3 Minute Summary
What is the purpose of life? Why are we here? And whats really going on?
You may think that science cannot possibly answer these questions, but it already has.
Some of the biggest answers came in 1859 when Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution. But we only began to realise some much deeper implications of his theory in the 1990s, when a new field called ‘evolutionary psychology’ emerged.
All of life exists purely for the sake of genetic proliferation. You are just a vehicle for your genes to propogate. You don’t realise it, but everything you do is purely to maximise the propogation of your genes.
Humans are social animals, so we play the evolutionary game not of physical power like the lions, but of social power or social status – just like all other apes. This pursuit of higher social status pervades most of what we do. The internal drive we feel to work, to contribute to society, to express our talents and passions, is at a deeper level nothing more than an attempt to climb some or the other social heirarchy. Appreciation, recognition, power, fame and money are just things that tell us that society considers us higher status. Of course, this is all subconscious and we are not at all aware of how evolutionary forces are pulling the strings.
Women are attracted to men who have a high status because high status men can provide for her offsprings. Men are attracted to physical aspects of women because things like full lips, upright breasts, thin waists are cues to her fertility; to her ability to bear his offspring. We love and care so much for our children, of course, because in their survival and success lies the success of our genes.
Every single day, from morning to night, you are working tirelessly for your genes, without even knowing it.
Evolution works in an indirect way. Our genes want us to create more copies of them. But not by directly thinking “let me propogate my genes”, but instead by pursuing happiness. Happiness is like a bait – we continously try to grab on to it but we can never hold on to it too long and it slips through. In the process we perfectly do the bidding of our genes.
We are not designed to be very happy. But what if we can get that happiness in a different way?
Humans have always yearned for a ‘better place’. Call it heaven, paradise, utopia. But we’ve mistaken this to be a physical place. What does heaven look like? Everyone is extremely happy, euphoric, satisfied, and at peace with everything. Well all of these are actually just feelings. And all feelings, we now know, are just different combinations of neurochemicals in the brain.
We don’t know exactly how these neurochemicals work, but that’s just a matter of time. Once we know how to safely tweak these neurchemicals, we will be able to ‘hack’ into evolution and engineer a paradise right here on earth.
This paradise is the ultimate destiny of human beings on earth. There are unimaginably great times ahead.