Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Jul 11, 2015

EVOLUTION - A Work In Progress and GOD is the end result…

Talking about Evolution today i.e. 10th July, seems quite apt, given that this day in 1925, the Trial of Century, TheScope’s trial also dubbed as The Monkey Trial began, which brought the controversies surrounding around Theory of Evolution, in the forefront of public interest. This trial set Modernists, who said evolution was not inconsistent with religion against Fundamentalists, who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge.

As "Darwinism" became widely accepted in
the 1870s, caricatures of 
Charles Darwin
with an ape or 
IMAGE Curtsy Wikipedia
For quiet sometime, I have been thinking about the Darwinism - The theory of Evolution, as it has put some serious question mark to the idea of GOD. Some of the top scientists of the world have denied it and the most celebrated scientist of the century, Stephen Hawking has said, "The God Does Not Exist" (Click here to read my thoughts about the statement). So here are some of my thoughts about why I feel that Evolution will eventually bring us face to face with the Universal Consciousness, which some of us believe is the direct representation of the Word ‘God’.

To begin with, there has always been some question about the many sharp turns evolution took on it’s own as well as through some quirks of fate, e.g. almost 70,000 years ago, a super volcano erupted in Indonesia, which brought the human population at the time to 3,000 -10,000 across the planet. What if the things would have happened slightly different at each turn of Evolution, lucky or not?

The professor of Paleobiology, Conway Morris of the Cambridge University says that Evolution is not random but strongly constrained. Wherever any environmental niches existed, evolution found a way to fill them with the appropriate creatures. So to my mind that brings Nature into focus that creates a space for something to flourish. Richard Dawkins of the God Delusion fame says that the eyes have evolved over 40 times, whereas the intelligence was given the short shrift by Evolution, as if it was not a good idea at all.

A reconstruction of "Lucy,"
a female 
Australopithecus afarensis
Curtsy Wikipedia
Yet, through out the human evolution history, biological changes ran along with technological changes. Brains did increase in size, where evolution put layers upon layer of structure over the ancient brain across multiple ‘human like’ species. And an arms race erupted within the human species, where the winner was Homo Sapiens with it’s better cognitive capacity; the ability to project one self into future through thinking, memory etc and was able to share its triumphs across the species with the unique evolution of Language. Along with this breakthrough, came the cultural evolution that put the Homo sapiens into the forefront of forming  societies, which made the 'physical power' less important for the survival. We stood up on our legs for long range visual area for hunt or escape; dropped off our fur-coat, made possible by the discovery of fire; sustaining and creating it; shortcomings of physical strength overcome by better brains etc.

Darwin, what he called as ‘descent with modification’, proclaimed that over the long period of evolution, brains changed too. Process of natural selections was modifying the old versions of brain and we became the product of brains that survived the survival game and in turn passed on the bigger and better brains to the next generation. This passing on phenomenon was probably one of the reasons, Darwin did not publish his manuscript for 17 years, since he was not sure about the process of this handover. However, as Prof. Daniel M Ogilvie says in one of his lecture, Darwin somehow understood what was happening and talked about the invisible characters in the sperm and the egg.

Reconstruction of Homo heidelbergensis
which may be the direct ancestor of both

 Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.
IMAGE Curtsy Wikipedia
Looking at the long natural history of humankind, we certainly did not always have brains that could do complex things, think complex thoughts and ideas. We probably did not even have the awareness about consciousness. We didn’t thought of 'mind' or even the ability to make up something like the 'idea of soul'. These came into existence over long periods of time. From the physical point of view, we are not so formidable as independent physical entity, which creates a doubt about our continued existence? Darwin reasoned that it’s because we have developed not only into a highly social creature but also an intelligent species.

A Guide in Shanghai @ Shashi
Some animals survive on their strength of camouflage but human kind’s biggest survival tool is intelligence and that led to an enormous pressure on evolution to develop bigger and better brains. But as the process of birth goes, evolution could not go on increasing size to add more and more neurons into our head, which needs to fit into the mother’s pelvis. At that stage of development, quoting Prof Daniel Ogilvie "Evolution came up with its single most important evolutionary solution by providing human species with longer childhood". This growth period, in some cases stretching up to 30 years, gave us the time required to develop a highly complex brain. During this growing up period, we fill our brains with the experiences of our individual lifetime. In another interesting development, the evolution chose to allocate relatively huge areas of our brains to intricate and well-designed system for processing language and visual inputs, probably the most detailed physical skills that we as humans can do.

Which brings us to the modern man of the 21st century. But the evolution has not stopped in its track. It is still working on evolving, in it’s own languid pace, as we zip around in our own day to day business and information over drive of cyber space.

IMAGE : Vagamon Kerala @ Shashi
We have shed our physical prowess as more and more we used our intellect to survive, coupled with the growth of our brains. In my opinion, the next logical step of evolution should be to free us from the constraints of the physicality of the brain itself. Which leads me to believe that we are on the path to be further evolved at the higher planes of existence and eventually as pure consciousness, where seeing and information dissemination will be not be done at physical level but at the energy level. At that stage of evolution, we would be able to communicate at far greater speed with far wider reach within that evolved form of being. Eventually the evolution will lead to the formation of a collective consciousness, which sometimes is called the Supreme Being – which I would love to call ‘GOD’.

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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