For a long time it was conventional wisdom that the earth was flat. It was also accepted that we were put on earth by God. Along came this old chap and shook things up a little with one theory - the theory of evolution.
Charles Darwin's theory, was that all species came from simple forms of life. Through natural selection and billions of years, simple organisms evolved into complex organisms like us. Thanks to the guys at Evoboek we can see what that looks like in one minute:
Individual species developed characteristics which gave them an advantage in specific environments. This advantage meant they were more likely to survive and reproduce. Successfully passing on their genes.
As homo sapiens we are thought to be the only species aware of our own destiny. Knowing that one day we will die gives us a sense of urgency to create in the world. We are a very young species in the grand history of our planet and our rise to glory has been swift. To give you an idea of how young we are, try the following:
Stretch out your arms horizontally. The finger tips of you left hand represents the beginning of earth. The finger tips of your right hand represents today.
Now imagine taking a nail file to your right index fingernail.
Figuratively, you have just wiped out the history of mankind!
Here's another way of looking at it:
Homo sapiens are approximately 200,000 years old. Now take a quick look at the age of the Panthera genus - the big cat family (tiger, lion, jaguar, leopard), 2.0-3.8 millions years old. Now that's pretty old, but the Panthera genus branched off from the subfamily Felinae between 6-10 million years ago! Then take a look at the Crocodilia genus, first appearing around 83.5 million years ago! Our planetary domination seems a little rude when you look at it this way.
3.8 billion years ago biology and the emergence of the first organisms began. The homo genus first appeared around 2.5 million years ago. 500,000 years later early hominids began to spread from Africa to Eurasia. 300,000 years ago humans started using fire on a daily basis. And only 12,000 years ago saw the start of the agricultural revolution.
A tipping point
Since the advent of the agricultural revolution, our lives have changed beyond recognition. The surface of the earth has changed dramatically in recent years. I've been lucky enough to fly around the world a few times. It's hard not to notice the patchwork appearance that agriculture has left on the planet.
Farming crops and animals meant we no longer needed to chase after our dinner. As soon as we stopped living a nomadic life we began to build settlements. Here larger societies developed as did our cognitive abilities. We developed language, music, literature, money, empires, and technology.
In the last 50 years our technological advances have made our lives very comfortable. Food scientists have created food that light up the reward centres in our brain. Whilst at the same time causing inflammation, allergies and disease.
Unfortunately, we are now paying the price of all this development. Our evolution has made us excellent survivors. Living the good life, separate from nature, has caused our survivor genes to switch off. We are becoming a little too soft, in more ways than one! Our lifestyles are making a lot of us fat, sick and very tired. To make things somewhat worse, our medical developments are keeping us alive for longer, without good health.
Some thought leaders say that humans have become domesticated and this is the cause of our problems. So do we all need to return to nature? I don't think so, but we do need to focus our intelligence on better health.
The way to turn this around is to focus on four distinct areas:
- We need to eat more nutrient dense food
- We need to move our bodies more
- We need to be happier with our lives and
- We need to sleep more, rest more and enjoy sex more!
I have narrowed these four areas into thinking, eating and moving. Thinking comes first because it's the lead domino. If we get our thinking right, I know the rest will fall into place. Attitude is everything so scroll down to learn about evolutionary thinking.