The Evolution Around Us


The n-word is back in the public domain in India. The southern state of Tamil Nadu proposes to set up a nuclear power plant to address the power needs of the state. This decision, like anything to do with nuclear solutions, has people polarized. But this article is not about whether India needs a nuclear reactor or not, it is about evolution and survival of the fittest.

Let’s face the fact, life is all about being ready and taking advantage of the opportunity. From the moment, we grew out of being chimps and became something more we have changed the planet to suit us. Today we live in places once considered uninhabitable. We sail the oceans, even build homes on them. We soar through the skies, defying gravity. We have a base in space. Over and over again, we have proven that no obstacle is beyond our ingenious minds.

But progress has its costs.

One of the biggest costs is the fuel that has been propelling us to further heights. First it was wood, then coal and now petroleum. The question is, are we ready to pay the cost. The answer obviously is, yes we are. We are selling more cars today than ever before. Soaring petroleum costs has not slowed the sale of cars. More people fly today than ever before.

So who are these people who stand against the progress of mankind?

They hold rallies to which they arrive in buses, cars and motor cycles. They wear clothes that are manufactured in factories that need electricity to power them. They use computers, built in factories and require electricity to run, to communicate their ideas. Every one of them carries a mobile phone.

Let us take a simple invention that most people use today – the eye glasses or spectacles. Doesn’t seem much, but without it more than half the world’s population would die or at least grievously injure themselves. Imagine how it must have felt to the first human who put on a pair of spectacles. At that moment, his life and his usefulness were extended. We adapt and we change the world. We build tools that help us overcome. That is who we are.

It is easy to stand on the sidelines and protest something. It is much more difficult to find a solution to a problem.

Recently, I observed a picture of a tarred road which was lined with trees that reached across the road and built a natural tunnel. At first sight, it is a beautiful picture. But my first reaction was that the road would not last. Trees that reach over a tarred road hold raindrops, letting them become huge drops before they fall down. This ruins the road.

The beauty of driving through a natural tree-lines tunnel quickly disappears if the road is bad and you need to reach a loved one to the hospital. Or if you are a poultry farmer and needs to reach your eggs to the nearest market.

Life is a set of trade-offs. You cannot have your cake at eat it at the same time. In this push and shove world of natural selection, the weak will be pushed aside and the strong will continue forward.

Being a society that professes to care for all its members, we will try to take everybody along. But let’s face the facts, some are going to fall by the wayside.

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