In the beginning…everything was very simple. All primitive life forms, plant or animal, had just one imperative command: Obey your DNA. “Be fruitful and multiply.” Mature, flower, and pass along your DNA, stupid!
Things have become much more complicated ever since. Especially for the Homo sapiens, who, having been blessed with a deeper reflective self-awareness, sometimes ignore the hard-wired messages from their DNA. Those instructions from some remote internal location in each cell are not deemed competent or flexible enough by the human brain to deal with all of the abnormal circumstances that confront an individual human.
Most humans are accustomed to excuse the many inexplicable events that happen to them each day by saying, “Well, that’s God’s will.” The modern scientific community takes exception to that naive reasoning especially when such a casual remark pertains to the dynamic alterations that result in changes to life forms and lifestyles. The scientists exalt evolutionary serendipity which supposedly enables the fittest mutants to survive very unusual environmental challenges. So ask yourself, is either of these speculative human theories meaningful?
As animals reproduced themselves, the unique orientation of their species to the physical environment was gradually altered. Experts believe that the defensive and offensive physical and instinctual adaptations in plant and animal species have been beneficial to the members of that species who have survived. The original versions have become extinct.
In the slow evolution of bi-pedal humans, foreign objects referred to as “tools” and “weapons” were invented and used as defensive and offensive means to deal with adversity and provide protection for the species. We aren’t sure, however, if the sophisticated weapons that have been developed are truly beneficial to friend and foe.
Strangely though, human behavior has been influenced over time by philosophy, morality, and ethics. The current social edicts recommend that individual humans “do good” to other individuals. (Only when they can, of course.) The main difference between the routine behavior of the lower animals considered ruthless and brutal by humans and the more civilized behavior of the human species is noted in the rare incidence when human reason trumps their basic animal instincts.
Since the beginning of recorded history, many humans have been guided by a variety of religious beliefs, some that postulate “an eye for an eye,” and some that suggest that mercy is the best policy since there might be some kind of performance evaluation after the disintegration of the mortal body.
In the earliest records of human history, influential members of the human tribes gathered and reasoned that there was an almighty Creator who could and would bless or punish mankind sooner or later. God, as this creative genius became known in English, did so at His divine discretion, whenever and however He chose. This constant threat, like the proverbial sword of Damocles, worried many fearful, self-condemned sinners. God’s possible fury also frightened the conscientious religious souls whose desire for eternal self-preservation was influenced by various detailed prognostications about what some unending existence would be like after death.
All kinds of taboos and rules for acceptable social conduct were promulgated by tribal leaders, and punishments, supposedly to fit the crimes, were administered locally. As time went on, more and more laws were implemented to control the behavior of the members of the community, until formal governments evolved. In most cases the authority of the ruler was acknowledged and obeyed by the governed whether or not their consent was sought by whoever had seized power.
Now let’s strip away the self-imposed social structure and the implementing laws that humans have adopted to control their lives and interface with other human beings. Let’s look closely at the slow-motion video of the human relay race to hand off our mutated genes and false beliefs. Life is still a very competitive, but simple, foot race over a difficult obstacle course worse than any steeple chase. What has complicated living in peace with our neighbors so that our human genes can do their thing most likely can be attributed to the over-population of the human species resulting from the insatiable desire of human males for sexual pleasure.
At present any political candidate who suggests taking action to limit human population growth in the world and to restrict personal freedom in the US is committing political suicide. The profound consequence of human evolution is the production of children less and less interested in hunting and gathering and more and more interested in amusing themselves. Over six billion humans on this planet are encouraged or expected to play the pervasive adult social game of “Follow the Leader” or the popular child’s game of “Simon Says.”
Life is no longer just looking out for number one or number one’s family we are told. Instead society dictates that we must help every human born to have a happy, healthy, and long life. There are additional rules for how humans should treat unborn fetuses, family pets, and endangered species, also. But I won’t bother to examine those added human responsibilities. Where did this crazy twist on the Law of the Jungle originate? In the minds of those whiny humans who couldn’t take care of themselves or were too lazy to try.
The Law of the Jungle requires that the fittest of a species must struggle valiantly to survive and hand off their DNA. Those who, for some reason or other, are too weak, too slow, too dull-witted, and too improvident succumb. Unfortunately, for the lower animals, there is no appealing this sentence.
No one can argue with the Law of Gravity or the Law of the Conservation of Energy and Matter either. Yes, a few humans have escaped the gravity of the Earth for a very short period of time, but not the gravity of the Sun. Once we fail to convert a good share of the matter in our bodies to energy, we get fat and run the risk of converting the whole body into energy.
So, why do humans preach that those who can’t hunt and gather for themselves should be taken care of by the others who can? For one mischievous person in class, must the whole class be detained or punished? For a handful of terrorists who took over four commercial jets, must the rest of us forever be treated as potential terrorists in all our airports? Oh, yes, for the good of the faceless majority and their unborn mutants and deviates!
Cradle to the grave security from natural disasters, health threats, accidents, wars, and human mistakes of judgment (called “unintended consequences” by legislators) is a Utopia that God didn’t create. It is a dream of idle minds who want someone else to take care of them when God refuses to do that, and they are left to their own ineffective devices. There is not enough money or human interest to accomplish this impossible dream.
Of course humans can borrow from the future and mercifully forgive penurious debtors. They can increase taxes for some and not for others. They can promise to provide retirement and health care benefits on a first come, first serve basis until the monetary and physical resources run out. They can imagine that tomorrow they are going to win the Jumbo Lottery, too. But few ticket buyers ever do.
The physical universe is an unforgiving place. Risks must be faced by all life forms, and those who prepare themselves and alter their genes will more likely survive the periodic catastrophes and stressful challenges. The sooner that humans come to understand the inflexible rules of the game, the better for the future of the human race.
Protecting ourselves from every danger is impossible. Dams break and mud slides wipe out houses built on hills. Tsunamis, volcanoes, earthquakes, tornados, and floods are going to happen. Random violence and organized criminal behavior will overtake even the most prepared humans. Each one of us must be alert to these threats and aware of the potential dangers that lurk in the most innocuous circumstances.
Human life is not simple now, but there is one simple rule still in effect. Don’t trust anyone, even those people you think you know. Society is teaching everyone to lie, exaggerate, omit information, act friendly, and trust good-looking advocates, especially those who are selling you something or running for some elected office.
Who is telling us to be careful of the smooth talking-heads on TV, the Bloggers on the Internet, and the passionate talk-show hosts on radio? Who is warning us about the incompetent teachers, the hypocritical preachers, the unscrupulous Captains of Industry, and the corrupt politicians? Who can be sure that their parents are honest with them, passing along correct information and good work habits while promoting a healthy, successful, and rewarding lifestyle?
In the end, everything will become simple again. Those humans nearing their expiration date want only a painless departure. They are no longer excited about hunting and gathering and all the other complications that society has invented to promote the general idea that there is a mission more important for each of us than handing off our DNA, if truly that is our basic mission.
If it isn’t, please let me know what the mission of the human species is. Be sure you can back up your theory with some facts, logic, and common sense. Don’t try to fool me with conventional human wisdom!