ARE WE STILL EVOLVING ?

August 12, 2013

evolution

Perhaps it is because of my extraordinary warped sense of humour that many people fail to take much of what I say seriously and of course I have to accept that that is largely my own fault. You see years ago I stopped getting angry at people just because they chose a certain path and started to poke fun at them instead. After all is said and done ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ and therefore if someone is perfectly happy being ignorant then who am I to pop up and ruin their day with a reality check ?

It is true that I am no great fan of organised religion (any of them) choosing, as I do, to believe that they are manmade as a device of mass mental control over the majority. This works upon the principal that most people will happily go with the flow because they just want to be left alone to get on with their lives. In my book Religion is all about Power, the power of the few over the many and always has been.

Also in the past I have poked a lot of fun at those who, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, choose to ignore the science of Evolution in favour of the completely unsubstantiated and totally illogical notion of creation by some sort of Supreme Being. Of course I have long been of the opinion that such belief is not belief at all but rather that all too human inbuilt inability to recognise, or even admit, that they might have been misguided for centuries. Or to admit they are just… well… Wrong!

Then recently I heard someone ask a very serious question about Evolution it was;
“As a species Are WE still evolving ?”

No it wasn’t a joke or trick question but something that is starting to raise the eyebrows of more than a few scientists, and ME ! Why, well because over the years I have often joked that all you need to prove to yourself that Darwin’s original theories about evolution are correct is to look around at the present state of humanity. I point out that if you look closely enough you can see the evolution of man, as a species is in many respects going backwards.

Is this something we need to worry about or is it a bit like Global Warming where we can just shrug collectively and say ‘Sod It’ and leave it to the next generation to sort out. Of course the problem then becomes what if the evolution of man has actually stopped how many more generations will there be who are intelligent enough to sort it out or even care ? Will they stop ‘Twittering’ long enough to notice or text one another to ask “is there an App for this ?”
The questions scientists are asking is this a natural phenomenon or is it something we did or are continuing to do that is endangering the long term existence of the species and if so what can we do about it?

Many already believe they know the answer to both questions is an emphatic YES! It is something we did a long time ago and yes it is something we are doing every day that continues to makes it worse.

Mental Health Warning: OK…
If you believe in Creationism it is time to leave this article NOW, trust me it will make no sense to you whatsoever and if it does you won’t believe it anyway.

For those of you who are still with me, let me say that Darwin was by no means the first or only person to question the over simplistic answers to the ultimate question of ‘Creation ’? To them the answer “God Did It all in about 6 days about 6,000 years ago, starting on a Thursday in October, apparently, didn’t quite stack up !”

They settled for the more realistic concept of Evolution by Natural Selection. It is to be blunt all about the simple rule of the jungle or even more simply the Survival of the Fittest. It is usually at this point where Creationists, Seven Day Adventists, other religious zealots and anti Darwinists stick their collective heads up their backsides and start spouting that mankind is above that sort of thing.

Of course it is in discussion with the same groups that you quickly come to realise that they have little or no idea about ‘Natural History’ or Reality for that matter.

They find it hard, if not impossible, to accept that when you look back at the natural history of our species that we were pretty pathetic when compared to most other species on the planet, in fact it’s amazing we survived at all. Our ancestors had to have been pretty far down the food chain back then and were probably on the menu of more than one species knocking about at the time.

There’s the point, or at least one of them. We are still part of the food chain if we are dumb enough to be in the right place at the wrong time. Forget the Media Headlines ‘Man killed in vicious Shark attack,’ Bad Shark !

Why do you think in some countries where the Big Cats live and hunt that occasionally man ends up on the menu ? Let’s be honest here, an old or injured big cat is still a fair match for a weak unarmed human. Bad Kitty !

That’s what human evolution is all about, we were never going to out run the big cats, out wrestle a Bear or out swim a shark but there again we didn’t need to just so long as we could out run or out swim the poor bugger next to us !

OOPS ! Not a very nice thing to do, after all we are Nice, Intelligent human beings we are above all that sort of thing full of the ‘Milk of Human Kindness,’ ‘Love thy Neighbour’ so on and so forth….

Yeah Right !

Trouble is an awful lot of people believe it, little realising that what they accept as civilisation is little more than a veneer over our more natural instincts of survival. Ever seen pet dogs abandoned in a city coming together to form a pack ? Study it and you will see the dominant Alpha male and female take charge and then see how quickly they lose that cuddly ‘Man’s best friend’ image ?

Ever seen a March for Peace turn angry and then into a Human Mob ?

Ever wonder how stable our society would be or for how long if we lost everything we take for granted ? Can you imagine how long a city would survive without electricity for an indefinite period of time? What happens after all the food and fuel is looted ?

Not exactly a time for thinking the ‘Meek shall Inherit the Earth‘ that’s for damn sure.

So I ask again, “Are we still Evolving as a species ?”

If not … Why Not ? Where did it all go wrong, I mean we are the smartest animal species on the planet aren’t we ? That is at least the belief of all those who accept the fact that we are actually just that, just another animal species.

There are a lot more of course who can’t or won’t accept such a notion, those who actually believe that we were somehow put here after everything else was created as some sort of superior being to take charge of everything. They even wrote stories about it, how their God gave them dominion over all living things and all the bounty of the Earth as theirs to do with as they liked and taking that to mean “No Shareseese” with other species.

The very day Mankind arrived at the conclusion that they were superior to all other life forms was the day that they started to believe they were the Masters and all the laws of Nature no longer applied to them.

Of all the species on the planet only mankind suffers from the delusion that all life on the planet is not interconnected and interdependent.

There again I don’t suppose any other animal bothers to think or worry about it. To them life’s little mysteries were solved eons ago IE Self preservation, survival of the species both in the short and long term.

Now let’s give credit where credit is due most other species have become pretty good at it without the need to create imaginary supreme beings, religion, war, deforestation, planet destroying weapons of mass destruction or the rest of mankind’s greatest achievements.

All life on the planet has, or at least had, a natural cycle, you are born, you grow, you try to reach maturity without dying (but most won’t). Then once you have the survival thing nailed you might try your hand at a bit of breeding.

That’s what Natural selection is all about, living long enough to reach maturity and then if you are good enough try and pass on your strong genes to the next generation.

If you got sick along the way you died ! If you were injured and could no longer keep up you got eaten. If you were weak in body or mind the girls didn’t want to breed with you. Be honest breeding is all about the survival of the species and therefore the female should want to give her offspring the best chance in life by selecting from the Biggest, Strongest, Fastest, Smartest.

This system works reasonably well for all animal species and it has to be said it worked well for mankind as well until that superior gene kicked in again.
Take a look at man’s survival rate through history up until the era of the Industrial Revolution. Take a wander around the graveyards and look at the ages of death. Look too at the high mortality rate of children and how many never reached double figures. What we see and misinterpret as cruel and unnecessary is actually Natural Selection at work.

In the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries mankind set out to conquer disease and all the other weapons of natural species control in the armoury of Mother Nature.
Up until then Natural Selection kept us more or less in check, true as a species we were on a steady increase. Around 8000 BC with the development of farming on an organised scale the world population was an estimated 5 million. By AD 1 the world had reached 200 million or so and it took us until the 1800 hundreds before we clocked up our first Billion.

In spite of the First World War we notched up our second Billion by the 1930’s and even with another World War we clocked up another Billion by the end of the 1950’s. And within my lifetime the World population has more than doubled to reach a staggering 7 Billion and still we have Doctors and Scientists playing God, by saving and extending Life as if we were upon the verge of extinction.

So man has actually eliminated natural selection all together. Whereas at one time the female of the species had a degree of control by trying to select the best possible mate or mates to ensure the best for her off spring, we have now reached a stage in human evolution where it’s a breeding free for all.

Hands up everybody who thinks this makes for a well developed gene pool ?

So by denying who and what we are and where we truly came from have we reached a point of no return in the evolution of our species?

I believe we have, after all nothing in Nature ever stands still it is either going forwards or backwards. I’m sure there are thousands, nay millions out there who will want to give me an argument. They will undoubtedly point to all of Mankind’s achievements over the centuries and our inventiveness as proof of the continued evolution of mankind.

I say they are wrong, that is not evolution and I leave you with a quotation from one of my favourite authors.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time.

But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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