their roles in the community and accepted the percentage of food they would receive. In general other species could also organize themselves in terms of who is guarding, who is the fighter, who attacks, who protects and so on. Most of the time these roles got decided based on physical capacity with contribution of mental capacity. It is in humans that there exists the biggest reversal of cognitive capacity as the main attribute in deciding the hierarchy. One king could have 300 thousand strong army with elephants and knights and so on. But, if he does not know how to use them properly, it could be destroyed by a much smaller army. This also ensured that evolution is keeping cognitive power in high regards as we were no longer just left to genes to improve ourselves. We could in fact take our surviving knowledge outside of our bodies and propagate it through generations.
I am assuming people can get the meaning the language. It shows test questions asking to calculate area.
Today, it seems we have structured ourselves in a way that a big percentage of population is trying to reverse the evolution. They are probably not doing it knowingly. It seems to be a side effect coming from their actions while following other “theories” and “stories” created by humanity. We are trying and succeeding to pull our competitive standards lower e.g. education especially mathematics, science, finance and so on. Communities are fighting to make things simple for kids to learn. It has lead to a situation that if a kid cannot calculate what is 600/10 or 8×7, we are allowed to say that it is the fault of education system. We are shouting slogans as we need to give kids the choice to decide what they want to learn rather than forcing them to learn maths, biology, chemistry, physics, history and so on. We give a reason that these subjects are useless to them and it is a waste of time on something which they won’t ever use in future. Parents are taking kids to schools by cars or give them motor vehicles even if the school is less than a km away. Why? Because it is too much to walk or bike. Kids have become so used to such comforts that they cannot even getup to get a glass of water!. Groups of people are sitting in cafes, virtual groups, social media shouting against financial systems as to how these systems are hiding and manipulating ordinary people. Some would say political system is bad, it must be changed. Others would say education system is bad. But none of them wants to read economics or get into financials to understand it or get into politics to change the system. In a more popular context, a lot of people want to be Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Luka Modrić, but hardly anyone wants to put an effort like them. At the same time, they would be full of wisdom discussing how it is so unfair that these players are getting so much money for just playing football while others are just managing to pay bills while working in stores or gas stations. Why? Because it is just too hard to learn or to play the same kick hundred of times for years or to become a politician. We want today that people must get equal pay or even get a sufficient pay when they are not working. We are saying that to be able to live is a fundamental right of every human being!
A lot of people really believe in the last statement. And it seems that more and more people are catching on to that. What does that tell us about ourselves as a species? Isn’t that a sign about how much we unconsciously believe that we own this planet? Who and what made us believe that we have the right to live without making any effort to live? Was that the same mindset that made us develop tools in the wild and defeat stronger opponents? Was that the same mindset that made us develop medicine? How does evolution and natural selection fits in this mindset? Would natural selection keep lions alive if they say somehow a deer or cow must be delivered to them as they do not want to hunt for it? Does this mean that a species must be able to survive, even if it does not want to put an effort to survive?
Today, we are not adapting ourselves, but are trying to adapt everything else around us. Be it the environment with heaters and air-conditioners, be it the food with manual or genetic engineering. It is amazing how we understand evolution and change, but we still want to have the same apples and tomatoes every year. Are we not slowly trying to stop the natural evolution? Or does it mean that we are slowly reaching to end of our climb to the mountain? Once we reach there, only available path would be the way down.
I am not sure how this play of struggle vs rights will change the humans as a species. I just hope that we do not come to a stage that we need to declare smiling and laughing as a right. I hope that we do not start to expect that some one must come to us and make us smile and we are too tired to create our own amusement or even put an effort to search a joke on internet!
Mulla Nasrudin’s young wife, recently returned from her honeymoon, was complaining to her friend about her husband’s drinking habits. “If you knew he drank, why did you marry him?” her friend asked. “I DID NOT KNOW HE DRANK,” said Nasrudin’s wife, “UNTIL ONE NIGHT HE CAME HOME SOBER.”