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It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's
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(community and personal)
problems addressed by TIA:
violence, drug abuse, alcoholism, other addictions,
road rage, office
rage, bullying, homelessness, teenage rebellion,
depression, major crime, even illiteracy, high divorce
personal problems that lead to neuroses, bankruptcy or
Copyright 2003-2012 BillAllin.com,
Are We Maturing or Evolving As A Species?
You can graph human
evolution, which is mostly a straight line, but we do get better and
change over time, and you can graph technological evolution, which is a
line that's going straight up. They are going to intersect each other
at some point, and that's happening now.
- Daniel H. Wilson, American author, TV host, robotics engineer (b. 1978)
Evolution is constant.
It's happening all the time, every day, not just occasionally over
eons. It is now known that our own genetic composition can change even
daily based on life conditions, diet, stressors, environmental factors,
medications, even to the extent of finding new love.
Is it possible that
our species has evolved slightly over the past century so that we are
close to becoming two separate species? What might members of an
evolving group of humans look like so that we could distinguish them
from those who were not evolving? Would the unevolved ones fear the
evolved ones and kill them as enemies the way science fiction has
postulated? If so, would the evolved ones want to look like the
unevolved ones long enough that their numbers were strong enough that
they could repel attacks from the unevolved ones?
That suggestion may
sound absurd because you have not heard it before. But look around the
world at human populations. You can see major differences in approaches
to life in every country.
In North American
countries they are referred to as political differences, liberals and
conservatives. In many countries the two are represented by two or more
different political parties. In other places they may be represented by
different religions. In still others the differences may be between
those in power and those struggling to escape from the group in power,
one that is particularly oppressive. Often the differences will be that
one group prefers peace while the other advocates war or control by
power. Or those who work for the best interests of others as well as of
themselves and those whose only interest is themselves and their own
Sympathy is a common characteristic among all human cultures. Empathy,
the ability to actually feel what someone else is experiencing, is a
relatively rare characteristic. Empathy would seem to be a
characteristic of an advanced form of human. Characteristics have ways
of forming themselves to become part of the genetic makeup of a species.
Could these possibly
represent differences in the DNA of our species, differences that are
not yet striking enough that we are still able to reproduce with each
other. (Species are usually distinguished from each other by their
inability to mate successfully, though there are exceptions such as
donkeys mating with horses to produce mules.)
Sociologists would say
these two groups represent the social evolution of humankind from
tribal culture to megasociety culture. This would be what I am calling
the maturing of our species.
Tribal culture can
best be seen in parts of the world that are still mostly tribal in
nature. In these places fighting is ongoing, peace is rare and brief.
The Middle East, parts of Africa and parts of the subcontinent are
easily recognized as mainly tribal. In tribal culture there is always
fear of the other "tribes" because of their differences, fear that the
other may conquer or assimilate them.
With 7.5 billion
people on our planet we can't afford to maintain a constant tribal
state or we would be constantly at war. We must accommodate ourselves
to what is called the megasociety. The megasociety recognizes
differences and accepts them without fear and without wanting to resort
to genocide to protect themselves. Death by violence is frequent in
tribal societies, much less in megasocieties.
In the largest
countries by population in the world, China, India and the USA, we can
see signs of old tribal characteristics showing up, especially at
election time. But, generally speaking, these countries remain
relatively peaceful within their own borders and with other countries,
considering what they were like in the past.
Are we maturing, as we
must with an uncontrollably large population, from tribal society to
megasociety? Or are we splitting into two separate and distinct species
of necessity, by evolution?
It would certainly be
more comfortable for us to say the differences are just differences in
principles, in political preferences.
But, no matter what
your political preferences, are you not tempted to ask yourself "What
is wrong with those people that they can think that way?" Are the
differences deeper than political preference?
I can't offer evidence
of genetic change among our species. Neither can anyone else because
this has not been studied. I do wonder why the US State of California
has forbidden its citizens from having a complete DNA analysis done by
their own request and at their own expense. What might that reveal in a
state that large?
Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,
a book that offers inexpensive solutions to social problems through
changes in education. He has also authored hundreds of articles which
are available free on the internet.
It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's