A Human Understanding of Humanity

The word humanoid means that which looks human. If we find humanoid species on another world and they call themselves Romans, they might call us Romanoids. I say this, not merely to be playful with words, but to make a more interesting point.

When we visualise gods and deities, they always have human chracteristics. Apart from looking like us, they also share our capricious natures, our sense of morality, and our tendency to be territorial. This is because we see the world through human eyes — which are the only eyes we have. A dog with an imagination will also visualise god with dog-like characteristics. It is only natural.

Subjectivity is our prison. And our relative inability to view the world from outside it even shows when some people speak of human beings being “more evolved” than other animals. Evolution has no path. There is no direction that it progresses in. Species take shapes that best suit the need for their continued survival. This applies to human beings as well as it applies to the “lowliest” single-cell organism.

Every characteristic we have that we consider an advantage over other living creatures exists because it became essential to our continued survival — not because we were worthy of it and nature bestowed it upon us. In fact, mutating in order to better adjust with our surroundings is not even a guarantee that a species will survive. Numberless animals and plants have disappeared because nature’s rate of change was faster and more powerful than their ability to adapt. Evolution requires one to not only be willing to change, but also to be able to change fast enough.

The only thing great about being human is the ability to understand the processes that brought us into existence. We can value this understanding and make an effort to maintain it. Or we can consider ourselves the pinnacle of evolution and while away our time until nature pushes us in more inhuman directions.