Environment Opinion

Why we've become 'black widows' in the web of life

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As a species, we need to commit to supporting the evolution of life (Image by Arthouse Studio | Pexels)

Only universal access to education will combat the ignorance that exposes the Earth to evolution's potentially lethal changes, writes Keith Presnell.

WHILE CHANGE may happen randomly, evolution is a progression. The basic distinction between inert matter and living matteris that although inert matter may suffer change, living matter is able to progress change.On that basis, one can reasonably conclude that living matter is integral to evolution.

Life, or what we sometimes refer to as "nature", is timeless. It created our universe, along with every other universe that has, will, or might still, exist. Living matter has a finite presence, with a beginning and an end. 

All living organisms are born with common sense, a genetic inheritance that we recognise as instinct. Instinct is associated with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) — it is what differentiates living matter from inert matter. Evidence suggests that DNA is the link between living matter and nature.

Instinct would seem to be a compendium of natural protocols. Inherited instincts in a living organism are supplemented by knowledge acquired during its lifetime. That knowledge can contribute to directional change. However, it can also be used to support agendas that inhibit evolution. Evolution is best served where learned behaviour is moderated by the natural protocols embedded in our instincts.

A useful analogy is provided by the relationship that exists between the public and private sectors.

In theory, the public sector deals with social management while the private sector services social priorities. However, as we can observe, a rampant private sector will reverse that relationship to create social chaos. 

Working together, instinct and experience are the source of wise decisions. Wisdom has only one agenda and that is to further evolution. There is an element of spirituality associated with wisdom. To be considered wise, the depth of care one normally feels for oneself needs to translate to the welfare of one’s community, of future generations and of life itself.

Without education, people would recommence burning witches at the stake. In the past, proponents of that practice were no less intelligent than the average person living today. The difference is all to do with education. Those people were fearful of what they did not understand. Some – often religious – extremist organisations exist because they access troops that lack that understanding.

Education enhances the potential for positive change. Both formal and informal education establishes that we, as sentient beings, have an obligation to serve evolution.

As no two individuals have identical potential, an effective education would feature flexibility and balance — balance between the integrity of content, spiritual robustness and technological merit.

The rewards that stem from a balanced education feature civilised group behaviour, a high degree of trust between individuals, a willingness to share and wise decision making.

As for evolution on Earth, currently, our species focuses on personal influence — at the expense of any thoughts for evolution. We have achieved a level of technical understanding that is potentially lethal, without an equivalent understanding of natural protocols. That omission has exposed the web of life on this planet to traumatic change.

Considering the dire circumstances that our materialistic community now faces, only universal access to a balanced education will suffice. We need to become enlightened as a species — committed to supporting the evolution of life.

So, what does that say about any government which restricts access to education, either by underfunding, manipulation of content, or by introducing financial disincentives?

Keith Presnell, now retired, was director of renewable energy research at Charles Darwin University and Australia's representative on the International Energy Agency (IEA's) photovoltaic subcommittee.

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