This means that everything that has happened and existed in the history of life on this planet. From mighty dinosaurs to the tiniest of roaches. To the croaking frogs and the hunting tigers. To the mightiest of the Kings who have waged wars across continents and the most pathetic of the paupers who lived and died within a vilalge. Every one of us is nothing but a carrier. Hard drives. That copy information from predecessors. Store within them, and then pass it on to their pro-genies before withering away in the sands of time.
It raises an even more fundamental question. What does it all mean?
What does it all means? Our trials, and tribulations, if our whole existence is nothing more than a molehill of ants in a vast vast desert. And anything we do, our lives, have no bearing on nothing more than passing on these genes, our roles of just a carrier of information.Our most intimate desires. Passions, and ambitions. Everything, when it boils down to the scale of evolution, matters nothing? Are they just mere details, camouflaged to the true purpose of our existence?
This is mind baffling. And a bit depressing in terms of the implications of such reality behind our existence. Then what is the meaning of our actions, our free will? What is its meaning?
Dawkins does shed some light on this question. He says that even though life’s fundamental objective is the survival of Genes. Genes by themselves can’t have any impact at the macroscopic level. Only by enabling their host with physical attributes. Hand genes combine to make hands. Eye genes combine to make eye. Through such compound actions genes enable a body survive the environment.
Through this, genes enable their host with an ability to act. And through its actions, the host enable longevity of genes.
This still does not answer the core question of the true meaning of life. Though it does answer the immediate question of why we act the way we do. To prolong our survival, and in return, prolonging the survival of genes.
It has surprising implications.
Even though the life appears to be mundane, with the only purpose of carrying information from one generation to another. It does it through survival. Various genes bring together many cells to form species that makes us create an effort to survive. That single command translates into various actions. Cheetah evolved to hunt deer. They hunt to maximize their genes on this planet. Deer evolved to run fast and survive Cheetahs. And in turn, maximizing their genes. In the same way, even though our lives may seem mundane at the microscopic level, at the macro level, it assumes a greater role. The role of survival, come what may.
We do many selfless deeds. What explains them? What explains a parent working hard, sacrificing his / her own desires for his sons and daughters? Why? This Gene theory answers this.
All is done for the survival of genes. For providing a safe haven in which they can survive, thrive, and grow until they become capable to fight off environment. It’s challenging. And then pass on the baton again. Why does an army person lay his life for his nation? There are instances of such sacrifices, some more than others, that provides, an answer to our actions. Our lives. Our existence.
It’s a thought-provoking book. It does not ask you to take a leap of faith. It explains, in detail. It gives reason. It brings out any gap in the theory that might be there. And through inductive reasoning, proper examples. Elaborates on how all what evolution says makes sense.
It’s a must read.
Get the book at Amazon.