The Elements of Evolution (97) Conclusion

Conclusion

Life entered Earth’s planetary gyre shortly after its emergence. Microbes assisted tectonic activity. Plants created viable biomes. In contrast, until the advent of hominins, the global environmental impact of animals was largely inconsequential.

Evolution is adaptation, specifically directed toward incrementally improving survival prospects. Adaptation is atomic in working at the level of the cell and organism, albeit affecting populations.

Divergence and convergence are the conceptual trends in evolution. Nature has a proclivity for diversity, which has driven imaginative biotic creations. Conversely, diverse life forms tend to functionally selfsame solutions which yield adaptive advantage. Convergence illustrates evolution as containing core consistencies.

Physical biomechanics alone, including genetics, cannot account for how evolution transpires. Adaptation can only be explained as a teleological interaction. Evolution is an ornate exhibition of organic coherence in Nature.

This conclusion is reinforced when considering the interplay between organisms. Evolutionary responses to symbiotic and antagonistic relations both portray adaptation as a process of specific design.

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Human descent involved radiative adaptation. Nonetheless, interbreeding occurred whenever the opportunity presented itself. Withstanding the strong male rutting instinct, the tendency to monogamy was instrumental in shaping hominin sociality.

Abstraction divorced from actuality became the defining trait of humans. Shambolic symbolic processing aided creative problem-solving, language development, religion, and large-scale social organization.

Hominids had an early and abiding wanderlust which lead to populating as much landmass as possible, in as many biomes as could be tolerated. Desire for a better life and sense of adventure motivated the diaspora.

The unrelenting exploitation of Nature has been a constant in human descent. Respect for Nature as a folkway has no established tradition. The failure to learn this essential lesson has eventuated into a self-extinction event.

The need for security from conspecific violence led hominids to alliance-making and tribalism: a motivated sociality well-established in the apes from which humans descended. Hominins adaptively advanced circumscribed cooperation among men for more efficaciously exploiting natural resources, laying the material foundation for civilization. Coercion and subjugation were other ignoble cornerstones that birthed large-scale societies. Dominance hierarchies continue as pivotal in interpersonal, group, and societal dynamics. These are fruitfully expressed in ersatz economic and political regimes which riven the human world with systemic inequities.

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Spokes of the Wheel continues with Book 4: The Ecology of Humans.