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Let the Luddites battle with the scientists among us about evolution vs. Intelligent Design. I say both are losing propositions. If what we have is the best an Intelligent Designer can come up with, we need a better Designer. If what we have is the best that natural selection can come up with, we are all doomed.
Most people with the ability to think have come to the conclusion that there is overwhelming evidence to support the proposition advanced by science that life has evolved over time selecting that iteration of life that best adapts to conditions on earth. But if that is accurate, what can be said about the form of life we humans arrogantly claim to be the penultimate expression of carbon based life forms, human beings?
Is not the human experience a direct refutation of the principles of evolution? Is it not rather clear that we have evolved to the point where we are about to take down not only our own species but most of the rest of life too? Then again, this may point to the genius of evolution.
I point to the explosion of the population of humans In our times, the abundant evidence that we are polluting and exploiting the environment to oblivion and a curious characteristic found most acutely here in the united States. It may well be the Achilles tendon of human existence itself.
Winning. There, I have pointed at the be-all of American existence as the curse of evolution.
Winning is everything, win at all costs, be number one, take no prisoners, skunk the competition, dominate, with us or against us â€“ it has many forms, this pestilence, and is venerated as the unofficial state religion of the United States. Yet, I say it will cost us beyond the worst predictions of the gloomiest doomsayers.
Evolution, it is said, has led to the human condition of competition and its child, winning. We are by nature competitive, it is claimed, and that is a good thing for it leads to all the abundance of goodies which are enjoyed by happy humans. Those without these goodies seek them and if the donâ€™t they are claimed to be either backward or infidels.
When looked at carefully, it is really this clash of religions that lies under the American â€“ Muslim conflict. Many devout Muslims object at the deepest levels to the very nature of our culture â€“ the drive for goods, wealth and the veneration of competition as the evil they fear the most. Our occupation of their lands is an insult, but at bottom they resist with all their energies the invasion of our values.
Yet it is in our own lands that the disease of competition and winning takes its greatest toll. Our young are given little time to develop their natural selves before we train them to be killers, winners and environment devouring idiots. We drive the young to beat their neighbors at everything that comes before them. The values we preach are not about cooperation and community but about what it will take to climb to the top of the heap of bodies left behind.
Capitalism drives business to eat competitors for lunch, to devour employees as just another raw material and aim exclusively at the holy grail of shareholder value. Many demand that government get out of the way of this drive and cease attempts to moderate the impact on our community.
If this is in fact the face of evolution in practice, then evolution is our enemy. It lacks an intelligent design. It is aimed directly at the end of life as we know it and possibly the end of life itself. Yes, that is hyperbole and overly dramatic. But can you refute it?
Humans have developed, as a facet of our evolution, a giant accumulation of specialized cells called a brain. It is time we started using it to dampen down the competition that seeks to destroy us in the name of progress.
It is time we learned how to discuss rather than destroy, accommodate instead of annihilate and cooperate instead of compete. Only then can we claim to have used the fruits of evolution to participate in an intelligent design for evolution on the planet. Only then can we have any claim to being at the top of lifeâ€™s many forms. Do we have the intelligence to shape evolution itself?