Friday, April 08, 2016

Ego and evolution

It's interesting how one of the obvious side effects of conciousness is the development of ego; none of us can easily imagine the universe without us in it (or don't want to) but when you think about it, it's pretty simple. Just think about all those billions of people right now getting on with their lives utterly oblivious to your existence and who wouldn't be affected in any way at all if you were to vanish right now. Similarly, in medieval minds it looked like everything in the environment was created specifically for them; the trees, the rivers, the corn, the fruit, the animals etc. all seemed to suit their purposes eerily well. 

Of course, they reached the only conclusion a pre-scientific egotistical species could, i.e. that it was all created just for them by various supernatural gods (depending on where you were born). As Darwin showed in the mid-1800s this is, in fact, an illusion; the environment doesn't bend to suit its inhabitants, reality works in exactly the opposite way. Populations adapt over vast spans of time to fit into their environments via the process of natural selection. Despite this indisputable insight many people today (probably the majority of people on Earth) still hold with the medieval view; even in educationally advanced countries like the USA this position is still (amazingly) prevalent. Most unsophisticated religious people, even many non-religious people don't have even a basic understanding of our actual position in the universe as illuminated by Darwin and the 400 years of rigorous scientific investigation his conclusions rested upon. It's still much easier for many to kick-back and go with their egos and, for me, it's hard to see how we can rid ourselves of this endless succession of fundamentalist nutters, completely seduced by their own egos, until these crucial facts are properly acquired by all.

No comments: