Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace are the two men that made one of the greatest discoveries of our scientific age. Separately, but at the same time, they discovered the Theory of Evolution. This, as I am sure you know, is the theory that all animals (including ourselves) are the result of a millennia of trials and errors, survivals and mutations and the progression of life from a small single celled organism to a complex and intelligent being.
Evolution continues on, and though we may not be able to see its immediate effects it is continually shaping the wildlife and the world around us. And yet it could be argued that the human race has climaxed on the scale of evolution - can we go any further, can we be any more successful? With today's medicine curing all diseases I believe that we are now preventing what has made us who we are and destroying that crucial element of survival:
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles DarwinThe problem is that nowadays what keeps us surviving is not strength of genetics, nor mutations that allow one line of families to survive over another, but the money we have in our pockets. With access to money we can pay to fight disease, we can pay for clean water and better housing and so those that survive are those with the most money.
At the moment the biggest threat to the human species, and the rest of the planet, is overpopulation. Since the Black Death in the 1400's the population has been steadily growing. In the last 50 years, with advancement of medicine and increases in agricultural productivity our population has rocketed from around 3 billion to 7 billion people.
In most contemporary estimations for the carrying capacity of the Earth under existing conditions is around 4 billion and 16 billion, so depending on which estimations you follow we could potentially already be over populated. Overpopulation means not enough food and clean water, and a swift wipe out of un-renewable resources. If you look at the animal kingdom for an example of what happens when a species is over its capacity of an area you see that they simply starve to death and a whole population can be wiped out. Could this be the fate of human beings? Not, I think, of those with enough money.
I think that something we need to start looking at is a limitation on children in a family - I am not saying I support the Chinese one child rule which has led to enormous problems in the country. But in this country we allow, and financially support, those with a selfish desire to have a large family such as families that appeared in the Channel 4 program "15 Children and Counting".
(The ever-growing Watson family who get more than £2000 a month in state handouts See Source Here)
These people selfishly display a human arrogance for not caring about the impact they have on the world. They argue that bigger families are better... But the question is for who? The children who have to fight against 14 others for mums attention? The tax-payer who funds their living? The planet on which they live which is straining under the impact of humans as it is?
With people living longer and more and more babies being born every year we need to set some rules in place because if we continue to expand as we are we are going to eventually wipe out our own species.
And I really don't believe that we have the ability to adapt to survive any more.
Please share your thoughts on this topic, I'd love to know what you think!