Medium published my new article “Rethinking Evolution”
For many decades, we have been taught that evolution is random, that mutations just happen and the ones that contribute most to the survival of the species remain while the others disappear. But science is gradually accepting that evolution is not random but directional.
Researches in one study, for example, which focused on a small, flowering weed called thale cress, stated that “It turns out that mutation is very non-random and it’s non-random in a way that benefits the plant. It’s a totally new way of thinking about mutation,” they concluded.
Another study, which examined hemoglobin mutation that protects against malaria, found that it appears more frequently in people from Africa, where malaria is common, than in people from Europe, where it is rare. “Mutations defy traditional thinking,” said the lead researcher. “The results suggest that complex information that is accumulated in the genome … impacts mutation, and therefore mutation-specific origination rates can respond … to specific environmental pressures.”
If we look even deeper than the apparent phenomena, we will find that the environment, too, is evolving in a specific direction: toward increasing integration. We are evolving toward a state that already exists, though we have not perceived it. It is a state where species separate from one another, but in harmony with all of creation.
Earth is a balanced system. Its parts are in perfect harmony among them, which guarantees the survival of Earth’s plants and animals. On the face of it, there should not have been evolution. If everything is perfect and harmonious, there should not have been any changes in the species.
The reason that evolution still occurs, despite the balance among all creations, is that underneath all of creation lies a desire for constant improvement of one’s personal state. The more evolved a creation is, the more intense is its desire. In humankind, this desire manifests as egoism and narcissism, as a craving for control, to be superior, even Godlike. In the animal kingdom and in plants, it is expressed in a constant effort to strengthen oneself against one’s natural enemies, but not in a desire to dominate and control. Therefore, on every level besides the human level, the balance remains, though it is dynamic and evolving.
In humanity, the main “evolution” is in our perception, not in our bodies, although physical changes happen in us, too. As our understanding of the world evolves, our perception of reality changes and becomes more aligned with the interconnected world around us.
Because nature is utterly integrated and all its parts are inextricably intertwined, human society is also growing more interconnected and interdependent. Accordingly, settlements have grown over the centuries from nomadic clans to sedentary towns, to cities, countries, and empires.
Along with the growth in the size of settlements, we have grown increasingly interdependent economically, in provision of our food supplies, education, and in every aspect of our lives. Now, the whole world has become connected to the point that even entire countries, including superpowers such as China or Russia cannot sustain themselves alone. Globalization has made the whole world one village, but one whose residents are reluctant to accept their neighbors and constantly clash with one another.
The development of human society toward increased integration is no coincidence. Because we are living in an integrated universe, where everything is interconnected and interdependent, we, too, are being developed in that same direction. This is why for all our efforts to supersede others, in the end, we are still dependent on everyone else, and no country can maintain its preeminence indefinitely. Against our will, we are being dragged into cooperation.
But our evolution toward an interdependent society aims higher than society itself. It is intended to reveal to us the interdependence of all of creation, that everything is harmonious and all the pieces of creation complement one another. The final outcome of our evolution is complete awareness of the universe where we exist on all its levels: physical, mental, and spiritual.
If we voluntarily direct ourselves toward cohesion and cooperation, we will advance toward the final goal more quickly and less painfully. It is like swimming downstream as opposed to trying to swim upstream, which is what we are doing now. It is hopeless and painful.
The shore that awaits us down the stream is serene and peaceful. If we swim toward it, by voluntarily increasing our cooperation and mutual consideration, we will reach that pleasant riverbank quickly, pleasantly, and easily. If we resist, we will still get there, since we cannot go upriver, but we will get there only after we are exhausted, defeated, and tormented.