Biology - Other

Is the Human Race Evolving or Devolving – Devolving



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This question is biological, but it is also spiritual and philosophical. In order to answer it, we would need to agree upon the definition and parameters of "evolution". In other words, we have to define our criteria for the improvement or regression of society. Are we talking about our mental prowess, our physical stability, or our ability to co-exist as different cultures? Here are a few thoughts on whether the human race is evolving or devolving.

EVOLVING

We have certainly made some advances in our society. Our breakthroughs in science, medicine, and information have been amazing. In addition, our focus on certain processes suggests that more innovations are yet to come. The information age has also given us easy access to an amazing storehouse of perspectives from around the world and has in many ways made the planet a "global village" of easy personal connections. In other words, we have limitless potential as people and as societies, but the question is whether or not we have taken advantage of those opportunities or if we will take advantage of them in the future.

DEVOLVING

Of course, you can make some pretty good arguments about the pending downfall of society. Despite our efforts, we still don't get along when it comes to international peace. People continue to fight about the same things that they have been fighting about for thousands of years. In addition, we aren't necessarily getting much smarter as a society. Despite access to information, we read a lot less books, and we spend a great deal of time "info snacking" in places that do not have great intellectual depth. Also, we aren't getting much healthier in some societies. We exercise more but we also eat a lot of bad things and we offset our growing medical technology with poor habits.

Overall, a criterion for evolution is very difficult to define. In many ways you could argue that we are both evolving and devolving at the same time. This may be logically incongruent but the point is that we are getting much better at some things and much worse at others. It remains that we have the potential for great things, but only time will tell if we make those sorts of choices.

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