I found this draft blog post that I had written back in 2010. I’m not sure why I never published it, though it does end on a dire note and seems a bit incomplete. Perhaps I had some further thoughts percolating in my brain back then that never came forward. I am also not sure if I wrote this before reading about The Great Filter. I figured I’d just publish it now without further comment:
I was thinking about all the stupid things humans do, and the fact that there are still so many stupid humans about, and because of the stupid things human do like not focusing on education, we are creating even more stupid humans. It seemed to me like some sort of failure of evolution that we have not yet got it through our thick skulls how important stuff like education and critical thinking are.
But at some level, we’re experiencing a different form of evolution, one that is applied to our society as a whole.
Consider that in some other part of the universe, maybe at a nearby star or somewhere so far we have no way to imagine the distance, there probably exists an earthlike-planet. Maybe it has differences in terrain or weather, but for the most part it has seas and oceans, continents and archipelagos and glacial poles and all that jazz that makes earth interesting. And maybe on this other earth, life has evolved similar to the way it has here. Maybe some species are different, maybe some survived there that did not survive here, but for the most part there are plants and animals and insects and fungi and of course, there are humans.
Of course these humans won’t be exactly like us. Maybe they were spawned in different weather conditions, making the dominant skin tones different. Maybe they evolved slightly better or slightly worse eyesight or sense of smell. Maybe their superstitions were slightly different. Though in most ways this other human society on this other earth is similar with our own, all the slight differences are going to add up and the fate of their society may be vastly different with our own.
Maybe because of their different superstitions, they are unable to survive massive plagues and disease in their middle ages. Maybe because of their differences they are unable to resist the temptation to devolve into thermonuclear war. Maybe they lack focus on technological advances and are unable to bridge the gap to the stars before their ever-growing population outgrows the resources their earth provides for them.
If the nature of humans on this other earth is close to what we have here – selfish, bickering, superstitious, xenophobic then the odds of these humans able to evolve past their world and into the stars is pretty low.