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Guest Thinkers

So Much for Evolution? Or Evolution Is Getting Personal?

1.  According to our really cool BIG THINK physicist, Michio Kaku, evolution has stopped for our species.

2. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change ourselves.

3. So, in the case of our species, impersonal natural evolution has been displaced by conscious and volitional evolution.

4. Natural evolution is with the flourishing of the species in mind.  Each particular member of the species is, in effect, species fodder.  That means, for example, that social mammals such as ourselves should find our fulfillment in fulfilling our desires as social animals.  But we aren’t completely satisfied by that instinctual satisfaction, because we can’t lose ourselves in some social or natural whole.  We know, it seems, that each of us is dissed by being reduced to a part of some whole. Have we become less social, in that sense, over time?

5. Conscious and volitional evolution is not with the species–but with ME–in mind.  My objection to nature is its indifference to my personal existence.  Nature is out to kill ME–take ME out–once I’ve done my social duty.

6. But I refuse to give in, I want to stay around.  So I’m working hard to indefinitely perpetuate my own existence against nature’s intention.  And that’s the point of all technological and biotechnological progress (against nature), as the transhumanists most emphatically point out. It’s not nature, but US, that produces change we can believe in.

7. The unself-conscious, non-technological, non-personal animals are fine with living according to nature. 

8. And so we might want to say that the theory of evolution was completely true until our species–the being with infinitely complex language open to the truth about being and one’s own being–showed up.

9. Or: Animals smart enough to discover the theory of evolution are bound to exhibit plenty of behavior that would prove it’s not completely true–and getting less true, as we imposed our personal will on the whole planet (and maybe [who knows?] more and more of the cosmos).

I actually don’t completely believe the above.  But tell me why I shouldn’t.


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