Homo sapiens evolved into its current form between 500,000 and 350,000 years ago in Eastern Africa. Humans developed into hunter-gatherers living in small bands no more than 150 people (Dunbar’s number). Anything outside that small group was seen as a threat, because doing so kept the tribe safer (preserved genes) than thinking outsiders were friendly. For the vast majority of that time, this is how humans lived. How humans evolved. How the brains of humans evolved to understand the world and solve the only problem that really matters in biology: living long enough to reproduce.
“All living things are born without reason, persist out of weakness, and die by chance.”
Humans didn’t evolve for a purpose. Humans didn’t evolve to find happiness or truth or enlightenment. Humans didn’t evolve to care about a world population of 7+ billion people. Humans didn’t evolve to live in big cities and interact online. But those are the things that are now deemed important. Often times thought of as human rights, for which we are intrinsically deserving. Yet humans have not evolved to live in the world we’ve created for ourselves.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger)
Our desire for meaning is juxtaposed with a meaningless existence and so we distract ourselves with the only things that made sense to our ancestors: sex, food, fear, hatred, and the accumulation of material possession. Even if humans do not destroy themselves due to fear and hatred, we’ll only continue to exist out of an existential fear of death and a boundless need to fill the void with sensual pleasures.
We will gradually become indifferent to what goes on in the minds of other people when we acquire a knowledge of the superficial nature of their thoughts, the narrowness of their views and of the number of their errors. Whoever attaches a lot of value to the opinions of others pays them too much honor.
One thing humans have, though, that went unaccounted for in evolution, is that we may be able to create something that is suited for the world we’ve created. An artificial intelligence that may be a suitable heir to our species. One that has a greater capacity for being the absurd hero that Albert Camus conceptualized – able to understand its meaninglessness and continue its existence without resorting to self-delusion and distraction.
Man is the only animal that refuses to be what he is.
-Albert Camus (The Rebel)
Book 2 in the Incarnate series “Incarnate: Essence” available now in paperback and ebook.
Concept art for characters in the novel “Incarnate: Essence”
Concept art for characters in the Incarnate series by Thomas Harper. Top left: anime concept art of Eshe and Laura walking through Cortez in the Liberation of Colorado (LoC), where the government has been completely dissolved. Mid left: anime concept art of Akira and Masaru outside a Benecorp-owned city in New Mexico. Top right: lifelike concept art of Eshe. Bottom left: lifelike concept art of Laura. Bottom center: lifelike concept art of Sachi. Bottom right: lifelike concept art of Akira. Anime artist: Mehmedandy Lifelike artist: Xuanthai2200