"If a tree falls in the desert and nobody is listening, does it make a sound?"
I don't even know why I am writing this blog, because the people who most need to read it won't. And if they do, it will only be to laugh at it and me.
In the October 11, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Susan Salter Reynolds wrote: "Faith and Belief: Richard Dawkins evolves his arguments." In that article, Dawkins who is the author of "The Selfish Gene" (1976) and "The God Delusion" (2006) takes his work on evolution another step further in his latest book, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution." (Free Press: 470 pp., $30).
I am not an evolution doubter. I believe it is real. I believe it has happened to bring us to where we are now. However, I also believe that it is on hiatus.
To me being evolved as a human being means the capacity to empathize, care about and act to enhance the well being of not only other human beings, but the natural and non-natural world around us as well.
I see those highly evolved, "other focused" concerns and actions becoming naturally selected out in favor of transactional myopia, i.e. find what you want, get what you want, want more. I see the relating part of relationships being replaced by negotiation. "What do you want to have?" and "What do you want to do?" and "What do I have to give up to get what I want from you?" have almost entirely eclipsed "What and who do you want to be?"
It may be even that there seems to be so much more autism being identified in children, because their Asperger-like parents (goal-directed-to-a-fault, show caring by solving problems dads and homework Nazi, soccer moms) seem to be more materially successful and powerful than their more emotionally caring and better listening counterparts. Didn't Wall Street just run the table on Main Street for the nth time in recent decades?
I once read that an African native was visiting Manhattan some years ago and remarked: "They don't see the sky!" To me that means that we don't share a common transcendent, ennobling vision or pledge (such as "with liberty and justice for all"), but too often function in a "what's in it for me?" "zero sum" competitive world.
I also once heard that the measure of a (highly evolved) civilization is how it treats those who have hurt it and are hurting in it. If that is so, I would add to that native's remark, that "Their feet don't touch the ground!" meaning that we are no longer grounded in common human values that make us civilized, above other animals, human and yes, evolved.