Daily Archives: 1 November, 2009

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The Human Quest for Preeminence

darwin

I have been watching Heroes lately. I admire purpose driven people, and so find the show’s geneticist, Mohinder Suresh, quite intriguing. I have compiled a short essay elaborating his philosophy on the implications of Darwin’s natural selection on our everday life.

Watch the trailer.

Where does it come from, this quest? This need to solve life’s mysteries, when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we’d be better off not looking at all. Not doubting, not yearning. That’s not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here.

Evolution is an imperfect, and often violent process. Morality loses its meaning. The question of good and evil, reduced to one simple choice: Survive? Or perish?

When evolution selects its agents, it does so at a cost. It makes demands in exchange for singularity. And you may be asked to do something against your very nature. Suddenly, the change in your life that should have been wonderful, comes as a betrayal. It may seem cruel, but the goal is nothing short of self-preservation. Survival.

Some individuals, it is true, are more special. This is natural selection. It begins as a single individual born or hatched like every other member of their species. Anonymous. Seemingly ordinary. Except they’re not. They carry inside them the genetic code that will take their species to the next evolutionary rung. It’s destiny.

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose. The Earth spins at a thousand miles an hour as we desperately try to keep from being thrown off. Like the first blush in winter that signals a great migration. Is there any warning of their arrival? A sign, a single event that set this chain into motion? Was it a whisper in God’s ear? Survive. Adapt. Escape. And if we could mark our single moment in time, that first hint of a prophecy of approaching danger… would we have done anything differently? Could it have been stopped? Or was the die long ago cast?

The earth is large, large enough so you think you can hide from anything. From Fate, From God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run… To the edge of the Earth, where all is safe again. Quiet and Warm. The Solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe, for a moment, you believe you have escaped.

This quest. This need to solve life’s mysteries. In the end, what does it matter when the human heart can only find meaning in the smallest of moments? Those moments are here. Among us. In the shadows. In the light. Everywhere. Do we even know yet?