The Human Anomaly

The mainstay of Darwinian evolutionary theory , the concept of  the “natural selection” has become a counter -evolutionary force in the context of human evolution.

That is because human discretion rather than natural selection  now decides who survives and who does not. Nature selects in a mathematical, unbiased and complex  way that is a result of a multitude of factors. Humans, on the other hand,  use their flawed and as yet half baked conscious logic to determine selection and hence it is riddled with miscalculations.

The evolution of conscious thought and emergence of (il)logical thinking has led us to this predicament. This is not to say nature is somehow “superior” to humans ( who are but a part thereof) or that decision should be left to a “superpower” that is behind it all. It is simply because human decision making is nowhere yet near perfection. We still rely on calculators and computers for analytical decision making and for the more subjective areas, rely on our not so perfect judgement skills alone. However, our conscious thought is not yet capable of holding in parallel, the multitude of factors that could affect a given situation, come up with hundreds of what-if scenarios and then make a choice.

In nature undisturbed, of course, there is no conscious decision making, but rather an organic flow of consequential happenings.

We can picture the workings of nature in the absence of our conscious interference as one gigantic chain reaction. The antelope that has a defective limb is slow to escape and so falls prey to the supersonic leopard before it can procreate while its more agile cousins leave behind progeny. In an undisturbed jungle landscape this works well to eliminate the weak and make sure the strongest survive and pass on their genes. Enter the human. He saves every slow moving antelope on moralistic, ‘humanistic’ grounds, even attaches plastic prosthesis to the ones with a defective limb, and then being politically correct, wants to save the jungle as it were as well. He introduces all the poor speed challenged antelopes into the said jungle- only to be devoured by the leopards. However, while alive these weaklings had competed with the more agile ones for more food, so the speedy ones are not so agile anymore! The population of antelopes collapses and so does the leopard’s. The jungle collapses and then they blame it all on climate change. Just to give one rather simplistic example.

If our thinking was supersonic and unflawed, we wouldn’t be chipping away at the world’s mysteries one tiny nick at time. It would not take us years to prove the gravitational theory or Fermat’s last theorem. Lets face it, our brains are still in the infantile stages of analytical thinking. Unfortunately, our logical shortcomings does not preclude us from throwing our decisions around and masterminding the world. Let us instead spend our energies actually honing our thinking skills rather than throwing it away half-baked, and altering the course of  a perfectly fine evolutionary process.

For now.



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