Beyond being better human beings

We humans believe that, as we keep creating and recreating the Technojungle, our lives will continue to improve. As we have learned, there are improvements and then there is the unexpected and baggage. Can the improvements overcome any problems and will we finally reach utopia? Who are we and where are we going?

My feeling is that, as we have covered a massive amount of ground in the Technojungle, we have only scratched the surface. We have made a simple introductory surveillance of an extremely complex Technojungle. We made some assumptions along the way, such as, humans are analog. But are we actually analog? What sort of analog are we? Can our machines actually become like us?  Or, is there something special about us that technology can never match? What is your, our, and humanity’, fait. 

While working on this second book, I began to realize that there’s plenty more to say. Retirement and the pandemic has had me on an even greater adventure in the Technojungle.

Book one, The Future Never Arrives infers that, well the future…. However, I admitted that I woke up one day to realize that I was finally living in my future. For book two, The Future Always Arrives, I continue the safari from book one, but infer that the future is unstoppable and thus does arrive. 

I have considered whether I should continue to write about the Technojungle as it’s future unfolds before me. At this point a third book, a trilogy, is possible, but would be down the path further. 

Therefore, I shall add this final chapter as an overview, or teaser for what may come in the future. What follows here is certainly of huge importance in understanding and learning more about being better human beings living in the Technojungle.

Let us call it The Future Has Arrived and infer that we can look at what the future holds. I suspect that there are surprises down the Technojungle path. I expect that this will be different from other chapters. 

A reoccurring question I have you the readers consider is, ‘What does it mean for us, you, to be human?” It’s a critical question. 

Thus far, we have really only considered the impacts of mechanical and computer related Technojungle technologies. I mentioned that I was avoiding other technologies, such chemistry and biology. We also need to consider more about physics. We even need to include other fields such as astronomy, geology, archeology, and others, perhaps even philosophy and psychology. Many are not technically technologies, yet they connect to the Technojungle. This is only one chapter of what demands to be several books, so I don’t know how far we will get.

Into the Future

The future arrives with the unexpected and baggage

Technojungles—Industrial to information to interconnection

We have discussed the impacts of the Industrial Revolution, or Industrial Age, the Information Revolution, or the Information Age which includes the Computer Revolution or Computer Age. We have also looked at artificial Intelligence and how it moves the Technojungle toward imitating humans. I suggested that there is a collision course that intends on bringing the Technojungle into the human. 

We are going to take a look at five Technojungle stages—the Technojungles of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Here are the first two which represent yesterday:

Technojungle 0.0 – Early humans to the First Industrial Revolution.

Technojungle 1.0 – First Industrial Revolution – Steam, water powered machines – the Machine Age. Between 1760 and 1820, or 1840 in Europe and the United States. It represented the transition from producing things by hand to using machines.

[Sidebar: “The man who builds a factory builds a temple. The man who works there worships there.” — Calvan Coolidge]

Technojungle 2.0 – Second Industrial Revolution – Technological Revolution. Between 1871 and 1914 with travel & communications marked by the railroad and telegraph.

We have been on safari to look mostly at the Technojungle of today—Technojungle 3.0 – Third Industrial Revolution – Digital Revolution which began during the mid-to late twentieth century.

As we move forward through Technojungle 4.0 we are going to see even more on going automation. We will continue to be surrounded by more smart devices through the Internet of Things (IoT), or the Internet of Everything (IoE) and newer faster networks like 5G. Robotics and artificial intelligence will prevail in our lives. 

Technojungle 4.0 – Forth Industrial Revolution – Will promote Machine to Machine (M2M) communications. UN Sustainable Development Goals. Mastering human dilemmas. AI answers to human problems. New World Order.

The World Economic Forum (2016) introduced what they call “Industrie 4.0“, shortened to I4.0 or just I4. The ideas originated in 2011 from the high-tech strategy of a German government project. 

According to the predictions for the Forth Industrial Revolution we will see a merging of hardware, software, and biology into cyber-physical systems. More advances in communication and connectivity, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the internet of things, the industrial internet of things, decentralized consensus, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), 3D printing, and fully autonomous vehicles.

The German government’s Industry 4.0 strategies include more customization of products with highly flexible mass-production. “The required automation technology is improved by the introduction of methods of self-optimization, self-configuration, self-diagnosis, cognition and intelligent support of workers in their increasingly complex work.”

There are four design principles identified as integral to industry 4.0:

Interconnection — the ability of machines, devices, sensors, and people to connect and communicate with each other via the Internet of things, or the internet of people (IoP).

Information transparency — the transparency afforded by Industry 4.0 technology provides operators with comprehensive information to inform decisions. Inter-connectivity allows operators to collect immense amounts of data and information from all points in the manufacturing process, identify key areas that can benefit from improvement to increase functionality.

Technical assistance — the technological facility of systems to assist humans in decision-making and problem-solving, and the ability to help humans with difficult or unsafe tasks.

Decentralized decisions — the ability of cyber physical systems to make decisions on their own and to perform their tasks as autonomously as possible. Only in the case of exceptions, interference, or conflicting goals, are tasks delegated to a higher level.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has what they call Agenda 2030. As part of this agenda they have set 17 Sustainable Development Goals which they plan to have implemented by the year 2030. These goals are as follows:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-Being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace and Justice
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

If you read between the lines of these goals, a great deal of the Technojungle is involved and the outcomes will affect the lives of everyone on the planet in some way and to some degree.

I have included this information from the World Economic Forum and the United Nations as examples of current ideas for the future. Much of what is proposed and predicted is already happening. The pandemic has provided an excellent vehicle to forward the development and use of new technologies in the Technojungle. For example, people have been forced to do more activities online.

So what else is in store for us humans in the future. We know that, whatever is planned, projected, or proposed for our future in the Technojungle, there is always the unexpected. Technologies don’t always go as expected and it is difficult to predict what humans will do. 

Technology surrounds as a cage. Build machines that think like a human and your world will become theirs and you will serve.

Humans—Post-human, post-Earth

Is there to be a Technojungle 5.0 – Fifth Technological Revolution – Transhumanism? Human or machine? Post-human? Post-Earth? Or…?

During our safari, I have pointed out several technologies aimed at repairing, augmenting, or replacing human body parts. We can expect these technologies to advance further. Earlier, we considered humans versus machines and even human machines, or cyborgs or bionic humans. The boundaries seem to blur.

Our adventures into the Technojungle have touched on the ideas of what a post-human might be. If we are to be post-human, it makes sense that we will become post-Earth beings, that is to permanently leave our birthplace of Earth. Proponents of these ideas suggest that we will need to redefine what it means to be human. 

Post-human views are utopian with humans overcoming all problems and reaching intellectual heights we can’t imagine. There would be no disease and no death. Love, art, serenity, and pleasure would abound along with attaining states of consciousness that would make us transcendent. Humans could even become synthetic (artificial).

With biology that might conquer and gain a full understanding and control of the staggering complexities of natural life, post-humans would be able to redesign the human organism and indeed all organisms and life as well as any environment they find.

What is transhumanism?

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values. – Max More (1990).

Transhumanism proposes an ultimate philosophical path into the future for humans which merges us with our Technojungle leading to post-humanism. It is the ultimate triumph of science, technology, and philosophy—human ingenuity. We would keep evolving, except natural forces would become less involved.

Some people thing that the next step for humans as post-human.
Transhumanism would involve first the extensive embedding of technology into the human body with the idea of eventually transitioning the essence of humans into human created technologies.

With Global Warming, futurists argue that post-Earth is necessary. There are concerted efforts to curb the release of carbon emissions, but this could be futile. Also, the Earth could simply slip into another age, such as another Ice Age. 

In recent years, the privatization of space flight as brought some very rapid developments aimed at migrating humans to places other than Earth. Mars is the most likely candidate after developing some bases on the Moon. The goal is to save this planet Earth we have polluted or migrate away to other worlds, or create other worlds.

I grew up hoping that I could one day go to space, that we humans would most certainly head off to other worlds to thrive. Lately, I have truly wondered just what that might entail. I have a wonderful small West Coast jungle a one minute walk away from my house. I love to go there. I often photograph the sunlight illuminating the contrasts of life and death in the jungle. 

To leave Earth would mean abandoning a nurturing natural environment. To leave one perfectly suited for my human life. To head for one totally human-made and to never breath the air of Earth again. Every aspect of my life would rely on human-made Technojungles. This is the ultimate Titanic of space. I would be in a small group of people who would have to get along. The bulk of humankind would be millions of miles away. That would be utter loneliness. I asked my son, now in his late twenties, about going into space. He said he would jump at the opportunity.

Would it be possible for humans to construct an unnatural post-Earth Technojungle environment that could support large colonies of humans? Well, I would hesitate based on what we have been studying. We know there is always the unexpected and baggage. Just consider how the Technojungles we have create have infected our pristine Earth, destroying our habitats. Do we actually believe we can overcome the human addictions to technologies and our human faultiness? Will we be better enough human beings to survive outside of our Earthly cocoon? Would heading out to the stars liken us to the butterfly emerging from its cocoon? Or will we humans succumb to our Technojungle technologies and cease to be biological, thus becoming our technologies?

Does post-humanism sound like we are to utilize the Technojungle to recreate ourselves into gods? Do post-Earth ideas sound like the Technojungle could ultimately provide us with a heaven?

Human ingenuity might engineer the human out of the human.

Worldview

You view your world through your own coloured glasses.

Our safari journey of exploration and discovery in these books has brought us face-to-face with who we are as human beings versus the Technojungle we have created. I have presented my observations and experiences so we can begin to pondered our future.

If we want to truly understand the Technojungle, we need to understand who we are as human beings. Fortunately, the Technojungle helps us to learn more about ourselves and even our universe.

Take some time to consider your answers to these questions:

From where have I come? 

Who, or what am I now? 

To where am I going?

These questions are as critical as, What does it mean for me to be human? In fact, they provide a great deal of notions from which we can each answer the question of what it mean to each one of us individually to be human.

We are now getting at what your worldview is. What is a worldview? Is it your personal philosophy? Is it how you perceive your world? Is it your beliefs and values? Is it how you interpret your world? Does your worldview serve to provide you with meaning, purpose, and ideas around morality of right and wrong and of ethics? 

A worldview includes all of the above. Worldviews are usually shared with other people, although you can have your own minor differences. It is likely that your worldview is actually your own blending of the shared worldviews of other groups.

Let’s begin with origins. Before I can attempt to answer where I came from, I must determine what I believe the origin of the Universe is and then the origin of life itself.

Origins — From where have I come? 

Ignoring origin is the beginning of ignorance.

The Universe

 Where do you believe the Universe came from? How did everything we know of come to be?

I’m asking more huge questions, but they are important with respect to our, your, worldview.

I’m old enough to remember when the going belief of the day was that the Universe just is. It always was, always will be, and it goes on forever. I used to say, “The Universe goes on forever, so anything is possible. At every point in time there can be any possible versions for the future.” Amazingly, there is a theory still in consideration today call Multiverses.

The Universe just was, and always was. That’s what most people believed. Then a new theory emerged. It had been cooking in the scientific community since the 1920s, but in 1964, the cosmic microwave background (CMB) was discovered which finally forced the theory of the Big Bang to the forefront of scientific foundations. The CMB is a faint background of radiation left over from the Big Bang. In the theory, there was a time when time and space essentially had no meaning and everything resided in a single point of singularity. It was now determined that the Universe was expanding away from that single point.

Our Universe is made up of matter, and there is more than one kind. Regular matter has certain properties, such as the charge on electrons. There is also something called antimatter. Antimatter is more rare, but is everywhere and contains the antiparticles of subatomic elementary particles of matter. However some properties, such as the charge on electrons, are the opposite to regular matter. When matter and antimatter come into contact, they destroy each other converting their mass to energy. One huge mystery is, where is all the antimatter? There should be equal amounts of each.

Besides the matter and antimatter that we can observe, the Universe is also thought to contain dark matter. Dark matter is obviously not observable because it does not reflect light, yet it is believed to account for 85 percent of the total matter in the Universe. This kind of matter could be left from dead stars, black holes, white dwarfs, or neutron stars. So how do we know dark matter exists? The answer, gravity. It is when the properties of gravity are affected that the existence of dark matter can be detected.

I have several questions which I will only cover briefly here, since this is only a chapter.

How is entropy explained in a cooling and rapidly expanding universe? Entropy explains the fact that everything winds down and moves toward disorder and chaos. This brings me to the next question. How did the universe come to have such wonderful order?

The explanation held by many scientists and upheld by Stephen Hawking, is that gravity controls the universe and that the vast distances mean that entropy, as applied in the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics, does not apply. That is fine, however I ask, exactly what is gravity and what is the origin of it, where did it come from? 

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. – Stephen Hawking

However, a law, such as gravity, is just that, a law. It is not something physical that can be detected and measured. Actual gravity can obviously be detected and measured.

We also observe and experience something we call energy. It is in various forms, such as electricity and light. But, nobody knows what it actually is, or where it came from.

Apparently there was reluctance by the scientific community to admit that there was a Big Bang start to the Universe because the Bible states that there was a time of creation. The scientific community were concerned that the Big Bang would give more credence to religion despite there being many differences. In fact, the theory of the Big Bang has many problems, so can easily be labeled as much a faith as they would call the Bible account of the origin of the Universe.

One question that comes to mind when I think about a singularity origin of the Universe is black holes. Scientists tell us that black holes are collections of matter so dense that nothing can escape, not even light. They suck everything up. How could all the matter and energy in the universe exist in a single point? If you get enough matter in a black hole, will it explode into something like the Big Bang?

So, the Big Bang and gravity, seem to require something to exist first, thus they do not actually solve the question of the origin of the Universe. Therefore we are no closer to understanding where we came from.

Scientists tell us that we are stuck in what is called the space time continuum. Everything in the Universe exists at a single place of three dimensions with a forth dimension of time. You stand in a particular spot and exist there for a particular point of time. Even if you are moving and you could chop time into the tiniest of segments, your existence is stuck in space and time.

The conclusion here seems to be that the origin of the universe must come from outside our three physical dimensions with the fourth being time. In other words, our space time continuum is a product of something outside of our realm.

Naturally, the scientific community has a few notions to escape space time. One, the multiverse, has been mentioned, another similar one is multiple dimensions. 

To attempt to understand what another dimension beyond ours would look like, one must imagine a cube representing our three dimensions. A fourth dimension would be another larger cube with our cube inside. Then you must imagine lines connecting the two cubes together, and you must imagine that all the corners are right angles (90 degrees). This model is called a tesseract.

To understand what a Tesseract is, it can help to understand dimensions. All angles are 90 degrees.

Because imagining another dimension is so difficult, there are several ways to attempt to view one.

There are many other ideas circulating including, The Hologram Universe, the Shadow Universe where the physical Universe is a shadow of another reality, and that we are living in a digital simulation called the Simulation Hypothesis.

Can you imagine all this matter in the Universe beginning at a single point of singularity? How much matter can go into a single point? How small or big could that singularity point have been? How could such a massive ‘bang’ of an explosion cause such a fine-tuned Universe

When scientists look at the Universe and life, it is clear that if anything changed or had been different, we could not exist. From the sub-atomic level to the stars and galaxies, everything is fine-tuned. Our Universe is an amazing combination of physics, chemistry, and biology that results in our reality and life on Earth.

There are more huge questions to ask, however, we need to move along. Let’s concede that the Universe has come to be and now we need to consider life.

Keep in mind that we are exploring these topics of origin because they relate very deeply to what it means to be human and our journey of exploration and discovery through the Technojungle. We are looking for meaning.

Since we are now exploring the realms of science, we shall encounter ideas and notions that stand on what is understood as a scientific statement, and what constitutes a good scientific theory. Therefore, we must have some criteria to evaluate these statements and theories. One model is the CONPTT grid… Consistent, Observable, Natural, Predictable, Testable, Tentative. 

Another approach is the scientific method is described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion.

Do these models stand in opposition to believing something before having full evidence? How about in opposition to a faith? Some people say that, in the lack of evidence, if one is to continue to believe, one must have a faith. Yet, this should not be confused with religious faith in the Bible accounts, which does have provable evidence. When considering scientific statements, I think it is important to determine whether what is stated has enough support, or is simply conjecture, or faith. I often hear scientists and philosophers claim something like, “Well, we believe that science will progress to….” This is obviously having faith in science.]

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. — Geneisis 1.1

Life

Determining the origin of life is just as tricky as the origin of the Universe. What we are about to explore has some highly debated issues and surprising facts.

I’ll begin with the most dramatic statement I have made thus far in the books. Here it is:

We are not analog, we are not binary digital either, however we are computers, we are machines, we are full of machines, we are Technojungles, yet not human created.

Our question becomes even more exciting as we wonder, “From where have I come?” 

I’ve heard many answers to this question. But, every one of these answers always has the requirement for something to already exist in our space time universe in order to cause something else to exist. One idea is that life came to Earth from an asteroid or comet. But where did that life come from? Another I first heard around half a century ago in a TV science program. I heard it again last week. The TV program depicted a primordial ooze of mud with just the right combination of chemistry. A lightning strike somehow sparked the first life in the ooze.

Scientists have tried to recreate this moment in a lab. So far, nobody has been able to do it. Don’t forget to ask where the ooze came from, including just the right chemicals? And don’t forget to ask what lightning is and where does it originate from?

One day, I came across a project, actually a contest, whereby somebody could win $10 million dollars if they could come up with a way to create life in a lab, and that the process could be patented. Specifically, the process must be able to produce genetic code from a chemical reaction.

This leads me to a huge point. 

Most people are now somewhat familiar with the image of double-helix, twisted ladder-looking, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule

DNA, which is found in all living organisms, has presented scientists with the greatest of all life problems. This is because DNA is a code made up of the nucleotide bases, adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine, represented by four letters, A, T, C, and G. These four letters are arranged in groups of three called codons. Some codons are actually punctuation. This sequence specific code is one long string composing sentences, and forming one massively long essay with paragraphs. Just to make this a little more complicated, the amount of G should equal and pair with C, and the amount of A should equal and pair with T. So the long string consists of around 3.2 billion base pairs, so over 6 billion characters. 

Researchers have noted that DNA, is a computer code. The code follows the same structural guidelines, or design patterns, such as nested coding information, and files within folders, that our computers use.

The strands of DNA can coil into many shapes, such as loops and bundle together to form Y-shaped chromosomes. Humans have 23 different pairs of chromosomes, one from our mother and one from our father, which give us our various characteristics. Because they are made up of DNA, chromosomes mostly reside in the nucleus of a cell.

While some of us may wear jeans, we are in fact made up of genes. A gene is a section of a DNA molecule which contains the instructional sequence specific information for the production of biological material. RNA (ribonucleic acid) is like DNA, however, it only has one side of the DNA ladder and it uses uracil (U) in place of the thymine. There are several types of RNA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) translates DNA code to ribosomes which are tiny macromolecular machines. Through a process called transcription, ribosomes link amino acids in the order specified by the codons to produce proteins which form cells. We humans can have around 20,000 genes. From genes we get our varying characteristics, such as hair colour or colour of our eyes. Genes can also carry attributes for the possible development of conditions such as diabetes. 

In recent years scientists have been using various gene editing tools, such as CRISPR, to change DNA which can then affect various physical traits of organisms.

Occasionally we hear of a genome having been sequenced. This is obviously a complex process which finally results in a computer analyzing a snippet of DNA. All the genetic information, or the complete set of genetic instructions, in a cell is called the genome. All you need to build an organism is one genome. 

Interestingly, we humans share over 98 percent of our DNA. It is the less than 2 percent that makes us individually different from one another.

The pandemic has made the letters mRNA part of everyday talk. The rapidly developed vaccines use mRNA which is messenger ribonucleic acid. Notice this is similar to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

To get various types of cells, in the case of the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus vaccines to prevent COVID-19, requires DNA information, or instructions to tell ribosomes how to use amino acids to build proteins which are the building blocks for cells. The idea behind a vaccine is to show the natural immune system of the human body what a particular disease looks like so the immune system can develop antibodies which are known as immunoglobulin. Antibodies are large Y-shaped proteins that help the immune system identify pathogens of bacteria and viruses which have a unique molecule called an antigen. The antibodies grab ahold of the antigens to neutralize them.

While traditional vaccines can consist of small inactive samples of the virus which allow the immune systems to learn to identify the invader and develop protection, the mRNA vaccines actually contain the instructions necessary for identifying the coronavirus and evoke the processes for developing protection.

Life is complicated. Many people use that statement to describe everyday living. But life is complicated, as we are discovering. 

Everyday, we lose 50 to 70 billion cells because, for various reasons called programmed cell death, they die. Therefore, our human bodies need to continuously make new cells. This is done through cell division, called Mitosis. To make this complicated process possible, we have tiny molecular machines, some actually have little legs that can walk. It is amazing to see in online videos. Scientists are still learning how this immensely complicated sub-microscopic world works in our bodies and in other life. Still, we can ask how this amazing world of life came to be? 

Cells dividing.

For some years now we have heard about gene sequencing and editing. This is a field called Genetic Engineering. In the latest developments of Biomolecular Engineering, scientists, in an emerging field called Synthetic Biology, or SynBio, are using syntheticbiology to create synthetic DNA and synthetic cells with synthetic genomes that can divide on their own. The DNA code is created in a computer, in fact, DNA code can be written in a similar way to computer code. Entirely new proteins can be synthesized which could lead to new organisms. 

However, we must take caution. This is not from an unguided natural processes, so cannot be considered proof that life emerged from simply chemical reactions. I have seen these discoveries portrayed as creating new life, however, the life comes from natural living components to which artificial components are combined. At best, these experiments can lead to better understandings of how life began, and they may lead to the development of new synthetic cells for development of new synthetic organisms that may, or may not, be beneficial. Despite what is depicted, life is not being created from scratch, and even if they did, it would be the hand of humans involved, not natural processes.

One final point of caution. We know from our safari here that the unexpected and baggage come with the future. This also applies to science, since the Technojungle arises from scientific endeavours. Genetic engineering and synthetic biology, although different, are both subject to unpredictable, unexpected results along with the baggage that can come from playing with natural processes. Don’t forget that technologies usually fall into the hands of both good and bad people.

 We can ask about lots of origins such as, gravity, energy, matter, the cosmos, or Universe, information, and life? Life is information, we are information, so we need to know how information can come about? 

How does everything come to have such amazing order? Scientists have been working on three possibilities, chance, necessity and a combination of these.

Most people are familiar with Darwin and his theory of Evolution with its mechanism of Natural Selection. On a basic level, any form of mutation or adaptation, where an animal or organism can, through ‘unguided natural processes,’ change to become better suited to its environment, is considered evolution. But, is mutation and adaptation a proof that life evolved from simple organisms into the incredible number of complex species of life we see today? 

The theory of evolution attempts to describe that over millions of years, ‘change over time,’ simple organisms evolved into complex and vast species of animals. Yet, I have always wondered, where is the full evidence of this in the fossil record? 

The fossil record does show a period about 541 million years ago called the Cambian Explosion where suddenly there appeared complex multi-celled organisms. Prior to the Cambrian Explosion, only mostly single-celled simple organisms existed. This has proved difficult to explain. Science has scrambled to explain various other inconsistencies in the linear connection of species.

When I look around at all the species of life, I see many kinds of fish, but they share the same basic characteristics. If I came from a fish, then I should see plenty of in-between animals, particularly in the fossil record. Every family of animal seems to be sharing their own particular characteristics. 

Let’s focus in on the primates, since they are considered by evolutionary biologists to be our closest relative. I see many different species of primates; gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutangs, gibbons, etc., but there is only one species of humans. Further, we humans seem to be quite a distance from the primates which do seem to be very similar. 

I remember seeing a documentary about a chimpanzee, named Nim who was taught American Sign Language (ASL). It was a fascinating experiment and the chimp did seem to be able to ask for things and even understand what he was told. However, as I recall, the experiment was deemed a failure because it could not be proved that the chimp actually understood the meaning of the words being signed. He may have simply learned what signs to use to ask for something without actually understanding the meaning of each word.

Washoe was another female chimp who was the first to be taught American Sign Language (ASL).

So I notice that we humans have some very unique characteristics not shared by any other animals. We understand that we are conscious. We seek to understand and make meaning of everything in our world. We make war and we make love. And, we create and use technology to build the Technojungle. 

Not only do we create and use technology, we are able to use technologies to develop other technologies. While a few animals may somewhat seem to share some of these characteristics, none come close to using all of these, and more; and never to the same degree as we humans. We humans are unique!

As I have come to understand more about DNA, I wonder, How does evolution explain the code of life? How does a chemical reaction create life from code? 

So we can easily see that the biological evidence points to something else. Darwinism is said to show the appearance of design, but without a designer. What do you think? Do you believe that, through natural processes and chance and necessity, a massive and complex sequence specific code developed, along with biological molecular machinery, to allow the vastness of life to evolve, with only one species, humans, becoming so superior to any other species?

We are not analog, we are not binary digital, however we are computers, we are machines, we are Technojungles, yet not human created.

There is a huge problem. For Darwin, the simplest organisms, through change over time, evolved into the vastness of life we can observe today. However, neither he, or anyone following him, have been able to explain how the first tiny organisms of life began. 

Darwin’s original notebook page where he proposed all species evolving from a single simple organism.
Ernst Haeckel’s version of the tree of life.

It is fact that Darwinism does not explain the origins of life, nor how the complex systems of DNA and the production of cells occurs. Yet Darwin’s theories have remained the mainstay of science despite the huge problems—the greatest of all life problems. 

Scientists simply believe that one day they will figure it all out and, in the meantime, they are refusing to acknowledge that there are any alternatives.

So science seems to be anchored in Naturalism and Materialism. Naturalism asserts a philosophy whereby only natural laws govern the universe and does not hold that any supernatural laws or agents are involved. In a similar way, Materialism is also a philosophy and holds that matter is the basic substance of all that exists, even mental and consciousness states. In other words, what you can see is all that there is and everything comes from that which we humans are capable of discovering and conquering through our own ingenuity.

It is important to keep in mind that science is self-correcting and that may be its biggest downfall. Scientific and technological discoveries are presented as scientific statements, even scientific fact, and even when only a theory. They can easily become accepted truth and reality. In my experiences I have seen images of dinosaurs, which later are changed as they discover, for example, that they put the wrong bones together. From flat Earth, to genes determine race, to the Internet was going to be the great democratizing invention for the human race, all these have proved to be wrong. It seems science is not an exact science, yet it is accepted as such.

What is the alternative understanding of origin? There is a growing movement among scientists and philosophers called Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design suggests that all the evidence points to some kind of intelligence for the origins of the Universe and life. That the existence of the Universe and life can be better explained, not as undirected natural processes such as natural selection, but by the design of an intelligence. 

It is a scientific theory which follows the same scientific approach that Darwin set forth. Basically, to explain an event in the very remote past, we need to look at our uniform repeated experience of cause and effect which is to be looking for causes that we know are now in operation that produce the effect that we’re trying to explain. In the case of life and the information of DNA, we know that anywhere we see sequentially specific coded information, such as in language, we understand that an intelligence produced the information.

One scientist and mathematician explains it this way. If you went down to the beach and saw your name written in the sand, how would you understand what produced it? An intelligence. We have no examples of any code produced through natural processes.

Intelligent Design is a scientific approach that does not attempt to explain what the intelligence is that did the designing and should not be confused with Creationism which does state that the universe and life originated from a creator, such as the God of the Bible. Creationism follows the Genesis account in the Bible. One approach begins with science, the other begins with the Bible.

I have always wondered if what we see when we gaze out into the cosmos is much smaller than what scientists understand. I wonder if something makes it seem a to be a certain way much like a magnifying glass make things seem closer. Could the math used to calculate be wrong and everything distorted from what scientists see? In the same way, I wonder if the ways time, and the way everything from the distant past is dated, could also be wrong? If there is a designer behind it all, I certainly think this is possible.

How does all this contribute to your worldview? If you adhere to, and are a proponent of Darwinism, Naturalism, and Materialism, you may or may not, call yourself an Atheist. If you are not sure about the existence of a god, you could call yourself an agnostic. However, if you do have a belief and faith in a ‘god,’ or ‘gods,’ you are either a theist or a polytheist. The vast majority of people today, guided by the general views presented through media and science, fall into the territory of Atheism, although most would probably not call themselves Atheists. Still many of those would admit there might be a ‘god.’ Where do you stand? 

The code of life drives DNA.

Meaning — Who, or what am I now? 

I have presented the above brief look at origins so we can step back and realize that the Universe and life are hugely complex and the truths of reality we live by often change. We should be in awe.

Now let’s consider that which truly does set us apart from any other animals we know of. To be human is to have intelligence. Intelligence helps us seek and to understand meaning, purpose, knowledge, wisdom, morals, and ethics. 

We are set apart from other animals because we seek to find meaning and purpose in our lives and everything we see, hear, or touch around us. This includes from the microscopic aspects of life, the sub-atomic aspects of physics, to the greatness of all life around us, and the vastness of the cosmos. Many people suggest that this relentless pursuit has led us to become the dominant species on the planet. This pursuit has indeed led us to build the Technojungle we have been exploring and studying. 

Do you believe any other animals think about what their meaning and purpose are? Do any consider the meaning and purpose of everything around them, including the Universe? Are any other species self-aware?

We not only think about these, we strive to attain knowledge and wisdom to conquer anything we don’t understand through science and philosophy. Do you seek to understand yourself, others, the world, and even the cosmos by attaining certain knowledge and wisdom?

Now ask yourself, where could morals and ethics come from? Are we born with some sort of basic understanding of right and wrong, or do you believe you learned right and wrong? Have you heard of the nature versus nurture debate over inherited or acquired behaviour?Does the understanding of right and wrong lead us to develop morals and ethics?

In my experience, morals and ethics do not seem to be held by any other species, so they are uniquely human. Further, it seems to me that, since groups of people can share some different views on what is moral and ethical, this can lead to disputes whereas other species only dispute over basic needs. Do you believe morals and ethics could arise from natural means, or do you believe some kind of supernatural intelligence was involved?

While the laws of nature can’t be violated or changed, moral laws and ethics can and do get violated. Have you ever violated any moral or ethical laws or beliefs? Sure you have. You are human so you make mistakes, wrong choices—you are not perfect—unlike the laws of nature.

We are set apart from other animals because we seek to find meaning and purpose in our lives and everything we see, hear, or touch around us.

What makes a moral or ethical law or belief right or wrong? Who decides? Is there, or should there be, an overall governing set of morals and ethics for people to follow? Are there such guidelines? Do you follow any particular moral and ethical guidelines?

What are  beliefs and values? Where do they come from? Do you pay any attention to your beliefs and values? How about those of other people? How do beliefs and values differ from, or relate to, meaning, purpose, knowledge, wisdom, morals, ethics, and understanding?

Have you heard that we consist of mind, body, and spirit? What does this mean to you? Is your mind the same as your brain, or is there more to it? How about your body, is that just your flesh? Do you have a soul? How about a spirit, and is that the same as your soul? It is important to consider these questions because they relate to how you view your world and who you are as a human being.

We have wandered from science into philosophy and even a little psychology. This can take us into other realms of discussions beyond the scope of these books. We simply need to understand that meaning, purpose, knowledge, wisdom, morals, ethics, and understanding all make us uniquely human and their origins are illusive.

Give attention to meaning making and gain understanding.

Destiny — To where am I going?

What do you believe is your ultimate destiny?

If you adhere to Darwinism, Materialism, Naturalism, or any belief that excludes the existence of something supernatural, you are probably an Atheist. For you, all that there is, is all that there is. There is nothing beyond. At death, you cease to have any sort of existence. As an Atheist, you have no hope beyond your destiny of death.

I have heard people say that they are satisfied with having no ultimate existence beyond death. It seems to me that these people, along with those who are not sure, don’t want to face the implications of what it would mean to admit that there is something beyond. These people appear to want to live their lives the way they want. I also wonder if they are confused, even brainwashed, by being inculcated into a science-based worldview. 

At death, you cease to have any sort of existence. As an Atheist, you have no hope beyond your destiny of death.

As we have learned in these books, our world, essentially dominated by the Technojungle, is extremely complex. This makes living life overwhelming. I don’t see that people are really able to take the time to contemplate and ask questions about what it means for them to be human and live in this Technojungle world we are all creating everyday and striving to exist in. 

How can one have hope in a destiny when they are kept off balance and unable to deeply and truly think for themselves about where they have come from, who they are, and where they are going? It is difficult to keep one’s head above water. 

Everyday I attempt to get a basic glimpse into the issues of the day. For some issues, I dig a little deeper by attempting to read between the lines, and to seek more than one perspective. I have a few topics I am studying as deeply as I can manage, knowing that I am up against the possibility of swimming in an unbalanced flow of data and information, that algorithms are determining what I am seeing. I must fight back by asking questions and protecting my own worldview which I must remain in charge of and change according to my life. Sometimes I feel I fail miserably. It is not easy and takes time. But it is important not to soak in the constant mire of mainstream media, or social media for that matter. Fortunately, retirement and being cooped-up during the pandemic, has allowed me to delve into some new topics, but I have to always contend and wrestle with where the data and information I am consuming is coming from.

The bottom line here is that, for the most part, there is very little about our destiny in the everyday flow of news. Occasionally, something slips in regarding our eventual need to move to other planets and even stars.

The understanding you hold concerning your destiny is beyond important. While understanding from where you have come can help you understand who you are, understanding to where you are going can inform and govern how you live your life. You do yourself great harm by avoiding the big issues and questions. 

Are you happy with a destiny of death? Are you willing to take a gamble with any alternatives? Have you given careful consideration to what your destiny is? If not, why not? 

The huge enormous question here is, “Is there live after death?” I know you have heard this question before. Most people seem to answer that they don’t know. Many will say, ‘no,’ and I think that is because they don’t want to face the alternatives which they believe would be an authoritative religion. Religion has never worked, they say, and science is self-correcting and will ultimately solve all problems. This is precisely the problem; it hold an unstable uncertain future on which to base your life.

I would argue, based on some of the evidence we have just covered, that since science is not always objective, it seems to be a religion in itself. At the same time, views that can be seen as arising from a religion, can have a scientific basis.

If asking, “Is there life after death?” is one huge question, the next one is, “Are you afraid to die?” How do you answer these questions?

Can we say there is a fifty-fifty chance of you getting it right? What are your options? Life or death. Atheism or Theism. Heaven or Hell, Science, the Technojungle, or…? What options do you see? Is there something in between?

Whether you think about it or not, you have a destiny, and somewhere deep within you is the desire to know what your destiny is. Ultimately, what it means for you to be human, is to have and hold on to a destiny.

Faith science opposes the science faith.

Conclusions

This has been a special safari beyond the paths covered in the other chapters of these books. Our everyday lives are filled contending with issues of now. 

Our discussions about the future are usually short-term views and we seldom have, or take, the time to come to peace with the question, “Is there an eternity?” Or other related questions. Can time ever end? Will the cosmos eventually change into something we can’t imagine? Why should we worry, scientists tell us that the Universe will likely remain the same for billions of years? Where will humans be in billions of years?

Are you afraid of the future? This is called Chronophobic and is a fear of the passage of time and fear of the future.

Does the future go on forever? Does being a human being mean a life in eternity?

You still need to ask, “Is there a god, or God?” If there is a God, where is God in my life today? Will God intervene one day and bring my destiny?

In the light of your answers to these questions, the Technojungle just doesn’t matter in the future.

Now, how do you strive toward being a better human being while you are living in this technology-fill world—the Technojungle.

Your future safaris are not only to journey, explore, and discover the Technojungle, they’re about discovering how you can be human in the Technojungle.

Being better human beings | The End!


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