Saturday, June 7, 2008

Not simple any more...

The dog simply lives. The cat simply lives. The crow simply lives and so do all the living beings on this planet... except the Homo Sapiens! We do not live simply.
For the last few tens of thousands of years we have not lived simply.
If you ask a scientist(esp. an evolutionary biologist) what is the ultimate aim of any living organism ? He would say: Reproduction. 'Reproduction' is just an abstraction over the word 'replication' when used in context of living beings. Technically, both mean one and the same. All the living beings live just to replicate and nothing else. It was the same with us, some time ago. But now, we humans have broken the billions of years long tradition of nature, and its an amazing fact that nature herself, over the eons has given us the ability to do so. Today, we do not live just for the sake of replication. Replication is no longer the (ultimate) aim of most of us humans. Rather, not to replicate is the aim of some individuals from our species! This is the power of our brain! We can choose not to do what every living organism on the earth has been created to do - replicate. Cats, dogs and others from the animalia can't drift from their way of life like we've done. They live to replicate, and do only the things which directly/indirectly facilitate it. That is why i call their life 'simple'. Sometimes, i think we have complicated our lives too much by the myriad of stuff we have created around us. I always wonder whether our ancestors living in jungles were happier than we are ...

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W0lf said...

Couldn't resist leaving another comment. I don't normally stalk people's blogs :). But your blog is very interesting and you think about deep issues of life the universe and everything, so thought I could leave some references you might find interesting :-).
Perhaps the aim is not replication of the individual but of the gene pool. In that case, not every individual has to reproduce for the gene pool to be replicated :-).
You should read Richard Dawkins' 'The Selfish Gene' :).
Which also explains why most people want to replicate themselves :) -- the genes for wanting to do that will always predominate because they were replicated and so on ad infinitum.
As a former dog owner, I can tell you, dogs do not simply live :-).
...And by the way, we are definitely happier than our ancestors (Read a book called 'Smrutichitre' to know how our ancestors from only 150 years ago lived, and you will agree), and I have a sneaking suspicion that our descendants will always be happier than us :).

Pranav said...

Hey, thanks for writing that one!
Yes, true, the genes tend to replicate, the individual is just a medium.
As you say - the aim is not replication of the individual but of the gene pool _of the individual_. Every individual wants _its own genes_ (and not just the gene pool of its own species) to survive the competition. (Natural) Selection would select the best, but it would do so only after replication. So, all the individuals tend to replicate in the first place in order to push their gene pool forward in time. Its up to nature then to select the best.
Actually, the entire post can be summarized in a single sentence - Memes are dominant over genes. :)