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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Human Evolution

Human beings are intelligent thinking beings. Our brains have evolved our millions of years of evolution. Life evolved on earth beginning from a single cell organism to complex organisms like us. When we use the term complex organism it does not necessarily mean biggest in term of physical size. The largest organisms ever to walk on this planet were dinosaurs that were as heavy as 60 to 100 tonnes and measured over 50 meters in length. In terms of size we are 1000 times smaller than them.

However their brains were much smaller than us. They were nowhere near our level of mental development. No other animal comes even close to human beings when it comes to the ability to think, create, imagine, design, feel, express etc. No other animals makes tools for themselves except the humans. 

Humans have evolved rapidly. Just around 10,000 years ago most humans used to live in jungle and they would hunt animals to feed themselves. At that time the tools they had were weapons made of stone and wood. With the rapidly developing brain they discovered that by sowing seeds of plants in the ground they can make the plants grow at places they want. This reduced human dependence on hunting for food and human beings started agriculture. 

As they practised agriculture they started sowing the best seeds that they can find. Selective breeding is responsible for many of the food stuff that we eat today, you can go to this link and find how some of the commonly used grains, vegetable and fruits looked a few centuries ago and how selective breeding done by us has changed them. 

From building simple tools for self usage, humans developed more complex tools. Beginning with simple machines humans were able to develop more and more complex machines that would run on power provided by humans or animals. Then later on windmill and waterwheel were made, which ran on wind and flowing water. 

After that development in science and technology led to discovery of the power of steam and humans started using steam, it was made by boiling water using coal. Steam was used to drive different machinery and locomotives. After that electricity was discovered and it was generated in enough quantity to power homes and industry, the steam engines were replaced by machinery running on electricity.

Similarly giant advances were made in electronics, computer science and information technology. This lead to entire world being better connected. Just 20 years ago one had to rely on letter to communicate with people living overseas. Land line telephones were there but call rates back then were prohibitively expensive. Today thanks to the internet people living on any part of the globe can instantly communicate with each other using various free video conferencing services available on the internet. It costs nothing except one needs to pay his monthly broadband bill.

Human intelligence is constantly expanding and it is expanding at a very fast rate. The rate of innovation and invention has gone up. For humans evolution is not about physical growth, it is not about becoming dinosaurs or becoming bigger than dinosaurs. But if you observe human behaviour it is always guided by his curiosity in nature. Our desire to know about the various aspects of nature leads to discoveries. It also leads to increase in knowledge and using this knowledge we are able to make different tools, vehicles, machines etc. 

Above all animals humans have this quest of knowledge that makes him stand apart from all other animals on earth. In the future humans will be the first and only organisms from planet earth that would make homes in other planets. Maybe by then we would have developed technology to genetically modify ourselves to beings who can exist in any condition. 

Human knowledge and innovation can do things that one can't even imagine.

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