ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Human Evolution or Devolution

Updated on November 19, 2011

This essay uses the term Life as an expression for the concept of a driving force behind evolution. In using this term, I attempt to demonstrate that this driving force controls the existence, and adaptation of life, and that humanity is simply a tool employed by Life to play a certain role in the evolution of life on Earth. By comparing the components of early, and modern human societies with the preceding eras of environmental evolution, the development of human consciousness will be shown to be merely another step in the proverbial ladder of evolution, which will ultimately result in a regression, or elimination of human existence.

While driving from Cairns to Townsville, I noticed the effects of the recent cyclone on the rainforest. I began to think about the beneficial effects of cyclones on the environment. Cyclones assist in removing weak, decaying branches from trees, as well as uprooting weak trees themselves. Consequently, the forest becomes littered with organic matter, which breaks down and becomes mulch and fertiliser for the remaining healthy trees. Furthermore, the forest is thinned out, allowing sunshine to reach juvenile trees on the forest floor. This destruction is essential in maintaining a healthy environment and promoting the reproduction of life. Therefore cyclones perform a critical function for the rainforest eco-system. I began to think about the functions of other occurrences in nature, such as bushfires, which perform a similar function to cyclones in areas where cyclones do not occur. Rain obviously brings life-giving water to plants and animals, and wind spreads seeds and pollen. Equally, plants and animals have functions also. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, bees pollinate flowers, birds control insect populations and assist plants in reproduction by spreading seeds, large herbivores control the amount of vegetation, and carnivores control the amount of herbivores. Basically, everything that exists in nature contributes to two fundamental elements of life: maintaining balance in the environment, and ensuring life spreads and multiplies. Essentially all things are interdependent for survival. This interdependence may also be referred to as organic solidarity.

Humans are interwoven in this environmental relationship also. We are dependant on plants to maintain oxygen levels and provide food, animals for meat and clothing etc. If you look at the basic evolutionary sequence of life, evolution of plant-life, subsequently led to evolution of insects and birds to assist plants to reproduce. A further evolution brought plant and insect-eating mammals, reptiles and amphibians to balance the existing eco-system, by controlling the plant and insect population. The evolution of carnivores further serves to balance this new ecosystem. Presumably, when the environment begins to become unbalanced, evolution or Life asserts itself, and rectifies the issue. Relationships between life forms (though being interdependent) are based on one critical element: conflict. The environment is in a constant state of conflict for resources. Plants compete for sunlight, water and minerals, while animals compete with each other for food, mates, and habitat. Human society is a direct reflection of this environmental conflict. Marx’s conflict theory describes social conflict between capitalists and working class. Essentially, these are synonyms for weak and strong, or powerful and powerless. For example, the strongest trees survive from the fall of weaker trees during cyclones, and stronger animals survive by overpowering other weaker species for food and mates. Just as the bourgeoisie (the strong or powerful) subjugate the working class (the weak or powerless) to ensure survival and optimal breeding opportunities for themselves. Conflicts ensure balance in society (human and environmental), and ensure the most highly evolved species continue to prosper, leading towards the next level of evolution.

The evolution of Humankind has developed aspects no other creature has: consciousness, the ability to interpret abstract concepts, and consequently, the ability to consciously manipulate the world for our own benefit. This ability to interact with the environment and each other on a conscious level, has led to the construction of cultures and symbolism within the sub-groups of the human species. The collective beliefs and interpretations of each human society, unifies each group and enhances the chances for survival and reproduction of individuals within the group. The individual’s identity becomes entwined with the collective consciousness of the group; subsequently individuals become dependant on the survival of the collective group identity. This constructed group identity, or mechanical solidarity, evolves into organic solidarity, as numbers increase, and different roles within the group are allocated to individuals to effectively manage the needs of the group. Conflicts between individuals within the group over individual roles, resources, and mates, establish dominant roles for the strongest and most highly evolved. Thus ensuring the survival of the group as a whole by maintaining hierarchy and balance within the social structure. Without this conflict, there would be no balance or genetic refinement of the species. Therefore, conflict is essentially functional, and is a critical component of all societies, human and environmental.

All species play a specific role within the global eco-system. What then is the function of humanity? If all life forms have evolved to meet some need in the environment to maintain balance, and to expand and multiply life, it is plausible to say human kind also has evolved for a similar need. Life requires humanity to serve some kind of function that is related to the balance and expansion of life. Life has evolved within humanity the ability to interpret and utilise information beyond that of any other species, along with the natural drive within all life-forms to multiply and expand. Perhaps Life, with it’s demonstrated need for expansion and multiplication, is aware of the limitations of the planet, and has endowed humanity with this collective consciousness and ability to imagine and dream, to ensure humanity develops the capabilities to expand beyond this planet, securing the continued existence of life.

Metaphysics aside, if humanity does not balance it’s own impacts on the world and ensure environmental sustainability, whether that be by systematic culling of the human race to reduce our impact on the planet, or (preferably) dissipation of the population through space travel, as predicted by Malthus, Life will be forced to balance things itself. Past natural occurrences such as the Ice Age, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and the evolution of species to control other species, indicate processes employed by Life to counter imbalances in the environment. An example of what is becoming an imbalance in the world is globalisation.

Globalisation is bringing the collective identities of societies all over the world and unifying them into a super-society, with a collective consciousness and intelligence that is beyond anything seen on this planet before. The advancement of technology and the human population is placing greater demands on the planet’s resources, and subsequently, the balance of the environment. Global warming, depletion of resources, and mass war, are some of the obvious results of societal progression. These outcomes threaten the organic solidarity of the unified world, and if not addressed, will result in a breakdown of the global society, and a regression of life on Earth. Assumedly, the evolution of human consciousness, that appears to have led to the remarkable success of humanity, may in fact be the very thing that results in the fall of humanity. Life’s balancing mechanism, to counter the devastation wrought by man on the planet.

The growing consumption and globalisation of humanity is a serious threat to the future existence of life on Earth. Arguably, Life has displayed it’s ability to neutralise threats to it’s harmonious balance, using environmental cataclysms such as volcanos, cyclones, and tsunamis, as well as the evolution of species as control units. Therefore, the role of globalisation in modern society needs to be deconstructed as an uncontrollable, economically driven superpower, and instead be utilised in collectively addressing the issues of human impact on the environment, and avoiding what appears to be inevitable environmental repercussions.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)