Evolution does not move in a straight line and at a consistent rate of speed.
It is packed with sudden episodic mutations and it is constantly accelerating, always moving faster. It is a bumpy road and our foot remains deep onto the pedal. Our world is quickening and quivering on the brink of an onslaught of continuing changes … and no brakes.
We are told by scientists that the sum total of human knowledge on all subjects is doubling and re-doubling again before our eyes. It takes only a matter of days for the collective humankind to know twice as much as it did last week.
While knowledge, and hopefully wisdom, is expanding, scientists tell us that the universe as a whole (the one they see) is continuing to pull apart, to expand to some unknown destination as if we were all flying fragments of a Big Bang. Humans don’t know where this is leading.
On our planet, we can be likened to the tortoise and hare race. We are the rabbit, evolving by leaps and bounds. The turtle plods along much at the pace of civilization during the cave man period. Not much of anything man did in that day affected much of anything in the world and the pace of evolution was slow. But on the plus side, there came the most essential and important inventions — language, tools, fire management, community values, parenting.
But in this story, the turtle will never win since our civilization promises to continue running at near breakneck speed, barring some epochal catastrophe. This will be the same mortal personality pursuit of survival, subsistence, progress toward wealth and power. No one stops to take a nap. And the millions of people living on earth today can make evolution run much faster than it ever has in the past with small, uneducated and often oppressed populations.
Yes, God created Evolution. And apparently he made it so that it moves faster and faster and we can make progress faster — for pursuing truth, beauty and goodness, for peace and love on all the world.
We have a distance to traverse but I’m glad to know it’s all moving along. I can look at my 78 years and remember my 40 years in public relations, marketing and publishing. There were once no computers at all in the world.
We once made do with mechanical typewriters. Duplicates of documents required interspersed sheets of carbon paper to transfer the ink image from one sheet of paper to the other. Then came electric typewriters and their lightning-like keys, interchangeable balls of type fonts for these IBM plug-in marvels.
We longed for some kind of facsimile transmission machine, and so came the fax. We needed a machine to copy printed documents and Xerox rolled out one. We first used antique linotype machines and flatbed presses and primitive picture scanning devices to publish newspapers. Then the letterpress methods gave way to offset negatives and plates printing, and then into those brilliant computers sitting on everyone’s desk. Do all the writing and lay-out inside the genie and then just send it to the press with a button. Computers also control the balance of the four printing colors and manage the distributions.
And then …. newspapers came to your computer monitor. Why print them? And the world continues to evolve into new wonders.
We knew about the coming of computers in the 1970s and 80s, we thought, but one quotable world expert said he could foresee the need for only a handful of computers worldwide. There was one at the university, I recall, taking a huge amount of space, with special air-conditioning and reams of paper pouring out on the floor everywhere.
In my brief lifetime in publishing, things have greatly changed. Now humans can access virtually all of the world’s knowledge or theory on any subject at all in the palm of their hand, a personal device, one of billions in the world and the number is going up.
Can humans keep up with the pace of evolution? We appear to be supremely adaptable, if we keep our minds open and our hearts exploring new adventures.
I know a sour-faced old fellow who says: “I ain’t got no computer and don’t want one.”
Of course, he doesn’t need one if that’s the case. And if he doesn’t need to take photographs on his phone, that’s okay too. The planet still has such things as books, trains, string quartets, and hiking trails. Evolution is adaptable for each of us. There’s plenty of everything to go around, and every generation can get by in our country if we will live in Spirit.
And the rapid pace of Evolution will provide much more to see, feel and experience in our sojourn here. I’m hoping to still be there for the second season of “Westworld.”
AN EVOLUTION ON SPEED
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© Jim Cleveland 2017