Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Pinnacle Of Evolution?

I am sure everyone has at least sometimes heard that man (Homo sapiens sapiens) is "the pinnacle of evolution" on our little, blue-green planet. Well, yes and no, really.

In truth, the same can be said of absolutely every single species still not extinct. We (H. sapiens sapiens) are no more the pinnacle of evolution than is a flatworm, or even a bacterium of your choice. We (H. sapiens sapiens, flatworms, and bacteria) all share the starting point somewhere in the misty depths of the beginnings of life. We have all evolved for exactly the same time. H. Sapiens Sapiens is as advanced answer to the question of survival on Earth as any other creature still alive. If you draw the tree of life so that all branch lengths represent the time it took for a species to evolve, you'll find every living creature on Earth at the same level. Any branches shorter than that are reserved for the extinct species. Only they can be considered "less perfect".

So, the next time you want to feel proud about your own species (whatever your species), make sure it is because it's not extinct, and not because you may think you're more perfect(ed) than any other. You're not.