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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Human Evolution

The theory of evolution is something that I think about from time to time. In no way am I an expert in the scientific components of evolution. And I must admit that I am a bit sceptical about it as a provable theory, but it seems to work for the time being. Now that I have given that disclaimer, let me tell you what I have been thinking about.

It seems that when it comes to humans that evolution has runs its course. I am not saying that we have reached the pinnacle of evolutionary traits, I can think of many things that I would like to have as part of my body that would make life easier. What I am saying is that we are sabotaging the possibility of further evolutionary growth. We adapt the environment to fit our life, not the other way around. We have compassion on the weak and infirmed. But here is the clincher and the reason why evolution is at an end:

If we put evolution in terms of survival of the fittest and then compare that to society at large, what do we get. In America we have a general understanding of what is expected of our children: go to school, get an education at college, find a good job, get married and have two kids. That seems to be the media's view of the norm. And by and large we accept that norm. The assumption that the most capable will make it the furthest in life: make the most money, have the largest house, wield the most influence... have two children, or one, or none and sometimes maybe three. Do you see it yet?

And the other side of the coin: those we assume to be the least capable, the least likely to survive as the fittest. The drop outs, the uneducated, those prone to drug addicts, those on welfare, the poor, also tend to have three, four, five or even more kids.

If survival is dependent upon being able to pass along the most healthy, capable genes to the next generation then which segment of the population is fulfilling that evolutionary mandate (who is having the most children). The fastest, strongest, most capable lion is the most probably to pass long his genes making the next generation the fastest, strongest, most capable generation possible; but with humans? It seems that those who have the greatest influence on the next generation are not necessarily the ones we would call the most capable. The gene pool of the humans is negatively effected.

Yes, I know that this whole chain of thoughts is loaded and based on generalities and stereotyping. But there seems to be something here. Maybe our perspective is off. Maybe the most capable are not the most wealthy, but rather those who can survive and thrive on the fringes. Or maybe the wealthy need to start having more kids. Or maybe all of this social structure is completely independent of biological evolution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. cool stuff man!!!