Continuous Evolution of Mankind
Maysa daytoy kadagiti artikulo a nabasak ken ni Coconuter. Mayat ti linaonna isu nga i-share-ko met kadagiti mayat ken adda panawenna a mangpalabas kadagiti binatog daytoy a salaysay. Binulod met laeng ni David daytoy nga artikulo iti maysa a Filipino nga agnagan iti Ray Edison Refundo
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Beyond Intelligence: Evolution Did Not Stop at Homo Sapiens
by Ray Edison Refundo
We humans prize ourselves for our intelligence. Out of all the things that make us different from other animals, intelligence is perhaps the most significant. We learned the laws of nature, developed tools to survive in the most inhospitable environments, and even projected our presence beyond this planet. We may perhaps be the only intelligent species that ever walked the Earth, and when we become extinct, and we will, no other form of life may follow in our achievements, at least not on this planet.
It is the unlikeliest of events. The remnants and debris of a primordial star that went supernova more than 5 billion years ago eventually coalesced into our solar system. In it, all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, including carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen, elements necessary for life (as we know it) were dispersed throughout the new solar system. Through billions of years, life would eventually evolve into us, human beings. For the first time in the history of the solar system, and after 5 billion years of its existence, someone is now there to bear witness to its beauty and wonder.
Eventually that same species, through science, would begin to understand how the solar system, our galaxy, and the universe came to be. Our intelligence allowed us to see the world more profoundly than any other animals. It does not mean, however, that other animals like chimps, dogs, and dolphins do not posses some form of intelligence. Recent studies in Japan have shown that chimps have a better short term memory than humans. This allows them to see the present environment from the perspective of survival. A good short term memory allows you to see threats, food, and opportunities for mating a lot faster, giving you an edge into reacting with lightning speed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Over the course of several million years we traded our superb short term memory skills for a less instantly reactive long term memory. This increased our social skills as we now depended on each other for survival. We became specialist on different fields, and we collaborated our different talents and skills to become more effective in our endeavors. Business managers know this, which is why “teams” are created in the modern corporate environment to tackle different problems more effectively. This phenomenon is called synergy, where the value of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Because we move in packs, planning for the long term has now been the necessity for survival. Our brains re-wired to understand time better than our primate ancestors. We began to notice patterns in the changing seasons, when it is the best time to hunt, store food, or move to another location. We learned to plan for the dynamic and changing environment we live in. Our efforts to understand the movements of the heavenly bodies were inspired by our desire to know how to react to changes in vegetation or animal herd migrations. Our increased social cohesiveness also required the development of language. This allowed for the formation of larger and more complex societies and the further development of culture.
Intelligence gave us more than just an edge for survival, but also the desire to know the reason for our very existence. We express this desire thought art, science, and religion. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the universe someone is there to be aware of its existence. Maybe life, and ultimately intelligence, is an inherent property of matter. Because if there is no one to know that the Universe exists, then does it really exist? This confluence of philosophy and quantum mechanics, wherein the observer is viewed to be just as important as the event makes us question the very nature of “reality”.
In fact one can make the assumption that different levels of consciousness causes different perception of the world. To elaborate, imagine a dog, it can learn, follow commands and even solve simple problems. But it is genetically limited in terms of the reach of its understanding of the world it lives in. He has no concept of other cities or other countries where other dogs exist. The only world it knows is the one in the immediate vicinity. How could he even understand that the Earth is a sphere? Or that the Sun is just one of quadrillions of stars in the universe? It’s most dominant level of consciousness, its instinct, cannot possibly conceive the scale of the universe, the forces and laws that govern it, or the geometry of space and time.
And yet for our “intelligence” there are still so many things that are maybe just beyond our reach and understanding. What happens after death? Why are we here? Where are we headed? Why does hydrogen have an atomic number of 1? Why is gravity so much weaker than electromagnetism? What was before the big bang? These are questions that are at the forefront of our thoughts, questions that shows our ignorance.
Just as a dog could not imagine that it will die someday, or that there was a period of time that it did not exist, so are we with the questions of ultimate purpose and causality. Many scientists are now worried that intelligence alone may not be enough to truly grasp the universe we live in. Neil Degrasse Tyson, a renowned physicist, once said that other beings with higher levels of consciousness may exist somewhere in the universe, maybe even operate beyond the 4 dimensions we can perceive. These beings would be “god-like” compared to us, just as we are to ants.
Could we even begin to imagine what that higher level of consciousness could be? It may even give its owner complete mastery of time and space. If so, then where did they come from? Is it possible that in the next few million years’ humanity will evolve to a point where we will achieve ascension into a higher plane of existence? To become beings not constrained by space and time? Maybe those beings that Dr. Tyson mentioned are in fact our descendants, and since they have mastered time and space then they may be here now, in our present, observing us. No one really knows. These are just “possibilities”.
A day may come when all these questions may be answered, and chances are we would no longer be around when humanity finally learns the ultimate truth. As Dr. Tyson said; “I am jealous of that possibility, I want to be around when that happens.”