Evolution or Revolution?

Evolution or Revolution?

Aheli Moitra

Human beings have developed and disbursed technology at an advanced rate in the past 30 years, more so in the past decade. Many of these technologies have made our lives easier, facilitated better communication, enabled us lifestyles of choice, developed our societies, helped eliminate diseases and prolonged human lifespan.

Technological advancement in the study of genetics alone has quickened the process of human evolution. The human body, unfortunately, has not naturally evolved as much as technology developed by the human brain leaving the former behind. Genetic sciences have now advanced to levels where genetic diseases can be nipped at the gene bud so new human beings would emerge mutants of an order higher than what exists today – to cope with the requirements of a technologically superior world and combat genetic disorder.

But even among those of us inhabiting the world today, stem cell research allows us to have damaged body parts or organs grown and replaced to match our DNA. For others, there is prosthetics. Bio-engineering and robotics have given technological advantage that only gene mutation or slow natural selection might produce in other organisms.

But do all human beings have access to this sort of expensive technology? No. By the time a revolution occurs to bring equal access to all, wouldn’t those who have created these technologies mutate themselves to a degree of unimaginable proportions, leaving those with eventual, or no, access to them far behind and struggling to catch up? Yes.

One way out of this conundrum is to prepare the human body for natural selection, that is, to evolve in the best possible ways in our given environment or circumstance. This is to say that if our bodies evolved millions of years ago to serve the purpose of hunting, foraging, walking or running, then those of us without power should stick to these activities. But nearly four million years passed between the time when our ancestors first started to drop down from the trees and when they started using the simplest of tools. Evolution is slow, unlikely to happen in one lifetime, though its effects likely to last generations.

But why must we wait to access all the wonderful technology developed by the best amongst us? How about a revolution that equalizes access to technologies in a way that cuts across class, caste, region, religion or race? Revolution, at the least, gives us an opportunity at success in this lifetime though likely to be upturned by powers-that-be.

The answer may lie in a bit of both. As we take care of the ingenious human body through tough times of languishing all day long in front of a screen, we must also push politics further to make us equal beings that could provide us the choice to taste a bit of both.

Other thoughts may be sent to moitramail@yahoo.com