When was the last time you actually tried to move your toes? Do you ever feel like parts of your body are slowly going out of business? Like, with every generation, a small piece of your body refuses to join in with the family. What does that feel like? That’s why it’s important to work out. Hell I’m working out while writing this. I’m doing situps with a phone in my hand. It’s up to you to decide how pathetic or heroic that sounds. That’s how I roll. I don’t let moments go to waste.
But you know, with every door that closes, a new one gets cut open with a “here’s Johnny!”. So, if a part of your body shuts down, a new one awakens. Like, if your spine stops bending backwards, a new skill might show up, like, long division or something.
I used to think that life on Earth evolved over millions of years to be the best that they can be, upgrading themselves over generations. But if you’ve read any books on evolution, biology, you would know that that’s just not true. Even nature is imperfect. If you are familiar with Richard Dawkins works, you would know that we have evidence of design flaws in our own body! These facts contradict the involvement of an “intelligent designer” or some sort of a “supreme being” in the creation of all life on Earth. But we still “believe” because “mom and dad said so”.
Maybe books can make a difference in people. Maybe the nerds were right after all. But if you’re like me and hate books, and believe that they are the work of the devil, then I highly recommend you stay away from politics because if you get elected, people’s lives will be at stake.
I found certain similarities between biological evolution and blogging. I know, I need to lay off the alcohol. But I had this thought while I was super-sober, during a work meeting.
After writing a post, do you ever find yourself tweaking it just a little bit so that you get those extra views/likes? As the years go by, you’ll figure out which of your posts get liked the most and which ones don’t receive any attention. So you’ll start making amends to your posts. This habit might grow over time without you even knowing it. You might realize it at some point of time but you’ll continue to do it because you’ll find that your posts thrive that way.
One day, you’ll wake up and say, “what the hell am I doing?. I have lost my uniqueness, my individuality. I need to reset”.
Both scenarios don’t look that bad. But when it comes to evolution, I think it can get a little tricky. Nature tries making small changes with every few generations of animals and plants. Some succeed. Some fail. Nature learns. Nature makes amends. For example, it gave a few of our ancestors, the ability to walk using only two legs. But it didn’t do the same for all our ancestors. My question is, is nature aware of the changes it is making?. Did at any point of time, nature forget about uniqueness and individuality, and went ahead only with those who succeeded? We might never find out. But that’s not what scares me.
What if one day, nature wakes up and thinks, “what the hell am I doing? I have lost my uniqueness, my individuality. I need to reset”.
One of the most awesome characteristics of planet Earth is that it has an atmosphere. Thanks to it, we are able to communicate with each other verbally (sound requires a medium to propagate, which in this case is air). We evolved to develop ears only because there was air in the atmosphere.
Well, what if there was no air? How would we communicate? Most people would ask how we would survive without air in the first place. I am talking of a hypothetical situation where we would be able to survive without it. Who knows? Maybe there’s a planet out there with no air. Imagine a thunderstorm with no sound. Such a waste!
The first thing that comes to mind is sign language. I wonder how much further we would have advanced from simple signing. For example, with, sound, we began by making simple noises, then advanced to simple words, then sentences and so on. Now we have cell phones, voice recorders and Daft Punk. What if we had advanced the same way with something like sign language? I am guessing facial expressions would play a much greater role. The conveyance of feelings would be a thing? (anyone who watched The Arrival can relate). I can imagine a world full of professor Xs walking around in silence yet communicating with each other just fine.
The environment directly influences the way we evolve (perfect time to bring up environmental awareness but who gives a shit). What if there exists a planet with a completely different type of environment inhabited by completely different beings? How cool/nightmarish would that be?
Adaptive biological reprogramming, a.k.a. “evolution”(I made that up) gave us the power to think. No one asked for it. It was gifted to us by ourselves. Despite wielding the awesome power of thought, we still do not know where we come from. It shows how complex nature really is. Pictures of Earth taken from outer space have shown us how insignificant we are in the awesomeness that is the universe. The time frame of our very existence shows us how irrelevant we are in the history of Earth itself. It makes you wonder. What’s the point of all this anger, envy and hate? When the camera zooms out and shows the Earth shrink into nothing but a pale blue dot, you suddenly realize that we are but one big family. In the process, we also learn another surprising truth: WE ARE NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. Literally!
The fact that we have begun to understand our place in the universe leads me to believe that we might not be that dumb after all! We may not be “special” but we are participants of a great cosmic journey. In the words of Carl Sagan, “We are all made of ‘star stuff’ “. The ingredients that make up the stars are the very same ones found in our body. We are part of the universe. I think that is super cool. We are not perfect. We find cures for disease yet fail to realize that we are the cause of many of them. But we are curious wanderers. We sent our kind into space. We reverse engineered from the present and found clues that lead back to the beginning of the unverse a.k.a wait for it… The Big Bang! We study our own behaviour! We help each other. We do not need a “meaning” for life, we create it for ourselves. Through the universe, we realize that it is not always about “me” but it is about “us”. I think we are awesome. Hi five yourself.
We want faster phones, scarier horror movies, underwater restaurants, everlasting bacon, science-based religions, edible flight food, educated politicians, non-addictive drugs, human libraries, three-parent babies, self lacing shoes and of course, pocket pussies. We want to talk to cellphones when we feel lonely. We want to learn to play the piano in one day. We want to wear computers. We want to simulate roller-coaster rides. We want everything right now.
I used to wonder what’s the point of these endless desires. But I kind of get it now. This is how we evolve. I think it is this unstoppable want for new and better things that makes us progress in life. It is what makes us inventors and travellers.
However, things can get confusing along the way.
Goddammit Dolby. What if we get bored of this too?.
I’ve been thinking about what we want vs what we need. Its funny that most of us have a clear idea of what we want but have no clue about what we need. We don’t even know what we need until it is invented by someone else. Some good examples:
Let me first make one thing clear. I love space. I am fascinated by it and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe its because I feel like I don’t belong here. Any way… in spite of my fascination with the unknown, I don’t know anything about it! I haven’t read any books about it nor have I tried to study it. All the information I’ve gathered is from watching scientists talk on YouTube.
What intrigues me is the general public’s disinterest in space and space exploration. If you go up to a person on the road and ask him what he thinks about space and the importance of space exploration, this is probably the answer you would get-“There’s a sun and planets revolve around it. We have a moon going around us too. No one really knows for sure what goes on out there. We’ve got more problems here on Earth to deal with”. And I totally agree with this. We’ve got a hell of a lot problems here. There is suffering, pain, injustice, torture, climate change, overpopulation, poverty, unemployment, crime, disease, etc. They are all very worrisome. A normal person would ask why the hell should we spend money and put in effort for space exploration if it has no guaranteed results? Instead, why don’t we solve the problems here on Earth that might have practical solutions?
I’ve asked myself these questions several times. There are fundamental questions that each and every one of us have in our minds. Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? From what I understand, the answers to these questions lie out there in space. I don’t think meditation is going to give us the answer! The amazing thing is that we make discoveries all along the way. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. You will be amazed to see how space exploration has indirectly affected our lives. Most of the technology that we use on a daily basis have been developed based on the research undertaken for space exploration. Read about it here.
It is said that life began in water. Then it moved onto land. It started to crawl, walk , hell! it even began to fly! That’s all good. Here’s what’s bothers me though. What if the fish never left the water? What if the aquatic animals decided to better their living conditions rather than trying to move into land? How different would the world be? Are we still fish in a pond and just don’t realize it yet? What if the next step in evolution is out there in space?
We’ve been told in science class that we live on a planet that revolves around the sun. We’ve also been told that planets, stars and other celestial bodies are “moving” in space. I accepted all these things because I was child. But I never stopped thinking about it. Just “floating” in space wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to know how and why. What surprises me is that everyone else in my class was fine with this vague explanation. Not me. I don’t understand how people can just blindly believe what they are taught in class and not want to know more about it. How can one not be curious about the cosmos?
This is why I admire travellers. I think they follow the gut instinct without any hesitation. They work hard to experience the unknown. They have no boundaries. They are the real explorers. Can you believe that there are people willing to take one-way trips to outer space? Curiosity has no limits. Curiosity rules!
We often hear the phrase: What are we, animals?. It really makes me think. Whenever we do something aggressive, we’re told not to behave like animals and yet we are. We are animals. Who are we kidding? There’s no denying it. We are only desperately trying to suppress our animal desires. However, we are evolved animals and evolved beings are expected to behave well. Where do we draw the line? I think there is no such line because I believe we are still undergoing that change.
How do we define being human?
We began this arduous journey as animals. Slowly but steadily we began the transition to humanity. Along the way, we tend to get confused. I think it is okay to get confused. We get confused because at the core we are still animals. We feel good when we behave like animals. How long will it take for these animal instincts to go away? People say that it is upto an individual to decide weather to do the right thing. I don’t think it makes sense. A person, lets say a “less evolved” person might be behaving like an animal because their mind is asking them to do what it thinks is right. Whatever we, “evolved” beings might think, that person is just following his/er instincts. Their conscience finds nothing wrong in behaving like animals. So they do whatever they like but in some cases, they might feel regret afterwards. I think this is the key point in evolution. We feel the prick of conscience. In even rarer cases, we go back and fix it! Then we learn from it. We adapt our ways so that we do not repeat the mistake. Evolution at its best!
I don’t think we have reached the destination though. I don’t think there is one. I don’t think there will ever be a fully evolved human being. Please don’t think I am too pessimistic. I have reasons to believe so. The body adapts to its surroundings. Since environments keep changing, there is no reason for evolution to stop. The human mind is extraordinary. It has the ability to teach itself and hence people will also continue to evolve mentally forever. Having said that, I would just like to point out that I watched X-men apocalypse today and I loved it.
We live in a world where the majority of the population think they are always right. People don’t take a moment to think how their actions might affect others(I am no better). Its amazing how a simple discussion with other people can change your plans altogether. I think this is another trait we acquired with the help of evolution. The ability to have an actual discussion with others, to consider the consequences of your actions before you make them, is amazing.
I think we still depend a lot on our animal instincts to succeed in life. That ‘gut feeling’ that we all get is the basic instinct. We cannot throw away such useful traits. However, there are several of them that I think we should lose!