By Zarrar Said
The primeval soup of multifaceted compounds and elements spawned molecular dependencies which we refer to as life. The key for survival was replication or procreation, initially in the form of mitosis and then through reproduction. It is this combination irregular trial and error that created single-celled species which progressed to multi-cell species. Nature judged and approved each organism’s ability to sustain life in its environment. Genes are ever perpetuating and the examples are what we see around us. We are machines carrying these primeval genes since the beginning of time; when life originated in the primeval soup. Organisms’ sole purpose would be to procreate and pass on as many of its genes into nature as possible. Throughout time we have asked ourselves whether we are fallen angels or risen apes. The answer lies in a simple yet tabooed subject.
Charles Darwin would go down in history as probably the most misunderstood person ever. The Origin of Species commanded the awakening of human contemplation and laid the foundations for the answer to our very existence. The progression of our species’ intellect has always been hindered by convictions of the blind; more commonly known as “blind faith”. More than a century later, we as a species have still to grasp in totality the importance of comprehending natural selection. Classrooms across the world shy away from the subject. Ignorance leads many to whole heartedly accept that it is nothing but theory. While we progress to ascertain complex mathematic equations, quantum mechanics, and new and improved economic strategies, we fail to realize the most important of all subjects. The subject which would make us understand equality in the human race, altruistic human compassion as a means of survival, social, economic, and political Darwinism. Most of all, we would understand how we got here and what our purpose of existence entails. And yet, there are only a handful of people who are privileged to be exposed to it in their educational life.
Surprisingly, many would rather believe a preconceived notion of angels, demons, and heavenly prehistoric beginnings rather than fact based actualities of Homosapien evolution. Understanding natural selection would require time and debugging of preconceived religious decrees. But eventually, one can conceive that in every strata of life, the stronger (whatever strength may equate to in the respective situation) individual would survive and is more likely to spread offspring into the environment. Almost every question could be resolved through Darwinistic measures. In an office environment, the most hardworking and productive worker will be promoted. In the political scenario, whether by physical power or compassion, the strongest candidate would succeed, etc.
Altruistic behavior is present in our primate cousins, the chimpanzees. Chimps have a democratic political construct similar to that of humans. The chimp “chief” is elected by acts of compassion and selflessness. The “gene” or combination of genes for this altruistic act allows the most compassionate chimp to become chief. In the movie, “March of the Penguins”, one can witness a group of penguins punishing one particular penguin who steals another’s egg. Again, this act relates to similar altruistic genes carried by all organisms. Although compassion is not on the agenda for all organisms, somehow violence and irregular injustice do seem to prevail. However, each organizational strata would again justify the survival of the appropriate “fittest”. Gandhi, for example, was assassinated. His overall message, however, allowed millions around the world to fight tyranny. Overall, our genetic code allows for survival of organisms which allow perpetuation of their respective species because if there is no species left, the organism can not create offspring, which is its first and foremost purpose.
Overall, it is essential that we learn and teach our children the importance of natural selection and the importance of the Scientific Method to judge accuracy. The beauty of science is that it is accumulative and perpetual. It will continue to grow and compound previous knowledge. Nothing is certain or set in stone. This does not mean that what science promotes has the potential to be wrong but instead the potential to become much more right. Newtonian physics is many years old but is still applicable to a projectile throw of a stone. However, to launch a satellite Newtonian physics would have to be coupled with modern physics for strategic accuracy. Charles Darwin wrote a theory backed by hard hitting evidence. Over time, his “theory” has become a fact as solidified as the existence of gravity itself. It has been advanced and improved upon rather than debunked. Yet in this day and age most people are ignorant of this fact.
Neither are we fallen angels, nor are we risen apes. Instead we are a complexity and permutation of millions of years of natural selection without a predestined or strategic plan. The sooner we realize the actuality of this very fact, the easier it would be to excel in any arena in life whether it is work, health, love, or politics. We have to see the importance of promoting natural selection over creationism which bounds the minds ability to reason. The advancement of human intellectuality will correspond directly with the advancement of humans themselves. And yet we are faced with the question, “if there was no plan, what is the purpose of our existence?” The answer is that life in itself is intrinsic to serve its own purpose and in this cosmic lottery ticket we will one day cease to exist like the other millions of species. Our purpose, is to make the most of it for ourselves and the millions that exist with us.