Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thoughts On Evolution: Physical evolution in its infancy?

"Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There's another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate."
- Bill Hicks

It was easy for me to say that Intelligence and Love, from an evolutionary standpoint, are fairly young and have a lot of possibilities of growth. But then what about the physical world? Has it reached its peak?

We look at our bodies - efficient in mobility, clever thumbs and a large well protected brain. When we imagine alien life forms, they often possess a similar structure; we say God created us in his own image; does this mean that the physical side of evolution has completed its run? Or is it foolish to ever assume evolution can cease?

When I try imagine what could be next, I first think of our flaws. We still get sick and are vulnerable to many dangers. But to combat these we seem to prefer to use intelligence, designing medicines and technologies to assist us. We could evolve to be stronger or faster, develop more acute senses, but again it seems like technology is covering these roles as well.

Do we have to make predictions of sci-fi proportions to find a possible path? Maybe telepathy or telekinesis are on the cards. What secrets are there to be unlocked in that spare 90% of our brains? Maybe we must realise our true physical connectivity with the world and universe. But as cool as that would be, would it ever really be reached? Technology lets us control our entertainment systems from the couch. We can communicate with whoever we want, whenever we want through mobile phones and the internet. Who needs telepathy? Maybe Wall-E is the indicator of our future physical evolution – we become fat, lazy and gluttonous.

Or maybe I am simply wrong to separate the achievements of the mind or soul from those of the body. I recently watched a video on YouTube that attempts to illustrate ten dimensions of space. And that is what struck me – that they are all dimensions of space. Maybe intelligence and love are simply the next step of physical evolution. The brain is the hub where ideas and emotions are felt, but in the end it is just made up of atoms like everything else.

- Eden (while listening to Embryonic – The Flaming Lips)

Thoughts on Evolution: Intelligence in its infancy
Thoughts on Evolution: Love in its infancy


  1. Nice write.

    I think it is safe to separate evolution of the body and mind, in very basic terms. In recent times (the past 5,000 years or so) - humans haven't evolved a great deal in terms of physical appearance, intelligence or the capacity for love. I do however agree with you that we are in an infant stage of some sort when discussing physical evolution (and most definitely when discussing evolution of love), I'm just not sure whether humans will live long enough to reach a noticeable evolutionary shift.

  2. Yeah it's tough enough guessing where we are heading, let alone knowing if we will even make it before perishing.

    Maybe physical evolution will be like all those movies and books and robots will take a hold. But can a robot love? Cause it's hard to say what's real, When you know the way you feel. Is it wrong to think it's love, When it tries the way it does?

  3. But then what if that robot was feeling a synthetic kind of love, dreaming a sympathetic wish? Even as the lights blink faster and brighter, one more robot learns to be something more than a machine.