evolution-of-man

While the title of this blog might have you thinking this’ll be some science fiction romp, sadly it isn’t.

Initially I intended to call this blog ‘The futility of faith’, but I decided against it. The change of mind had nothing to do with a fear of challenging religion, no, but everything to do with knowing it’d take me waaaay off topic – believe me I need no encouragement to loose focus.

Evolution has always fascinated me and after recently talking about it a great deal with a work mate, it got me thinking again. Off the back of my reignited interest, I’ve been reading and watching plenty of documentaries on the subject.

** Please note this is not a scientific piece, it’s nothing more than my ham-fisted grasp on evolution.

Golden age.

What do I mean by the golden age? I’m referring to mankind’s golden age and I’d argue we’re living it now. Does evolution stop or simply slow down when you know what to look for regarding devolve, or will not be able to see any change until long after it’s happened? Incidentally, If anyone reading this and knows of any recorded genetic variations within the our own DNA that’s considered the precursor to variation, then please tell as I’d love to read about it. Hum, that statement might be dafter than I presume given the time it takes for evolution to begin.

Told you I drift off topic, didn’t I?

I suppose some congratulations should be extended towards mankind for surviving this long and getting us where we are today. It’s all our own doing, right? Well, no, not really. I don’t think we can take too much credit for incremental variation, selection of the fittest and eventual evolution – although to do so would be ever-so human. By definition by being here then whatever changes we carry in our DNA had to have been successful? That I’m pretty sure is a loose definition of evolution?

So, I surmise that for whatever reason, biological, environmental or whatever, (I’d really love to know the key factors in what kick starts evolution) we won the evolutionary race to take over from the dominant species of the time. I’d even be so bold as to presume that mankind is likely to be the most successful species to have inhabited the earth. Kind of goes without saying given we’ve yet to unearth any evidence to the contrary.

One – nil to mankind. Get in!

So we sit atop the food chain, lords over all we perceive. 2 – nil, right? Well, maybe not. Okay, while our position of dominance is solid, given we’re adept at hunting prey and potential predators into extinction, I truly feel sure (could be wrong) that time is against us. The ‘end’ could come as an environmental disaster, meteor impact, biological super virus, or even (leaning heavily towards this option) we might mess things up ourselves. Personally I doubt it if we’re robust enough of a species to survive much of a catastrophe unscathed or otherwise. Especially given mother natures taste for brutality. If we are to survive then I imagine we’ll be taking a few steps backwards?

Call it a draw? 1 – 1…ahem.

Hominids, however, have managed to survive adversity in the past. I’m pretty sure Neanderthal man lived through at least one ice age that saw an end to countless apex predators and other established species. Okay, he was way more adept at survival than we are but surely having the most sophisticated organ in the known universe (our brain) has to count for something, right?

I’d like to say yes but imagine at best we’d most certainly devolve, loose mass, reduce brain size in order to conserve energy and survive, at worst we’d perish completely.

All sound’s a bit grim, right?

While trying unsuccessfully to sleep last night I got to thinking how could we preserve our knowledge should something devastating occur. We need something permanent in which to record our discoveries, but nothing lasts forever. How then do we? Do we launch probes into space on a thousand year return cycle? Litter the planet with data bases to be plundered in the future? Truth is I don’t reliably think we could. And even if we’re able who’s to say the next species of hominid will evolve like we have? That evolutionary variant might deem eyes and ears obsolete and instead communicate via pheromones. Okay, I’m drifting again but unless the devolution was but a small step and luck was on our side then maybe we’d recover. To be honest the ‘live happily ever after’ notion belongs in Hollywood. I suppose the cold truth would be if we die out then we’ve been found wanting and a non successful species.

Failing that we could just pray, I suppose. Oh wait, I’m not religious…I’m fu**ed!

Matt..