Evolution is a process that has been in motion since the Earth was formed, for the planet itself has evolved and continues to evolve otherwise it would still be exactly the same now as it was back when all that gas and dust coalesced. The debate in some circles continues as to when life began. Some say that life began while the planet was still more or less a molten rock. Others say that it was when the planet cooled, and oceans formed which allowed for the primordial soup to begin the process. Ultimately it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things, for life as we know it as it may well be important for scientists in how it all happened, but for the rest of us it is perhaps just occasionally interesting.
Evolution is set back, accelerated, and changed by events that range from big rocks falling from space, volcanic activity, ice ages to nuclear war and everything in-between. Species rise and fall as a result and that cannot be changed no matter how arrogantly humanity thinks it can somehow control these things.
Species that become dominant always effect change and this is the way of evolution.
To the best of current knowledge is that humanity is the species that has created the most change on this planet. Humans have changed ecosystems and altered the environment. We have created problems by merely breeding out of control and consuming resources that are finite. However, we are not the only species to have done these things, and that is a thing conveniently forgotten.
At some unknown point humans will cease being the dominant species. It is a possibility that humans will cease to exist as a species depending on what event, or events, occur to make one or the other thing so.
In our arrogance we believe that we are the first intelligent species on this planet, yet we have only been here for a blink of an eye when you consider this planet in a geological timeframe.
Who are we to make these assumptions?
I read some years ago about a theory a few ‘experts’ came up with and it provoked me to consider the relevance of this theory. This is the theory of resurfacing and how life, and perhaps civilisations, may have developed and then been eradicated and buried beyond hope of discovery. That is why I put the word experts in inverted commas, as this theory, while interesting, is nothing more than speculation as there is no evidence or way of proving the theory in its entirety. It is interesting though. I prefer to consider that partial resurfacing would be more relevant as there is evidence that partial resurfacing has happened and continues to happen.
A reasonable example would be the tale of Atlantis sinking beneath the waves due to geologic activity rather than malicious lizard hating rocks falling from the sky. There is physical evidence of remains of population centres underwater, that it is the fabled city is speculation for no-one really knows. Regardless, for that to happen, a massive geological event would have had to have taken place to make an entire landmass sink.
You could call that a partial resurfacing due to geological activity of one sort or another. Just like Pompei had a planning problem when they decided that building a city near a big smoking mountain was a good idea. The result of that was Pompei was covered in molten rock, which cooled, and the rest is history. Volcanic activity is perhaps the easiest way to understand resurfacing, and the most convenient as it is going on all the time. However, there are many ways that resurfacing happens as the Earth goes about its business, and it is a constant, ongoing process.
This planet has been resurfaced perhaps many times over the billions of years it has been floating in space and what may have come before is unknown, and in all probability will never be known. I propose that the resurfacing of this planet is an ad-hoc and unequal process. A planet resurfacing opens a plethora of possibilities of thought. Proof of this is in geological evidence that shows how major events have impacted on the Earth. This evidence is easy to find so go look for it yourself, I have provided some examples to lead you down the path of your own investigation.
Take for example the Sahara Desert which until more modern times was thought to have always been a desert. Yet radar imaging from space shows that it was once a fertile land with rivers and evidence of population centres. Something changed the climate and lush turned to dust. Yet all we have ever known is that the Sahara is a desert. That is resurfacing due to changing climates and it is doubtful if you could blame that one on direct human activity.
Climates changing is an ongoing planetary process, and it changes the surface of the planet as a result. There is evidence that landmasses were covered by water as ice ages ended and ocean levels rose. Glaciers reshape the ground they grind over, and not in the Cardi B type of grinding. There is liquification which caused things to sink, just as volcanoes tend to create new land.
As mentioned, resurfacing happens in many ways as the Earth evolves.
Looking at the only other planet that fascinates humanity inordinately, being Mars. The relatively little planetary exploration, and space based geological surveys have shown is that Mars was once geologically active, had liquid water on its surface and in fossil records there was perhaps microbial life in so far as scientists have been able to determine from the scant evidence available.
It goes without argument that Mars has fascinated humans for hundreds, if not thousands of years. From that fascination there have been myriad speculations regards life on Mars and life on Earth. Some speculations are reasonable and have some science-based facts supporting them, and then there are the science fiction and fringe speculations.
We speculate from the probes we have sent there that life may have existed or might still exist. We speculate that there is evidence of ancient civilisations on Mars. Some speculate that there is still advanced life on Mars, and they are living underground in vast cities. The stuff of science fiction as common-sense dictates that if the rock you live upon is stuffed then you try to leave it if you are advanced enough to do so.
Some speculate that life on Earth came from Mars by means of bacteria carried in rocks. In some theories presented is that there was an advanced civilisation that escaped a dying planet and came to Earth and colonised it and then conveniently forgot to remind us of the fact.
There are theories that life came from ancient interstellar alien civilisations that came to Earth and colonised the planet. They interbreed with the fledgling human species and that the pyramids are docking ports for the spacecraft. Science fantasy at work on that one I wager.
There are theories that ancient civilisations still reside deep beneath the surface of the Earth and will one day rise up and reclaim their surface kingdoms. The mysterious lizard people are always worth a mention as they always seem to take a back seat to the aliens with their anal probes and implants. The lizard people even got a mention in the television series Doctor Who, and they were not very happy with the humans as that story told.
Then there is the theory of an ultimate power that simply created everything in six days and then had the seventh day off. Which also explains how we got the seven-day week.
The actuality is that they are all guesses. Some based in science and some based in faith, some based in a blend of both. Some are ridiculous and others have some varying degrees of merit.
What is known in racial memories across a myriad of races is that there have been life altering events that have directly impacted upon and threatened life on this planet. Scientific evidence, and visual evidence shows that large rocks have hit this planet and massive geological events have occurred. From these events the ecosystems were adversely impacted, at times on an extinction level event scale. Yet life has survived and then flourished which shows how amazingly resilient life is and how it adapts.
What is known is that we are here, and what we do here and now matters to us as despite our arrogance in that we can escape our planet either when we stuff it up, or cosmic events, or planetary events combine to make our planet unliveable. Modern humanity, going back to the extent of recorded history has been fortunate that no massive events have come about to reset the evolutionary clock in any significant way. That is what has given humanity the advantage to evolve to the point we are at now, the evolutionary clock has not been reset for thousands of years.
We might escape to the stars. In all probability we might just cease to exist either as a consequence of our own actions or by random chance in the cosmic pinball game. That is the thing that humanity simply cannot accept in that so much of our survival as a species is completely out of our control no matter what we do.
At some point humanity will come to a crossroads and be forced to decide. That decision will be do we continue down this path we are on or do we evolve as a species and not just try to preserve what we have on this rock we live on, or do we advance and evolve to travel out and explore and inhabit the cosmos.
In these current times when emotion and feelings are more important than rational thought and facts it seems that humanity is doomed to fail directly as a result of its own arrogance in the belief that we are the prime species. The belief currently is that humans have created all the problems and that we are going to solve all these problems and fix the Earth because we are just so very clever.
Some believe we are so evolved that we cannot just identify the problems, but they alone can fix it if the seething mass of humanity would just toe the line and simply believe. That is an arrogant attitude to hold due to the simple unavoidable logic that as this planet evolves, we are simply along for the ride despite anything we do.
Yet for many this simple logic is unacceptable. Sure, we can change the ways we do things and perhaps change, or repair some of the damage we have done, but there is no way that we are going to fix a planet.
When you consider evolution in its totality, it is more than fish growing lungs and legs and leaving the oceans to live on the land. It is more than species rising and falling for whatever reason. Evolution is about how species evolve to the environments they inhabit and how those changes then shape those environments and around the circle it goes.
Human evolution is also a combination of physiological, and psychological change. It is in the evolution of thought that humans create change that then directly impacts on not just their physiology, but also on the environments they inhabit.
We are experiencing the dumbing down of our species because of advances in the technologies we have developed. These advancements are both positive and negative to us as a species in how it is implemented, manipulated, and used. This is psychological change and it is nothing new historically speaking. We have altered the environments we inhabit due to coming up with new ideas on how to make things better or easier for our species.
We are reducing our ability to survive by attempting to eliminate hardships in first world countries, which reduces our resilience and ability to change, while third world countries are subject to adversity on a scale that is unique to modern humanity as we attempt to control basic human nature in our bizarre belief that our modern form no longer needs or wants what makes us what we are. Consider that mass migration was the way in which we dealt with changing climates or disastrous events of our own making. Now we halt these migrations and force people to live in camps. This can be attributed to humanity spreading across the planet and the formation of modern civilisations. The simple reality is that we don’t want or need the influx of migration as this would impact upon what we have. It isn’t a new thing in protecting what you have, it is simply magnified by the sheer weight of numbers.
Some believe that human compassion and violence are attributes we developed in modernity and are a result of forming civilised societies and nothing else. It is not unique to our species in that these attributes exist in every mammal and are part of the survival instinct. Some believe that human violence can be educated out of us. If you believe that then you probably believe all the stuff telemarketers say.
We are devaluing entire segments of society driven by a desire to eradicate inequality and promote equality in that human advancement, like so many things with our species it is never balanced or equal. All that is really happening is that the power balance is shifting from one side to the other.
This is driven in large by minorities now having the platforms to have their voice and to spread their message. Manipulation through media is rife as opposing views, or differing theories are shouted down and the people voicing their opposition are attacked and vilified until they withdraw or are eradicated. Resultantly, humanity is not compelled to strive for more in the interests of all humanity, rather we are driven to secure more individually. While this is historical in context, it is now a mixed message and destructive to humanity in its entirety.
George Orwell wrote a cautionary tale, being his novel 1984. It is regretful that his story is largely ignored or misunderstood, as he spoke from a time of turmoil from when a repressive ideology became popular. Go read the book if you have no comprehension of his cautionary tale of the extent of human misery at the hands of a few indulging in a repressive ideology for the continuation of their own privileged position.
Public opinion and official policy is being shaped by minorities that manipulate the uninformed and somewhat ignorant masses by a media that has become a platform that deals in salacious sensationalism as the means to pervert information, and at times to avoid mentioning matters of importance. These same minorities have come to hold power over those elected to power due to cowardice and fear from those elected representatives who quiver in fear and attempt appeasement rather than dismissing them. Our leaders are led by others who have no responsibility to anything but themselves and their ambitions.
Profit before people is the mantra we live by while deluding ourselves that people come before profit. This is an ages old problem and not a problem that a solution has been found for. Socialism was the great experiment that has proven to be false as the penultimate model of a utopian human civilisation. Humanity always has, and still has those that rule and those that follow. Such is the way of things and there is little to no evolution in the psychology of thought there.
Evolution takes many forms and human society is part of human evolution as it allowed for invention and innovation which changed the ways we live and that began a process of physiological change. We are taller than earlier times, we live longer, we are more sedentary because of our advances.
As mentioned, there is also the evolution of thought and this is psychological change. All these processes allow for us to make civilisations rise and fall. The evolution of thought is how humanity creates change in both the natural environment, the built environment, and the social environment.
To explain this requires some simple logic.
Humans went from nomadic hunter gathers and in time, due to manipulating the environment around them, formed societal groups that worked in concert to provide food, shelter, and security for those who inhabited these groups. It was an evolutionary process based in survival. That it was a closed, insular society at a basic level was simply the beginning of a process.
It also warrants mention that it was an aggressive environment in that to protect the group it was necessary to use violence against rival groups, and also to use that same violence to secure more for your particular group. This is the concept of war based in either want or need. Humans have used violence in increasingly refined forms to get a better deal be it individually or collectively. Violence is one of the vehicles that drives human advancement on a myriad of levels, even in modernity.
Humans developed tools, simple at first, and as the eons passed, more complex.
Humans manipulated animals by domesticating them and exploiting the characteristics that benefitted them as food sources or providing the muscle to do other things. Some animals were domesticated for companionship and security, like dogs and cats by way of example. We also exterminated species as we changed the environments they inhabited because they were considered unneeded, unwanted, or through simple greed.
Humans manipulated plants to make them produce the parts we consumed in larger quantity, and yield, we also made them more resistant to diseases. Various grasses produced seeds that humans consumed and from the manipulation of them we got wheat, barley, corn, and so on. I once heard a horticulturist explain that weeds were nothing more than plants that we had no current use for, so we try to remove them from the ecosystem we prefer in pursuit of the plants we value. That has not changed and is unlikely to change.
Humans manipulated the land by using irrigation, farming, and constructing more elaborate and permanent settlements that grew into towns and cities. From that trade developed and closed societies became more open and bloodlines changed through breeding. We developed trading routes and slowly, but surely gained a mastery of what we could control. Humans evolved as a result.
In both ancient and modern times, we have changed environments as a direct consequence of human action and interaction. All these things required an evolution of thought in the way that we conducted and administered our lives. If there was no evolution of thought it would be impossible for any advancement to occur.
Chernobyl is a good example in modern times of a negative consequence of human advancement as blowing the lid off a nuclear reactor and spewing out radiation most definitely changed a significant chunk of the environment.
Strangely, life flourishes in these somewhat nuclear wastelands. Except for human life as that radioactive poisoning is detrimental to humans in current understanding and scientific beliefs. However, plant and some animal life is booming for some reason. Nature is reclaiming the region at a rapid pace considering that the reactor meltdown only happened in the 1980’s.
The popular, or commonly held belief is that radioactive poisoning would make most life unable to exist in varying degrees and that mutations from radiation would be such that life might be unable to continue due to sterilisation. Time tossed that theory on the scrapheap in large part.
Frankly there are multiple theories on the impacts and effects of radiation on life. Theories that have had to be evolved as it was discovered that bacterial life is flourishing in the worst affected areas of the meltdown, in so far as humans can currently going into for short periods and have a look around as they try to figure things out.
I suppose that everyone forgot for a time that life is amazingly resilient and that it adapts to change.
I don’t pretend or propose to be an expert on these things. Rather I have enough knowledge to know that life on this planet, in all probability, began in some hostile environments, and life continues to not just survive but flourish in regions that are considered to be hostile. That life re-established itself in the aftermath of extinction level events in hostile environments, and that adaption created new environments that led us to the point we are at now.
That is what most people think of when they think of evolution. The dinosaurs got hit with a big rock that fell from space. From the ashes, mammals rose as the dominant species and changed in size and variety as they inhabited the new environment devoid of big lizards as the dominant species. Physical evolution at work and nothing else despite how we humans try to rationalise it.
Apes became human over time, according to some and others theorise that humans are an entirely separate species which evolved over time from knuckle draggers to thinkers and doers. It was that pesky opposable thumb that allowed humans to do more than just grunt, hit things with big sticks, and throw rocks, to evolving into inventing the wheel, art by means of cave paintings that glorified hunting prowess, taming fire, and the environment they lived in.
Evolution is far more complex than just the evolution of physical things and has a flipside, being devolution, which is an entirely human construct. Devolution is a psychological change and nothing else.
An example of which is part of known recorded history. The fall of the Roman Empire led to the Dark
Ages, more or less, the devil is in the detail. Humanity went from what by all accounts was a developed form of society within the period of those times, which achieved some amazing advances, to becoming a society that eventually abandoned a lot of those advances as it embraced something far less, being what is historically known as the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages lasted for roughly 400 years and it was the dominance of Christianity as the prevalent ideology that found that science clashed with faith and must be diminished. Faith won for a handful of centuries and science took a massive step backwards as it did not fit the narrative of the prevalent ideology.
Humanity devolved for 400 years in religious fanaticism as the theory of God and creation was contradicted by science, and this was anathema to what ruled in that era. The Earth became flat once more and was the centre of the Solar System despite some bloke figuring out centuries earlier the circumference of the Earth and that this rock circled a star. Invention and innovation in both theory and technology had to fit the religious narrative. If it did not, then it was heretical and was abolished as were the proposers of these things in these times.
Modern society, and the technological advances we have created are now creating a similar situation in that political ideology has replaced religious ideology in the repression of thought and the manipulation of populations to achieve a desired result. It matters little what the ideology is as ideology drives the message they desire and discredit the ideas that contradict them. What matters is what the ideology mandates as fact devoid of actual evidence. This has happened time and again over the course of recorded human history.
It is doubtful that entire chunks of population enjoyed or liked the repressions of the Dark Ages and it is apparent that entire chunks of population are not enjoying, or liking, the current world they live in due to the current repressions. Thumbscrews, flagellation, and the rack have been replaced by something less physically painful but no less destructive to any individual. Today you are silenced and the means to earn a living, and to live, is enacted if you are in opposition, or commit the sin of pointing out a fact or reality the disproves even one small part of the ruling ideology.
When some ideal of thought, or ideology, takes control of how society operates, and what people can or cannot do, think, or say then humanity devolves as a result. It matters little how the ideal of thought or ideology is presented or administered, it is the repression of ideas that matters.
When these ideals of thought or ideology are finally removed and replaced with something that allows for humans to advance then humanity evolves, be it for better or for worse. Humans make the choices and the changes that determines how they evolve by advancing or retreating in the ways in which they shape their environments, both physically, socially, and ideologically to suit them. Some prosper, mostly those who are top of the heap in these things, everyone else is dragged along for the ride regardless of what they want.
Mostly it is a ‘suck it and see’ approach as what is good in the present is sometimes not good in the future. When a repressive narrow-minded ideology is at play then oftentimes it is bad from start to finish. Regardless humanity evolves or devolves entirely upon its own actions.
Right now society is perhaps devolving in that the benefits of our advances people are less able to see what they see and instead are compelled to believe what they are told as facts are dismissed or destroyed so that a narrative can be held as absolute in upholding an ideology. Humanity operates in historical cycles and one of those cycles is the tightening and loosening of the moral values and standards within society. Historically, when society embraces sexual excesses then society suffers from the results of these excesses. The reverse is true in that overly stringent morals and standards, particularly the repression of sex creates other problems.
Consider that some promote the theory that sex, or gender is nothing more than a modern construct and that it is nothing more than a myth propagated by paternalistic and misogynistic beliefs. Further, that males are inherently evil and responsible for almost everything wrong in the world with no definitive, or coherent, explanation backed up by facts or science. It is always down to those evil males who dominate everything despite the reality of life in that people can be inherently evil. I wonder what star they orbit in this biological fact that they desire to destroy in the pursuit of their belief systems irrespective of reality.
The reality is historical in context as the differences between males and females in unavoidable regardless of how you care to present them. This does not attempt to avoid the context of sexuality, which is an entirely different construct. This has a basis in humanity as we know it historically speaking, in that human perversion is also historical with regards to sexuality versus reproduction as a species. In blunt speech, getting off sexually knows no boundaries and never has done.
That is the evolution of thought which influences everything else we do as a species. It matters little that the evolution or devolution of thought is expressed both physically, mentally, and emotionally within society. Without that expression nothing would happen. It is when the pendulum of thought swings too far one way or the other with no attempt at finding a balance that humanity suffers, even when it doesn’t seem to be so in the moment. Humanity makes it greatest advances when we find for short periods a somewhat imperfect, but workable, balance of sorts. Basically, when you get your mind out from between your legs then you achieve much more.
Right now, it seems that we are forever congratulating ourselves on how smart, advanced, and enlightened we are. How we have evolved to the point we can eradicate every human fault by the power of positive words, slogans, activism, and tokenism. We conveniently ignore that our species is inherently violent and flawed, and that this violence and flaws are of the attributes that provide us the means to advance or retreat. We seem to be living in a time that ignores the disparity between what we say and what we do. We explain these disparities by blaming segments of population as being the troublemakers and then decide to ‘fix’ them rather than look at the problem in the cold light of day. In certain circles, right now, white males are responsible for every evil in the world, including climate change. That is a political, and simplistic attitude to hold, yet it is given credibility rather than examination of facts into the fragility and flaws of humanity as a whole. This biased and blinkered attitude to ascribe the entire human condition to just one type of person illustrates human fragility in that the thought process and societal manipulation had to actually overwhelm logic and common-sense in order to garner any validity.
Some say that this period in time is an evolution of humanity to a higher plane of existence, or enlightenment, and it would be complete if those troublesome few would only embrace the ideology and do what they are told without questioning anything. The reverse is the actuality as we are devolving due to ignoring reality and facts in the pursuit of an evolution of thought from an inherently flawed concept of how to fix all the evil that resides in the human psyche. This is nothing new as sadly humanity has done this devolution since the advent of civilisation when advancement creates freedoms. The freedom of time not spent in simply surviving then begins the evolution of thought to sometimes useful conclusions, and other times destructive conclusions. It is simply reliant on what you want to embrace and how compelling the argument is to embrace a new concept.
We are currently victims of our own advances and that is indeed a sobering thought when you consider how we as a species exists and evolves. We are doomed to repeat history and in that we are compelled to follow a historical path of repression and advancement regardless of the outcome.