Recently I read a facebook status which sparked a bit of a religious debate. Religious debates always seem to be a touchy subject. Some people find it too deep of a topic that they don’t want to delve into it because it forces them to re-evaluate their lives, their beliefs or possibly because it requires a great deal of thinking. Awhile back I watched the movie “Religulous” and what I remember so much from it was the aggressive, dominating, unintelligent, unsubstantiated answers towards questions about religion. Some reactions were so aggressive and frightening; it was so disturbing to see how religion can ignite so much fear, aggression and hatred towards other individuals. Some people are fixed into believing what they have been indoctrinated into believing. Aggression, denial, refusal to understand alternative reasoning becomes a defensive mechanism when beliefs are come into question.
I remember Richard Dawkins interviewing a priest and was asking him valid questions about religion. The priest answered ambiguously, poetically, just plain airy fairy. He just answered with some poetic jargon which he himself admitted to not understanding his own answer. Believing in answers that are fanciful, irrational, superstitious and unsubstantiated is dangerous; it hinders the growth of our intellect, it hinders our quest for true knowledge. It’s our intellect; our thirst for knowledge, the reason why human species have prospered.
This brought me back to thoughts on Eamonn Healy’s talk in the movie “Waking Life” (which is a brilliant movie and by far one of my favourite movies of all time), the future of human evolution and which direction would it take. Eamonn Healy is a chemistry professor predicts the evolution of a neo-human manifesting traits of truth, loyalty, justice and freedom. He talks about when we look at the evolution of the human organism and the development of its interaction with the environment we begin to see the further telescopic evolutionary time.
EVOLUTION AS WE KNOW IT
For example we have 2 billion years of life, 6 million years of the hominid, 100 thousand years for mankind as we know it, then further on we get agriculture, scientific revolution and industrial revolution, hence you are looking at 10 thousand years, 400 years and then 150 years. Evolutionary time becomes shorter and shorter. What this means is as we go to the new evolution, it’s going to telescope to the point where it is going to manifest itself within our lifetime, within a generation.
Healy talks about the new evolution stems from new information, 2 types of information which are digital and analogue. Digital is artificial intelligence and analogue results from molecular biology organisms and this is then combined with neurobiology.
In the old evolutionary paradigm the other (other species) will die and the other will grow and dominate (survival of the fittest). However, in the new paradigm they will exist as a mutually supportive, non competitive grouping independent of the external. Evolution becomes an individually central process, emanating the needs and desires of the individual and not an external process, as passive process where the individual is at the whim of the collective. The result is a neo-human with a new individuality, a new consciousness and so the new cycle of evolution proceeds where the new input is this new intelligence. So as intelligence piles on intelligence, ability piles on ability the speed changes (similar like an exponential function) until a crescendo is reached in a way could be an enormous, instantaneous fulfilment of human and neo-human potential, it could be the amplification of the individual, the multiplication of individual existences, the parallel existences the individual is no longer restricted by time and space (what quantum mechanics is currently exploring). The manifestations can be dramatically counter intuitive but in contrast the old evolution is cold, it’s sterile, it’s efficient, it’s manifestations are those social adaptations such as parasitism, dominance, morality, war, predation, these would be subject to de-emphasis, these would be subject to de-evolution. In the new evolutionary paradigm, it will give us human traits of truth, loyalty, justice and freedom....Healy's concept is interesting, positive and something I would like to see in the future.