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If we are no longer evolving, who or what is still evolving?

One of the theories that, although certainly not new, is repeated quite frequently in the context of the current pandemic is the idea that human evolution stopped, not in a positive sense (believing we reached the peak of evolution) or in a hopeful sense (believing transhumans are about to arrive), but in a negative sense: we humans are the worst enemies of the future of humanity.

It seems somewhat hard to believe it, because this is not the first occasion humanity faces natural or man-made disasters, and yet we are still here. But recent examples that I personally witnessed led me to think that perhaps there is some truth to the idea that we stopped evolution.

Einstein is said to have said (surely, he did not) that there are only two infinite things: the universe and human stupidity, and that he was unsure about the infinity of the universe. And Asimov once wrote that even the gods themselves fight in vain against human stupidity.

And just a few days ago, Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari emphasized again that what will destroy humanity is not a virus or a pandemic, but humanity itself, due to its stupidity (that is the word Harari used).

Why do we make these references to the undeniable human stupidity? Because we have witnessed it in all levels of society and in many different situations and places. 

For example, a few days ago I went to a supermarket and the person who was in line before me to pay had all the possible personal protection, including a solid mask and long gloves.

But when it was his turn to pay, this person took off his mask and used his teeth to remove the glove from his right hand, and then, with his bare fingers, pressed the corresponding keys to enter the PIN of his debit card. After paying, he used his teeth again to put on his glove and then adjusted his mask,

I kept thinking what’s the point for that person to protect himself as he did if precisely at the moment when he most needs protection he not only removes his protection, but he does it in the most reckless way possible. Asimov was right: even the gods are powerless against such a level of stupidity.

And a well-known community organization in Denver had to suspend the distribution of food boxes to people in need because those interested could not comply with two simple rules: make an appointment and arrive at the assigned time, and go alone to pick up the food.

On the contrary, people began to arrive at any time and accompanied by their entire family, including children, without any consideration for personal protection or social distancing. Even worse, they discarded foods they did not like in the parking lot.

So perhaps it is true that evolution ended with us. If so, who is evolving? Apes are believed to be in their own Stone Age. But that is another story. Literally. 

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