Experience as a quest, not evolution, is the driving force in life. Not that evolution doesn’t happen. It does but it’s in service of expanding frontiers of experience.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
By David Stone
Experience, Not Evolution
Really. It doesn’t take a lot of thought. Evolution is change, species moving in a more provident direction because the random experiences of nature open up better pathways for propagation. Evolution seeks genetic spread as far and wide as opportunity presents.
And reproduction fuels it. Reproducing the species, humans, for the most obvious example, puts sex to work at spreading the seeds.
All this is true, but it leaves so much out. In fact, it leaves out the vast majority of our lives. That doesn’t make sense, but the evolutionary argument sticks.
But why? Who’s invested? Darwin’s theory was a stroke of genius, but it explained only how we evolved, not why. Is it just because? Or is it, as I believe, for adding to the vault of recorded human experience?
Let’s be clear. If sex is the fuel firing a life devoted to spreading human or any other kind of seed, it’s failing because sex drives peter out fairly early. And they arrive fairly late. Yet we seem to go about the business of living anyway.
And let’s face facts. A lot of sex, the majority of it, from masturbation to romping playfully in the sack, thrives without any possibility of reproducing the species.
Rationalizing Away Reality
The two most prominent explanations for why we keep going, regardless of sex drive, are the most popular, i.e., were afraid of dying. And also, altruistic motives push us into creating and sheltering others who still want to have babies.
Both of these are, scientifically speaking, sort of stupid. First, because a lot of people who are not afraid of dying continue living, no matter what scientists think. And the second reason does not consider elders who dislike children, never had any and/or believe younger generations ought to provide for them, not the other way around.
We’re missing the point when we go fishing for alternatives to the obvious. We live for life, for the human experience in all its varieties. We go at it until our bodies finally wear down, not until we lose interest in sex and reproduction.
Life is, at its core, about experience, not evolution. Evolution is real, and it plays a critical role.
But if it weren’t for experience, the thing we can’t avoid and invest so heavily in getting even more of, it serves no purpose.
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