Evolution… why, when, how…?
by Morgane Heyne
Why do we know what to do, how does it pop into our minds? How did humans discover that they had to drink to survive? Did very short-lived generations perish before they found out that water is essential? Or was it one of those instincts? And who decided that we needed to eat and drink? Robots are made by scientists. They are programmed to do certain things, to react in certain ways when they are facing specific situations. Were we programmed too? And if we were, who did it? If it was god, then another question can be asked: who programmed god? It all goes back to the issue of the egg and the chicken. Which one came first?
And why do different people like different things? Why does Pachelbel’s Canon in D major make a young girl smile, when Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata makes an old man cry? Why do some songs make us vibrate, shake, smile, cry, laugh or scream? If you think about it, the lyrics don’t really matter, it’s the melodie that stays engraved in the darkest places of your psyche. Like a love story, a song stays in your mind, not throught the places, names or dates, but through the feeling and the senses that remain. The things we care about and hate are the ones who define us. If some say that good couples don’t necessarily have a lot of things in common, its because they look beyond what makes them different, they look beyond who they are individually, to focus on the new things they can create together. Afterall, we were all created from two different elements, which means than in everyone of us, there are opposites. But the reason that we are not manichean is because the overlapping of these two opposites, of black and white, creates a million different combinations of grey. We are all a shade of grey, and this isn’t meant in a pejorative way. If we were all black or white, we would be clones, and the world would loose its appeal and originality.
How are words created? How did humans invent the words “love”, “hate”, “me”, “you”…?
Love… is it something that we invented so our lives would have a meaning? Or was it a primal instinct that has been there ever since mankind exists, but that we couldn’t quite define. Who created it? Who defined it? We know men and women who spoke of it beautifully. Shakespeare’s sonnets, Jay Gatsby’s passion for Daisy, Emily Dickinson’s assimilation of death to a husband spring to mind when the word “love” is analysed, but they weren’t the first ones to speak of it or to feel it.
Why do we need it so much, why does it keep us going? In a way or another, no one can be happy unless they have felt it. It’s the moment of realisation, of truth, of enlightenment. The moment that eclipses any other second, minute, hour of your life. No matter how long, no matter when or where., the moment when you love and are loved, truly, is the moment that defines who you are for ever.
In the same way as love, there is hate. What pushes us to destruction, may it be of ourselves or of others? As long as the human kind has been on the face of earth, there have been conflicts. It may even be argued that feuds appeared before love. If competition and conflict were some of our first instincts, then does that mean that they define our kind more than any other? Can we survive without love, but not without war? In a world without conflict, a world of “peace” as the negotiators of tomorrow’s unity call it, without any presence of hatred, would there still be a place for love? What makes love and peace so special is its ephemeral quality, the fact that it doesn’t last, that you never know when it is going to happen. It is something we have to work for, and that is why we worship it. If it were handed to us on a silver plate, we would start taking it for granted, and then… then it would just cease existing.
The process of evolution is one of the most complicated, fascinating and inconstant elements in our world. Every step we take, every move we make, ever decision, leads us to more step, moves, decision. And ever way we take leads to another dimension, another universe. The world may not have been as we know it if a few men weren’t born, if a leaf hadn’t fallen, if a butterfly hadn’t flapped its wings. Its terrifying that anything we do, any insignificant detail can change out lives forever. It is only by thinking that we can make a difference that we can carry on living. If we thought our existences were meaningless, that we had no impact on the world whatsoever, then our race would have been extinct a very long time ago. In a way, ambition is the source of evolution. The will to change and to have an impact is what has brought mankind ahead, that has allowed to develop, whereas other mammals remained in a state of of bestiality. Mind that, quite a few humans hold on to those primal instincts; especially English men. but enough jokes….