We know much as a species yet we have so much more to learn. Each of us alive today could just as easily have been born into consciousness centuries or millenia ago, and have had little idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun nor that our solar system was just one of billions in the observable Universe. Had the evolutionary lottery of our individual genetic lines played out differently, we would not have been born at all.
Consider how much the ancients thought they knew in their time and contrast that with how much we know at present. Human knowledge has progressed in leaps and bounds thanks to scientific inquiry. I often wonder how future humans will look back upon our time, what wonders of discovery are in store in the coming centuries and millenia that might induce paradigm shifting Universal views.
Perhaps humans will never reach their full potential? Imagine truly intelligent lifeforms observing Earth, what would they see? They would see these dominant organisms of the same species killing each other over imaginary borders, resources and religions that claim to know the unknowable. They would see the numerous unethical and disgusting ways in which other organisms, our equals on this planet, are treated. They would see vast amounts of pollutants being belched into the atmosphere, the thin veil of gas that supports the entire biosphere, and the degradation of the planet’s life-giving soils and surface waters. These intelligent beings could well decide that whatever this strange species is, it is primitive and barbaric, too ignorant and self-destructive to concern themselves with…let them be they might say, let them destroy their habitable environment. They have had their chance.
The great Carl Sagan once said “The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting”.
Armed with this type of mentality, there could be hope for Homo sapiens. Not all can be tarnished by the same dirty brush and many are striving for change. One can only hope that there will be one, so that humankind can progress to meet its full potential and one day unlock all of the Universe’s secrets.