You ever get the feeling that maybe human beings are an accident? An anomaly. A really big oops. A mutation that, contrary to the normal progression of things, got way out of hand? Obviously, this is not going to be a common thought among the religious, though, frankly, to me it’s as plausible with a religious fibre to the past as without.
I have to admit, the possibility occurs to me from time to time.
And actually, no, the current financial crisis, political braying, etc. doesn’t really have anything to do with it, beyond being yet another catalyst for a recurring mental question mark. Really, the idea strikes me pretty much every time humans do something particularly dumb… which is not infrequently. (And that’s only the ones that make it into the news…)
Think about it, though. We’re supposed to be mammals, more or less like a plethora of other animals, but in so many ways we really don’t fit. How we treat our kids bears little resemblance to how animals do. How we treat our environment bears zero resemblance to how animals do. What we value often doesn’t bear any resemblance to what animals do.
No animal other than us regularly makes conscious decisions that are bad for them. And yet we all do it, all the time, at every level of our existence, to ourselves and others, from crimes of passion to lighting a cigarette. It boggles the mind sometimes.
Typically in nature natural selection takes over and weeds out the evolutionary versions of a species that don’t contribute to its strength in its ecological niche. But humans? We’re destructastic. Frankly, we seem to have more in common with pathogens. Parasites. Viruses. We thrive, in our way… and are killing our host at an increasing rate in the mean time.
Of course, smartypants species that we are, we’re using our big, evolved brains to work towards being able to move somewhere else should it come to pass that we completely turn this azure orb into a smoking husk.
I guess that’s the problem with an atheist society, really. Back in the day, were we to step out of line, g/God would see, and we’d be in for a righteous smiting. Or at least we thought so, which was enough to keep us somewhat in check. (However, lest you think our tendency to get our grimy fingerprints all over everything is new, keep in mind the Middle East wasn’t always a desert, nor Greece rocky and windswept.)
Now, lest you think the sum total of my mindset and mental state is excessive cynicism (Grade 9 English teacher), swirling undercurrents of negativity (former Marketing VP), or just bleak musings in general, I assure you that this is me, too.
It’s just… When you look around sometimes, and look inside sometimes, you gotta wonder…
Update: And just for a little more food for thought: Humans will not evolve further, says geneticist.