It will eventually turn out that the scientific study of the single celled organisms which we are just now beginning to undertake that many of the questions about life and evolution will be answered. The probability that the smallest organisms including all of the simplest candidates from each of the kingdoms of a Linnaeus styled system however the first course classification eventually is determined. The fairly recent awareness by the public that there are millions of bacteria and 10’s of millions of viruses in every cc of sea water and a great many fresh water sources as well. Fungal spores are so prevalent in the environment they are considered to be ubiquitous, essentially meaning they are part of the environment regardless of where on Earth you look. It also implies that we might find out that more than 90% of all species (collection of organisms unique in some way) are not even visible to us. Yet they are in fact the organisms, by sheer volume and density within the Environment, which impose the most influence on the Environment in so much as Life impacts the Environment.
Evolution of Life is a symptom of what we refer to when we use the phrase, Natural Selection. Evolution is what we observe in living organisms, the outward expression of Natural Selection. Natural Selection is the system and Change is the energy which keeps it running. Without fluctuations in the environment the system of Natural Selection would not operate and evolution would not happen. You can observe that it holds true and works at every level of matter and energy.
Life is just one of the many possibilities that have existed so far. We just need a broader term than our current definition of Natural Selection to encompass the concept because it can include such things as: the principals which we employ to control our social structure; the molecules contained in a single cell, for example, an amino acid contained within a protein; the evolutionary history of an organism since the origin of Life; the life cycle of an individual organism; the relationship between two human beings; the evolution of the solar system from a cloud of space dust to the place that we know as the platform of Life; In short it is the naturally occurring reactions of Everything relative to the environment in which It exists. The definition needs to be expanded to not only include living organisms but also all forms of matter and energy, because even philosophical constructs are also subjected to the system.
We need to expand the scope of our understanding and thus expand the scope of what the actual Environment entails.
a fungi has invaded my habitat, my environment and even attacked me personally. I am certain I have survived the attack but I am not sure I will fully recover to the same level I was at before I stupidly disturbed the mold. That is right a single celled organism that for all purposes has likely been around in one form or another since before we have a record of life on Earth. The first confirmed indicators of life are Stromatoporoids and single celled fungal molds may have already existed but which failed to leave evidence in the fossil record.
As a life form they have changed little from then until now. They are however extremely successful. Their genes have survived for billions of years regardless of what conditions have existed during that period of time. They are so successful they are considered to be ubiquitous within the environment here on the surface and near surface of Earth. They produce abundant offspring in the form of spores in an effort to produce some which will accidentally find itself in a local habitat that is conducive to continued growth and subsequent reproduction. Spores are so small as to potentially cover the entire world in the hope of landing in a situation where all of its limitations are addressed at least to some basic level. For some molds our body actually fits the bill. They are not much more complex than bacteria and not much larger. So far every year has been a good year for fungi because they have not experienced one that could finish them off as a species.
TV shows use people who can write very legibly for those notes they flash in front of us in TV shows and movies. Those notes are written clearly with an interesting but overall clear style with lots of spacing between the letters and lines. People with reduced levels of basic literacy skim over such information without bothering to read the note. Others will try to read the note but who are not quite skilled enough to comprehend all the information in time, before the shot disappears from our view. These people who cannot reach some basic level of confidence with their literacy probably avoid all together all forms of communications which are beyond them or they only pretend to absorb the information presented.
It is an important metric to us to determine how we as a species are doing towards one of our major survival strategies. There is no argument that communication is a fundamental strategy for us. What percent of us can have a hope to understand where we are trying to get to.
The best measure of people who can command at least a working level of Intelligence is literacy. We need to develop literacy as a metric for determining the percent of the population that has achieved a median threshold of success at understanding how to communicate with each other. Next to our curiousity; communication is perhaps the most important trait that we have inherited via our genes. These are the things natural selection has been favouring in our evolution. Of course we are not the only species which has been developing an intellect as a strategy for survival and therefore needs to communicate and must have been curious in order to require and thus utilize a larger intellect. We think we are the kings of the hill in this endeavor but only because we see everything especially ourselves and other species from our own perspective.
We can of course point to our accomplishments as an adequate metric for the fact that we are the apex achiever. The problem is that our perspective blinds us to a deep enough understanding of the other contenders to allow us to objectively analyze whose strategy overall is better attuned to overall survival. Of course our great achievements seem important to us but they may not be significant in terms of natural selection. Sure we have the benefit of a lot of evolution to get to where we are at but think about it; the real successful organisms are the ones that have not seemed to wonder far from the original organism such as some fungi, bacteria, plant or animals such as molds or amoeba that have remained very simple yet they obviously have the right combinations of traits and abilities to have survived without changes that significantly increase complexity of the organism overall. After all evolutionary change relate to some problem the organism had to overcome within the Environment since the earliest forms of Life first began to appear. Geologic time is segmented by the beginning and end of the appearance of various organisms within Earth’s stratigraphy.
According to probability theory we have not accomplished anything yet. Only time will tell and we will never know; hopefully we have descendants who like us can appreciate what those before us achieved so that we can be here now.
At least that is what I want to think. Everything I do is of major importance but only from my perspective. The rest of you might think I am doing nothing of consequence but then I cannot fathom the life of anyone who doesn’t strive for what I strive for. I would love to know what you find so damned important. The problem is that I cannot be bothered to really hear what you tell me about yourself. I would get bored and start to think about my stuff again. We only get our own perspective to look at and understand the World.
We are actually just one of the latest versions of any of the numerous species along the way through our evolutionary past. On that basis we can choose to view ourselves as any species which can be considered as the first instance of a particular trait that we possess. For example, we could view ourselves as the latest version of the first known bipedal primate an Australopithecus, assuming that our evolutionary history includes them as our ancestor. Going back further we could view ourselves as the modern variation of the first Mammal that gave birth and lactated its offspring. Maybe it would be interesting to consider ourselves to be an extant variation of the Amphibian whose descendants were able to exploit the resources of the riparian zone or the first reptile which could move away from water all together. You could continue this all the way back to that amoeba like creature which was the variant of a fungus whose descendants went on to populate what we know as the Kingdom classification of Animalia.
The purpose of this exercise is to determine at what point can we be certain we know which organisms need to be eliminated from the environment because they are by nature Evil. Perhaps we could develop a machine or device of some nature which will kill off all humans and eliminate all the effects of our existence as best we can before this device destroys itself. For some of us this seems to be the only viable solution to the problems of the Environment. In looking at our chances of long term survival the likes of Carl Sagan questioned our ability to avoid destroying ourselves in some act of war. The epitome of this view is the huge stockpile of nuclear weapons available for us in the world. Today the end cannot come fast enough for many who think we are on the verge of destroying all life on Earth. Or so they say. But we need to be far more selective than nuclear weaponry for destroying ourselves because of the huge collateral damage that would ensue which is the whole point of this exercise.
Destroying all life is only within the realm of Nature and certainly not humans with our current technological abilities. At best we could disrupt a small percentage of Life directly and only a slightly larger percentage indirectly. Still though we are Evil and apparently we must do whatever we can to eliminate our impact on The Environment. Every organism impacts the environment by its existence but we apparently know that our own impact unlike that of all others is an evil impact which must be stopped.
To begin we must question, “how far back in our evolution did we become an evil organism?” What evolutionary trait makes us evil? How many other related species possess this trait and what is the likelihood that their descendents will exploit this trait and as such become evil like us? There must be some human trait that we can pinpoint as the cause of our heinous nature. There is no excuse for humans; there can be no tolerance for humanity. The evil evolutionary traits must be eliminated.
Only then can Nature flourish as it should with all life being well adapted to the stable equilibrium necessary for a gentle cooperative balancing act between organisms. The World as we know it could be if Life were able to progress without us and our impact on the other organisms. Pretty pink and yellow flowers drifting back and forth under the gentle breeze basking in the soft sunshine soaking up the essence of life. Plants, animals, fungi, protists and all other life forms dancing the dance of Life without the existence of Evil. Everything will be wonderful, just bunnies and butterflies.