[Article] Are We Evolving?

Rayhan Ali Muhammad

A spine standing upright sustained springy ligaments in the legs and feet. Muscles planted in both arms that can carry a burden two times heavier than itself. The command center of the whole body, the brain, with the ability of learning and receiving information and process it like no other living being. This creature is also known as human. If you are reading this, then you are probably one of them. One of the most powerful and dangerous earthlings.

Evolution has done its job in dividing which creature is able to survive and worth living since the world generated its first creature. Natural selection, the ones who cannot survive the surrounding shall not be able to breed. This process does annihilate certain species or create changes within species. Some creatures would make some remarkable changes on the physical attribute to adapt with the environment. The fact that we are currently stepping our feet on this earth is the sign that we are the chosen creature. Aren’t we?

What differentiate human from any other living being is their brain. They contain a special gene which driven their evolution. According to Check (2006), the researchers have found “[…] that one gene contains a protein-coding domain that is repeated 212 times in people, compared with 37 repeats in chimps, 30 in macaques and one in mice and rats.” This gene presents mostly in human’s brain and also found in several tissues scattered within human’s body. But researchers are interested with the one presenting in human’s brain for it is far larger than in any primates.

For hundreds years since human (Homo) – let me use the genus instead of specifically mentioning the species for we should thank them as our ancestors for staying alive and struggle through the wilderness of life, started appearing, human had been showing the sign of being the pioneer of future creature that will conquer the earth. This is shown by the finding of numerous buried ancient civilization spread around the world. One of the recovered artifact is the “First Peoples’ Hall” in Canadian museum of civilization. This artifact shows that human is the only fast developing creature on earth.

Nowadays’ humans are closely related to the old civilization instead of related to the prehistoric humans. The latter were used to live with the motto ‘kill or be killed’. In other word, our ancestors used to hunt for food, run for life, and accept mortality as something they see regularly without any special ceremony to be held. These habits began to fade when they started to think which is crucial in human development until here and now. Thinking is the source of the building of civilization. Thinking is the matter why human grows and survives the environment.

People nowadays had left the hunting habits thousands years ago, but our body is still designed like our ancestors’ with several changes which means we are still evolving and will always be. Our generation has changed a lot not only in physiology, but also in our genetics, life cycles, psychology and behavior. We do not fight for living with our physical abilities anymore – although some hard laborers still do, but we fight with our brain. We do not get food and territory by hunting and eliminating anymore, but we think for it. Probably the way we are living our life cycle now leads to an unwanted – at least for me, physical changes due to evolution, even though the process will not suddenly happen to me and my children.

Future humans may be having a much larger brain and smaller body and limbs. I am not talking about ET or anything related to aliens and extraterrestrial things, but those images of “smart creature” may represent what our species would become. Evolution does changes to the creature in order to survive the environment, either removing or adding certain parts of bodies. Giraffes got their long neck for reaching higher leaves on a tree. Sabre-tooth cats lost its remarkable teeth due to the changes of their preys. And human who used to have bigger jaws is reduced because human found a way to cook meat and no longer needed to chew hard raw meats. Thus, it is valid to think that humans will still evolve into another form of what humans will need for living in future world.

On the other hand, some humans of our generation seem to not evolving mentally to the current environments. Some people are still having the prehistoric humans’ trait, even worse. They do not think. They just do what their instincts wanted to do. Why are they able to live and survive the surrounding? This is the result of certain human traits, which are empathy and tolerance. Natural selection does not work as it was anymore. Every human in the world are protected by human rights. They do not kill those who are not suitable with the current surrounding anymore, they teach and help them. Ironically, this is also the reason why humans are overpopulating the earth which become our main problem.

We are not walking towards the future of humanity. We are walking towards the annihilation of humanity. Aren’t we?

References:

Check, E. (2006). Mix and match: The hunt for what makes us human.Nature,443(7107), 8-9.

Phillips, R. B., & Mark, S. P. (2005). Double take: Contesting time, place, and nation in the first peoples hall of the canadian museum of civilization.American Anthropologist, 107(4), 694-704.

Word count: 863

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