Monday, November 23, 2009

Evolution or Devolution?

I am happy to report I got the highest grade back on my test for my Biology lecture class of about 300 students. yay me. I did put in the studying, and I made connections with what I already knew, strengthening and increasing the complexity of my neural networks, and I created clear mental images so that the material would remain for good. I was happy to review right before the exam with another studious student. I was glad to have found her, as the people sitting around me did not know what I was talking about!

Evolution is a heated topic (I have come to find by scanning through forums), but it opens my eyes to the potential we carry within our DNA. To look at the vast changes that had to occur for the divergence of the common ancestors between the marine-dwelling manatee and the African or Asian elephant. To even consider the model that shows the evolutionary path from a dinosaur to a whale.

A question that continues to intrigue me is this: Are we evolving or devolving? I do think in more ways than not it could be the latter. Of course, our thoughts will continue to evolve in whatever course they are taking. However, physically, it seems we are becoming degenerate and diseased. With a few fossils that were found in Europe, later labeled as belonging to neanderthals and cro magnum, it appears the brains of modern human are, on average, a little smaller than the brains of the neanderthals. Surely their physical build far surpassed modern man's current build. I watched a man vs. animal episode in which an orangutan went up against a sumo wrestler (twice the weight of the orangutan) in tug-of-war. The orangutan had no problem hoisting up the wrestler and tugging the wrestler till he fell into the pit. She easily held his full force of strength with just one arm. If we are evolving in the capacities of our minds, to grow in self-awareness/creativeness, and in complexity of thought, where are we headed? What are we capable of?

The question I bypassed was, where did we come from? According to my textbook, using mitochondrial DNA testing, all humans can be traced back to a common ancestor who was a woman. In consideration of the story of Adam and Eve, what did they look like?