Scientists are now warning us that irreparable damage is being done to our planet. Continuing human existence is in question. Yet most of us go about our daily lives with no sense of fear for the future.
This brings us to the question of our Age:
Do we all psychologically neurologically have the ability to develop by means of some sort of Transformational Experience a form of synchronous thought and behavior that can establish for Homo sapiens coexistent unity and inter active equilibrium on our planet with all life and nonlife?
An examination of our evolutionary timeline can be of help:
- 252/250 million years BCE; Permian extinction wipes out 81% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species and begins the age of the Dinosaurs.
- 65 million years BCE; mass extinction wipes out Dinosaurs.
- 7 million years BCE; Australopithecusto Homo, oldest hominins Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Homo separates from chimpanzees and others like them. Evidence of standing and bipedal walking.
- 4.4 million years BCE Ardipithecus ramidus. More evidence of Quadra to bi pedal. Gene-culture revolution for Homo habilisbegins wherein there is biological and cultural genetic evolution affecting the future of Homo habilis. Part of the long creation story begins. (for Homo habilis or a species closely related to it) Prior to that, pre humans had human-like bodies with the cranial capacity of a chimpanzee today; at or below 500 cubic centimeters. Starting with the habiline period the capacity grew to 680 cubic centimeters in Homo habilis, then to 900 in Homo erectus, and now to about 1,400 in Homo sapiens. The expansion of the human brain was marked by ongoing complex cultural evolution. First crude stone tools appear during the early period.
- 1.5 to 1 million years BCE; slowly Hominids go from flight to fight, from being prey for the stronger animals to being predator of them. This transition from plant eater/scavenger to superior hunter occurs within a time frame of one million years; called the Middle to Late Pleistocene, a period associated with the emergence of Homo Neanderthalensis, Homo Heidelbergensisand others: eventually to the superior Homo sapiens. Point-bearing hafted spear tips are used as early as 500,000 years BCE. Fire discovery begins allowing for storage high meat protean diet.
- 270/250‑50 thousand years BCE; Hominids with Modern human bio physical characteristics develop the distinctive capacity to sense a dimension beyond the immediacy of their existence. They begin to see themselves as a part of nature. (the natural world around them) In terms of their capacity to reason, brain function becomes generally the same as with modern humans.
- As humans increase in numbers, the surrounding animal population declines from over-killing.
- Humans over this long period develop primitive weaponry; then spears and clubs, then the sling and the bow and arrow, thus allowing superiority over prey and other humans. Humans are then able to stalk and attack large animals and feed on them.
- Working together within families and communal groups, this allowed for the multiplication of individual and group strength.
- Then with the Egyptian and Mesopotamian move beginning about 7,000 BCE we humans separated ourselves from all other life and nonlife on our planet, from being a species that had for many hundreds of thousands of years lived in a symbiotic relationship with Nature to a species viewing Nature as something to be controlled, conquered and manipulated. Armed with this mandate, we saw Nature as a treasure trove to be exploited at will.
This is our problem today. It is the reason that we have become a threat to our existential existence. Many are aware of this, but for most the realization is far distant and even questionable. The reason: Most of us have no fear for the future.
Why is this so?
The answer is deeply implanted in our DNA eukaryotic chromosome brain cage. That implantation was developed over several million years. It is a neurotic/psychotic “Disney World” defect that is now preventing us from becoming aware of our future.
This fearless psychological neurological response mechanism was once our strength. It was with us when we abandoned our arboreal attachment and moved on to outlying territory. It enabled us to confront the challenges before us. For Homo sapiens over its evolutionary history the fear of failure was subsumed into the far reaches of its cranial memory bank. It was given second place.
When we brought it with us out of Africa into our New Age, it gave us enormous confidence. In every sphere of our activity it allowed us to move unhesitatingly forward. It allowed us to try again and again regardless of pain of failure.
This is the reason why most of us today have no fear of the possibility of our extinction. There is discussion at many levels, but in time it fades into inconsequence. An example: The 2015 COP21 agreement in Paris made headlines and then faded. The Pope’s environmental encyclical that same year the same.
David Anderson brings together a wide range of interests in his writings, namely; theology, history, evolutionary anthropology, philosophy, geopolitics, and economics. He has written four books. The fourth is about a necessary geo political, social, religious, economic paradigm shift for human survival. See:
Rich v. Poor: New York faces Climate Crisis, But Bangladesh Faces Climate Apocalypse
THE CONVERSATION 02/13/2020