The widening gap between our biological and cultural evolution
We’ve recently discussed the war that’s been raging for 70,000 years for control.
For control of what? Control of nature. Of you.
Natural Selection vs. Humanity.
We discussed how the Cognitive Revolution drastically shaped the way our culture and environment evolve over time, how it changed all the rules.
The problem is, our biology cannot evolve as fast as the world we craft.
Animals of all shapes and varieties have found over time the value in building shelters from larger prey. Humanity is no different.
We are not the fastest, not the largest and do not have the sharpest teeth or claws. But we mobilise groups and collective strengths better than any other species.
We kept building our shelters so large, that they became large cities and urban jungles.
And we did not stop there.
We have had an industrial revolution and more recently a digital revolution. We have not stopped optimising survival.
In the past we read books in firm print. If the author wanted to update their messages, they’d have to make a new edition and re-distribute it.
Now we keep systems up-to-date more efficiently than ever before.
Welcome to software updates.
My phone asks for an update every few months now. The latest and greatest operating procedures can be delivered remotely. It is now even easier to change things even faster.
As such the environment and culture of humanity shifts faster and faster over time, resembling less and less the environment our ancestors were programmed for.
But herein lies the problem – the widening gap between our biological and cultural evolution.
Humans don’t get computer updates… yet.
We can’t update our biology as quickly. Our brains were wired for a different time – a far less complex culture. A more natural environment that did not have digital streaming, social media, mechanical transport and the interconnection of millions of lives within one space.
Imagine you work for a hypothetical company called Natural Selection Inc. You’ve got a fleet of human brains out there, your latest and greatest model called ‘homo sapiens’. Except you can’t update these brains for the world they’re creating.
The instruction manual has been thrown out the window.
See below the instruction manual for the Homo Sapien released by Natural Selection Inc. millennia ago.
Suitable for: Tribes of thirty-forty persons, no larger. Must be kept inter-connected with deep emotional ties.
Recommended use: Keep in natural, green environment with prolonged exposure to natural light. Homo Sapiens grow restless if kept shut-off for long periods of time.
Features: Inbuilt threat detection – will react with excessive fear in the face of minimal threats in order to avoid danger. Also designed to pursue status in order to promote greater mating odds.
Sub-types: The Male and Female sub-types are designed to complement each other. Male-type has larger physical frame, and we’ve programmed more risk-taking tendency – suited for hunting.
Female sub-type more socially attuned and affectionate to facilitate child-rearing.
Recommended shelf-life: No more than thirty years maximum.
The poor people at Natural Selection Inc.
They have no way of updating their fleet of ‘homo sapiens’ brains. There is no facility to update them fast enough. Natural Selection Inc. is a company whose methods and technology is continually falling behind.
It’s not as noticeable to the fleet of homo sapiens, as their lifespans at eighty to a hundred years remain too short to notice this shift on a larger perspective.
They’re resigned to watching their latest model of brains struggle to adapt to a world that evolves much faster, dealing with wear and tear, stress and strain that such brains were not designed to handle.
It’s like flying through space in a tin-foil spaceship.
So the instruction manual has flown out the window. We can’t plug all the pregnant mothers in the world into a mainframe and provide a simultaneous update – one that would make humanity more equipped for its modern environment.
The only solution is to help individuals create their own instruction manual as they age and mature. This is the new challenge of humanity.
We are not doing a good enough job. We are reaching some people too late, and most people not at all.
This I tell you. The modern challenges of humanity can all be traced to this gap between our biological and cultural evolution.
The gap between Astro the Dog and our conscious selves.
Every. Single. Problem. From world wars to road rage. From depression, anxiety and phobias to racism and discrimination.
All these conflicts make practical sense when examined with the context of the outdated ‘homo sapiens brain model’. An edition we cannot update.