posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 11:45 PM
When we talk about evolution in today's world, we tend to put together an idea of rapid streaks of mutations. We think of creatures becoming better,
stronger, and more dangerous. We are, in essence, fixated upon the biological properties of mutations and evolutions.
However, one thing that I am beginning to find is apparent, is how much our society - our culture - can also function like an animal or species, and
how evolution can be fit into it.
For example, Western and Middle-Eastern cultures. The two are wildly different in their views. What is normal for one may be entirely unthinkable by
the other. We think that the first thing to do in the morning is to shower, whilst someone in the middle-east probably has the same instant (and
equally self-evident) idea to pray in the direction of Mecca.
And like two animals, the two cultures don't get along well, or they fight, or they remain uneasy in each other's presence.
A culture's foodstock, though, is people. Whereas an animal consumes the food, leaving it inedible (at least to larger creatures), a culture
incorporates a person. The more people a culture has, the "stronger" the culture is. The french people of Quebec aren't in any danger of losing
their culture, but the Aboriginal People of Australia are. Yes, cultures too can die.
But it isn't the size of a population that determines if the culture lives or dies. The Greek/Roman gods made up what was probably the most
widespread religion that ever was - but it's all gone now. We no longer worship those gods.
No, cultures, like animals, have strengths and weaknesses. And like Darwinian theory, the stronger cultures tend to overpower the weaker ones.
For example, the term "westernization" is a word that describes the ravenous properties of western civilization - how it pushes out other cultures
and replaces them with its own. McDonalds in China would have been impossible to comprehend 20 years ago.
But also, cultures have an ability that few biological creatures in this world have, the ability to merge with other cultures. This is because the
"food source" can be shared. Buddhism and Chinese ancient religions combined to make Confucianism. The Conservatives and Reform party in Canada
rallied into the Alliance party. Ninjas in movies are now armed with both swords and UZIs. Society is rife with such examples of social patterns and
standards and conceptions that have merged.
Most of the time, when we encounter something new, we test it. We swirl the idea of the philosophy or social event around in our minds. Perhaps we
accept it openly, or reject it without remorse. Many times we incorporate some parts of it, but leave out others as is suitable for our situation.
This is how society changes.
Globalization can be used to describe the socio-economic impacts of a world that has shrunk because of the internet. Whereas before our social
patterns were set primarily by our immediate peers - we are, more and more, relying on other sources to teach us values and ideals (sources such as
the internet, TV, and whatnot).
Right now the most "productive" or "efficient" culture are the Chinese. China is growing at an incredible rate, and its economy is thriving. China
also has been able to retain a startingly large middle-class despite such massive chagnes, which means future growth is all but assurd.
But does this mean that we should all switch to becoming Chinese? No. Because, like evolution, the possible combinations of cultures, plus the ability
for mankind to think up of entirely new ones, will eventually mean that some other culture in some other circumstances, will perform incredibly better
than anything we see today.
And what does the future hold?
Well, assuming that globalization continues, and that the amount of connectivity and range of the internet continues to expand, then we're definitely
looking at a future where they are only a few cultures in the world.
New World Order?
Instead it will be companies and corporations that are progressive, aggressive, but controlled.
It will have but a few religions who all worships similar deities.
Conflict will be inevitable, as the strongest religious cultures begin to seperate, but in the end one will out-survive the other.
And then, the only way to encounter a truely different culture will be to leave the earth and go to one of her colonies, where the extremely unique
living conditions will have created even more possible combinations of cultures and beliefs and ideas.
The future looks good, and this cultural evolution could take us further in 100 years than evolution took us in 100,000.