Human Evolution

     Can we understand human evolution during the period of civilization only through the Darwinian framework and its various off shoots? Are we still evolving or did our evolution come to an end with the formation of our existing physiological and mental form? Is there a need for further evolution in the existing human form? If so then what is the nature, mode and mechanics of that evolution? These are some of the questions that will be explored in the forthcoming chapters of this module. Hitherto evolution of the human species and its future course are essentially viewed through the lens of the reigning Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian frameworks. The focus of these frameworks is the biological (physiological including genetic) evolution of all living species, including human beings. The evolution of human mind and consciousness are seen as extensions and appendices of this biological evolution. The ideas which go beyond biological evolution talk about epigenetic evolutionary mechanisms, cultivating higher consciousness, ideas of cognitive evolution through marrying human mind with advanced technology and cultural evolution through memes. No doubt all these frameworks provide knowledge and inputs about the different aspects and planes of human evolution but the baseline of their ideas comes from the Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian theoretical frameworks and their core assumptions and paradigms, which essentially focus on the biological plane of evolution.   

We would like to suggest that human evolution after the coming of developed language and elaborate social existence during the period of civilization began to take place primarily on the mental and not biological plane. Due to changes in specific mental processes and capabilities, especially emotional and intelligence processes, human evolution took a different trajectory from animal evolution, which remained primarily biological. Hence it cannot be comprehensively understood through the Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian frameworks. With growing human intelligence and then the coming of post-language intellectual process and mentally generated post-biological needs and desires the drive for change, development and evolution no longer remains mere physical biological survival (or survival of ‘selfish genes’) but quality of life on the mental plane. Thus today when we have a highly sophisticated mental complex, which now has a developed intellectual process, it would not be logical to view the drive for further evolution as being only survival and a random process at the genetic level. So now further evolution is not about changes in biological processes but intelligent changes in mental formations, processes and capabilities. The issue of human evolution today is about transition from a hybrid (verbal and nonverbal) gene based essentially biological mind to an integrated intellect based post-biological mind and a corresponding social culture. In our view current human problems and crises, which have largely acquired a mental form, are basically due to the conflict and contradiction within the human mind between the existing biological mind/identity and the post-biological mind/identity, as a new emerging evolutionary form in Nature. The latter is not a mere biological molecular process but also involves massless magnetic processes and derives its core design and capability of restructuring mental processes from an intelligent understanding of the process of macro Nature and its evolutionary journey, of which it is an integral part. It is only through intelligently understanding and evolving our mental processes to make this transition to their next post-biological stage, which is the next stage of Nature’s evolutionary journey also, that we can minimize the pain and contradictions in our individual and social lives and maximize harmony and happiness.