Science has by all means proved the veracity of a claim made by the greatest thinker and scientist of all time, Charles Darwin. His observations and assertions postulated more than 150 years ago made T. H Huxley go, “Why didn’t I think of it first”. It has been demonstrated even in the behavioural aspects of man. Survival of the Fittest.
Evolution has lead to many convoluted pseudo scientific observations, made and believed by people with zero scientific temperament and in most cases, an over zealous religious belief. The most common and facile of them all is that Humans evolved from monkeys.
The monkeys we see toda, in zoos or in the wild jungles of Africa are by no means our ancestors. “Why are no more human babies walking out of the African jungles? If evolution is true?” How far from truth can that be.
No species can physically produce an offspring that can be considered as another species. None of the animals that we see today, in this world, has been evolved from anything else. They are cousins and distant cousins. That is evolution at its best. But that is not what I wanted to talk about. Evolution says humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor. 98% of gene matter is common between these two species.
Evolution has been taken up by people very much qualified and all I can say about it is from books of Richard Dawkins, Stephen J. Gould and none other than Charles Darwin. I would recommend all the Dawkins books ( Unweaving the Rainbow, The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The Greatest Show on Earth), Gould’s essay’s in Natural History magazine to a serious person who wants to know more about the science and the truth and the evidences that can be spread in support.
It is not a ‘theory’ as in a hypothesis. It is a verified and very much experimented science.
But all science apart, the question that intrigued me is the human necessity for a supreme being to be there to guide and help and intervene and work in mysterious ways.
It has all to do with how human race came to existence and how brilliantly Darwinian science molded humans into supernatural fearing and faith addicted channels of ignorance. Handed over through generations from the time Homosapiens were living in caves.
Going back to the Dawn of Man, they had a hard time coming into existence. Weak, with the newborn’s being completely defenseless, unable to fend off or survive for its own good. Similar to the great apes and chimps, but unlike the other animals which can walk and fend off minimal threats by itself. Apes as well as humans had to stick together.
They had to find strength in numbers, to survive the stronger better agile and furious carnivores, to protect their newborn’s, Society was a necessity. Everyone was not Conan.
But having the biggest brain size, exploration and curiosity came naturally. Curiosity is inherent even in animals with lesser developed ( spatially ) brains. Man wanted to know more about what he was seeing and where he was.
Angry volcanoes, intermittent and unpredictable rains, seas that rose sky high, thunderstorms and lightnings. The small creature called homo sapien was scared. He sought explanations. Got some from shamans and witch doctors. Elders and Rulers. Superstitious and filled with fear.
All of which seemed very likely at that time. Minotaur in the volcano, a God with Sword made of light, a Sea God who was angry. Plausible. Ignorant. Mind evolved over time, these inane fears evolved with it. Giving rise to more superstitions. The society benefited constructively.
The fear of something supernatural, an eye in the sky, was very much key to the social setup. It held the people together. The curse of seas, forests, mountains and the sky prevented societies from getting split holding them from disintegrating. The fear of an all seeing man also affected the primitive morality, it prevented certain animal instincts of killing, coveting etc from taking place. This fear held the primitive species together.
This was a biological need. Humans had to stick together to survive and to become the fittest as a group. This biological need for strength in numbers boosted any aspects that would be constructive to attaining numbers. Fear was the key of it. Biologically, for survival, the fittest in the group had to be the most fearful. Fear, of course, is not the lack of courage. Fear usually leads to the most courageous acts by human beings. But this fear of the unknown was very much biological. It induced togetherness, forced it even.
Darwin triumphs. Religion, Fear, and God were necessary. It helped in the further survival of the species, those survived were the ones in the group. Individuals who went off to explore must have survived for only so long, but there were warrior races too. This is Natural Selection at its subtle best. The by product? perpetual insecurity. Fear of unknown. Fear of dark. Ghosts.
Human beings got their genes implanted with the idea of some white bearded guy sitting in a room full of cctv’s answering some people while neglecting others, though seeing everything. This fear and idea of God has become so much ingrained to human mind that, individual thoughts and emotional control has been let off. People needed a God when they are sad. Someone to tell them all is well. I think, many people has imaginary friends when they are young, it become stupid once you start worshiping your imaginary friend.
We have been chained to something that was a key to our ancestors survival. We are experiencing the effects of a Darwinian selection process that has lead us up till here. Religion and God are the by products of Darwinian evolution and natural selection.
Another area to witness Natural Selection is religion itself. The extinction of some and the rise and fall of others. Thor was kicked out, so was Zeus and Ra. Those were pagan religions which welcomed new Gods.
Survival of the fittest. Christianity survived, 3.2 Billion people, strength in numbers, key to human survival. Warring and conquering was the initial key to Christian survival. Then the colonial expansions of Christian nations, which lead to a viral spread of Christianity. Similar with Islam.Christianity has also evolved. Species and sub-species, sects and sub-sects. Really, if a Christian says, evolution is theory, he just have to look into Christianity to see evolution. ( Can’t say all this break ups and break ups were also a master plan to create more discord, though may be possible, ‘god works in mysterious ways!’ )
Really, Darwin explained life. With all complications. From the smallest creature to the biggest. The true triumph of the genius.