Humans And Evolution

human evolution

The Theory of Evolution appears to suggest that, unlike many lower order species, humans are actually less evolved for failing to  carry forward its learning through its genes. May be there is something more to life than what evolutionary biologists and other scientists have been feeding us.  The text book responses are neither appear logical nor consistent with evolution theory. Humans did not need to live in dark caves or use the cover of darkness to feed, or to live in water at great depths. Humans did not develop sonar capabilities (e.g., multi-beam echo sounders) like bats or whales.

Humans aren’t the most evolved species probably because they have evolved in a direction different from others. For instance, bats have the ability to hear high frequencies that is far superior to humans. Similarly, whales can hear low frequencies. But these are specific traits skills in certain species. Modern humans have been around for only 200,000 years – relatively recently in the entire system of things. Contrast with how dinosaurs ruled the world for almost 100 million years yet went extinct. The basic premise of the Theory of Evolution is incorrect. Humans, too, evolved from some lower primate species (some monkey or ape or other lost species) as a higher animal. Yet losing that ‘retention of passing on learning’ worked out as an an evolutionary advantage?

It is noteworthy that the Theory of Evolution is not limited to animal species alone. However, certain species of insects did not go extinct, simply because certain plant species become insectivorous. The same logic also holds for animals. Evolution appears to have created a problem by evolving the human species that is unable to retain its learning and is, consequently, destructive to itself as well as the environment.

The Theory of Evolution does not explain the promotion or presence of humans as an evolved species. Humans first cause harm to others and the environment, and then seek to improve on it. It is well-documented that wherever, humans have interacted with nature, animal species have gone extinct or been hunted to near extinction.

How often do we wonder if the sun will explode? We could have killed ourselves many times over with nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction. Given the ways in which we, humans, have been degrading the environment and causing a large spike in greenhouse gases, it would appear that aliens make equal or more sense than evolution. There is enough evidence around the globe to back this perspective.

It is common knowledge that, in most species, the period from birth to adulthood is either very short or negligible. However, that idea has been debunked many times over during the past decade, when it had been proven that certain animals and some birds have developed important survival tools. While these tools may be considered rudimentary it has, nevertheless been established through lab experiments that certain of these animals (such as mice who have learnt to navigate a maze) are able to “download” their learning to their offspring via genes, and not by teaching them after birth.

The Theory of Evolution is not about each species attempting to reach a pinnacle of perfection. It is about various species adapting to their respective environments and, in the process building upon past lessons. Yet, every member of the human species simply gets a reset button every time it is born. This recurrence does not appear logical because it precludes the human species from reaching the pinnacle of perfection (whatever perfection might entail). Adaptation by lower animals can take many generations, such as the development of flight. Humans, on the other hand, are able develop and pass on such things much more efficiently through culture. For example, by designing and building aircraft. However, even this does nott explain evolution which is a consequence of the environment (as opposed to being the creator of the environment).

The observations and examples by Darwin were all related to the adaptation of species to the physical environment, and not about the ability of any species to influence or change that environment.

Was culture, then, the basis of evolution? In all probability, culture is more likely a consequence of genetic mutation. Knowledge and skills passed from one human to another constitute culture. Unfortunately, culture is too vague a term, and is unable to accurately explain the exacting terms required by Science. Not all cultures are great and supportive. Some are, in fact, anti-human and have, somehow, managed to stand the test of time and continued to get propagated. It is, therefore, naive to believe that various cultures, everywhere, constitute a better and more efficient conduit to pass along experience and skills.

Granted scientific knowledge has increased. Contrast this with the insignificant change in moral knowledge over the past 10,000 plus years of human existence. How can evolution explain the inherent inability of the human species to genetically transfer accumulated knowledge, as a vastly superior mechanism for the survival of the human species? While arguing for or against this position, it should be noted that humans have done just about everything, not just for its own survival but also for its own destruction and the destruction of other species and the environment.

Genetic evolution gave us brains that enable universal intelligence. But what advantage does this give humans? We can adapt to environments that our genes cannot effectively cope with. In this endeavour, each generation has to re-learn that knowledge and the skills to achieve what previous generations already understood and mastered. These skills were not transmitted genetically, but by an alternate and highly inefficient route. This paradigm does not occur in other species. Learning does get passed on, even a level of a bacterium which having ‘learnt to adapt’ to, and become resistant to, a drug.

The dispute is, how did this transpire? Is it based on evolution? If evolved, then what aspects of the physical environment triggered this evolution? In simple terms, the Theory of Evolution fails to explain the rise or continuation of the human species. Undoubtedly, evolution explains reasonably well the development in the ability of various species to survive in hostile environments. In the current method of ‘species proliferation’, it takes a human child 18-25 years to learn basic and advanced survival skills before attaining the ‘age of maturity’ and, consequently, the rights to mating, voting and various other similar rights given to mature people. From an evolutionary perspective, this appear to be completely counter intuitive.

Mousumi Roy is an independent writer


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