A few billion years of evolution later and here we are. People.
We walk. We talk. We do some pretty whacky stuff. And occasionally some pretty amazing stuff as well. Like walking on the moon, heart transplants and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
While many of Mother Nature's creations are more advanced in thousands of other ways, no lifeform can match our brain, and that has given us bragging rights and the top spot on evolution's ladder. We are masters of all we survey. The Big Kahuna. Sorry dinosaurs -- you had your shot. Brains over brawn, baby.
In the race for survival, it's good to be at the top of the food chain. Mother Nature should be proud. But is she?
Not to get too "Star Trekkie" or anything, but isn't evolution's Prime Directive the survival of the species? Above all else, Job One is find a mate, reproduce (hopefully passing along a combination of the best genes in the process) and stick around long enough so your offspring can do the same.
I think we can all agree we have gotten pretty good at obeying the Prime Directive. What's the current world population? As of today, 6,861,128,677 -- according to the World Population Clock. By the time I completed that sentence I'm pretty sure the number changed. (A little like when the late George Carlin pointed out the weather report couldn't include the satellite image of the earth because "somebody moved.")
But of all the species that have ever lived, we are the first to rewrite the Prime Directive to include some things Mother Nature never thought of when authoring the Evolution Rulebook. For example, here's a concept that I'm pretty sure is unique to humans and not previously known throughout 99.9 percent of the earth's history: Leisure time.
While the jillions of living things around us -- birds, fish, insects, microbes -- spend all their waking moments in the ceaseless struggle for life and death, our major decision is going shopping or taking in a movie. Playing golf or reading a book. Do I feel like steak or pasta? There's even those who stretch, yawn and complain "there's nothing to do."
In short, we have out-evolved the Prime Directive. As a result, we may find ourselves in the same boat as that tub of butter from the 70s:
To be continued ...