Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Failure to Evolve

We humans have inhabited Earth for at least 130,000 years.  In the course of our history we have spread across the planet, established vibrant cities, developed effective means of global transportation, created technologies to advance communication, healthcare and agriculture, harnessed energy from wind, sun, rivers, uranium and fossil fuels, explored near space and sent probes toward distant planets and galaxies.  While much of our activity has threatened the welfare of Earth's natural ecosystems, we have, in many cases, been able to utilize the same scientific discipline to repair the damage.

Unfortunately, while most humans benefit from the achievements of mankind, only a small minority understand the science that underlies that progress.  Worse yet, the great majority of humans retain mythologic belief systems that cause them to question the validity of science; furthermore, those beliefs tend to foster zealotry and tribalism which impede cooperation and incite conflict.

As a result, most of the resources that might be devoted to cultural development, education and scientific research are directed to politics, intelligence services, military programs and other non-progressive endeavors.  The hope that we might evolve into a more enlightened species, not subject to intolerance, discrimination and warfare, is all but dashed by persistent mythologies that first took root in the creative but science-naive minds of our distant ancestors.  When a species fails to evolve, it is on the road to extinction and we humans are not immune to that reality.