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An interference into natural selection

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Abhay Oberoi
Abhay Oberoi
I am a Photographer , A History enthusiast and a Software professional with over 10 years of experience in Information Technology .. not that it really matters

The intent of this article is in no way to create any falsehood or an alternate narrative against the contribution of science towards human development and in helping humans have a long and happy life. The intent is merely to ponder over the idea of Natural Selection and how science has led humanity to a path which is a deviation from the path nature would have in store for us.

We have been so occupied in our own amelioration and profitability, that we have forgotten we have a responsibility towards nature too .We have forgotten we weren’t the ‘Apex Predator’ throughout the times .Not long ago we were a species which would seek refuge by crawling into holes and staying there out of fear of becoming a meal for much bigger dinosaurs and other predators. It was that precise moment in history which contributed to our Natural selection and laid a foundation for what we ultimately turned out to become: “Homo Sapiens”.

We have been living in times when the most dominant species dwelling on earth is our own. This wasn’t always the case, even after we evolved into Homo sapiens. If Homo sapiens was an Individual, his journey through history would be terrifying, adventurous and at the same time exciting. It can be turned into a great motion picture. The wrath of nature we have endured for our survival in the form of Ice Age, starvation, extreme weather, animal attacks, and unexplained illness is mind boggling.  While many perished, we survived and came on top like ‘A phoenix rising from the ashes’. While we might say it’s our perseverance, struggle for existence which ensured and cemented our survival, we cannot ignore the contribution of nature and its law of Natural selection which helped us in evolving in a way that we could survive all crushing conditions that time threw at us. For those who are not acquainted with the term ‘Natural Selection’, it is a process in which an organism adapts to its environment through selectively reproducing changes in its genetic constitution.

As simple as it may sound, it’s one of the main reasons behind our existence. But Natural Selection as nature’s law, isn’t only applicable to us, it works the same way for all living organisms on earth, be it animals, birds, insects or aquatic animals. All species evolve on the basis of Natural selection. Nature gives all living beings the same chance by pitting them against the same hard-hitting conditions. You experience an adverse condition, you struggle and then you fight with all you got until you perish or defeat it. This is how all existing species have survived while many perished. Alongside humans many other species survived through these years, but none came close to the mental capabilities of humans who throughout these years learnt many new skills and not just confined themselves to their predatory nature.

They learned to live on fruits when they could not find meat, learned to generate fire, cook food, invent a wheel and ultimately evolved into an intelligent species which was capable of creating a civilization. That’s where the dominance of humans began on earth. We became the new Apex Predator, not because of our strength but because of our intelligence. Over the years we exploited the resources of Mother Earth to cater to our needs however irrelevant they might have been. We ensured we exploit earth and other species as much as we can. We even incorporated it in our religions that the existence of animals is purely to ensure our survival and it’s just to use them whatever way we can. Our species may have come a long way, but is it justified in the way it has exploited nature and other living beings? The jury is still out on this one.

Nonetheless, nature has its own way of restoring balance. Be it cataclysmic events or infections, Nature ensured that the balance of species is maintained. Some might call it Nature fighting back. For thousands of years Nature ensured Humans don’t reach the level that they could colonize the entire earth and for once it appeared Nature was winning with pandemics like “Black Plague”. Resilient humans did try their best to survive, trying to come up with different ways, they used their intelligence to survive Nature’s wrath. They were successful with heavy fatalities over the years. While we can celebrate our survival over those years, Nature too was able to contain us to a life expectancy of 30 years to keep our numbers in check. Having said that, over the last couple of centuries something changed. Humans got a Brahm Astra, we may call it “Science & Technology” which changed everything. It revolutionized Human civilization.

We for the first time in our life could see and do things which a thousand years ago would be unimaginable. From the core of this knowledge bulk another baby was born which we named as “Medical Science”. A part of science which led us to the ultimate supremacy and is still doing so and appears it won’t stop until it achieves Immortality. It’s because of advancement in Medical science that our life expectancy has shot from 30 years to 70 years in just a couple of centuries. While our global population on this earth was just 1 Billion in the 1800s, in the last couple of centuries it has shot to 7 Billion .It took us more than 1.9 million years to reach a population of 1 Billion and only 200 years to reach 7 Billion.

Does that seem Natural to you? It’s 100 times more gain than any bodybuilder would ever have even if he runs Anabolic Steroid cycle all his life. Although the advancement has helped us in many ways, improving our standard of living, clean food, getting rid of ailments and recovery, how has it really contributed to improving nature and the lives of other living beings? Are we so superior that only we need these privileges? Don’t we feel guilty enjoying luxury and better life conditions while we exploit Nature and enslave all species? Is this Being Human?

Over these years we have come to believe we are invincible. Nothing can harm us on a global scale. We are civilized, we have enslaved the whole planet with all of its inhabitant’s .What’s stopping us? And then we are struck with Coronavirus! Here came a small virus which made us crawl back to our holes. The same way our pre Homo species crawled back to their holes when an Asteroid hit the earth and killed Dinosaurs. Ironic isn’t it? Whether SARS-CoV-2 is natural or lab engineered is irrelevant. It’s another attempt by nature to contain our population and somehow this time too scientific advancement has led to the defeat of Nature. We aren’t letting Nature reclaim its land. It just doesn’t sound right to my ears.

We are not letting Coronavirus run its own course. It’s not that we are defenseless, we have our immune system to protect. We have Natural Selection to help us survive this Pandemic too. Why then are we interfering with Nature? Why are we so hell bent in saving people by providing them vaccines and oxygen? Are our bodies so frail that we can’t fight one virus and come out on top? Haven’t we done these enough times when there was no medical science around? Natural selection led us to victory and now we are meddling with Nature and its laws.

Are we vaccinating animals who too can get killed by these viruses? What gives us the right to just save our own kind and let others fight the old way? It’s inhumane, it’s cruel! We are no different than Hitler who left differently abled people in the gas chambers by claiming them to be a burden on society. We might not say it out loud, but our feelings towards these animals are no less indifferent than Hitler’s.

All this leads me to contemplate a civilization somewhere in an Alternate Universe which would never let something like “Medical science” interfere with Natural selection, not even for their own betterment .Every species in that world will have the same right and the same privilege. They will fight the same battle with same weapons. Nobody is special. That’s what I call the “Just world “!

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Abhay Oberoi
Abhay Oberoi
I am a Photographer , A History enthusiast and a Software professional with over 10 years of experience in Information Technology .. not that it really matters
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