How did life determine I would be born as a human? I could have been a spider, a rabbit, or perhaps a tiger? Why did I manifest on Earth as a Human Being?
If we look at the work of Charles Darwin and various paleontologists around the globe, we come to the conclusion that we have evolved as a member of the great ape family. We consider ourselves to have more intelligence than any other species, but can we be sure of that?
What determines our life form on planet Earth? Many would say – ‘God,’ but that is a bit of a return to our search for a religion that works hard to answer questions about life that are difficult to answer. We go around in circles and indeed the world is constantly fighting over who has found the right ‘religion!’ And arguments break out over how ‘God’ made the world and for who. Religion seems to divide us rather than bring us together in harmony.
I think that we have to look to DNA and the human genome in a mix of all the other genomes to find an answer that might satisfy us. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the chemical building block of all life and determines what kind of lifeform we become through a series of paired coding with just four bases : A. adenine T. thymine C. cytosine G. guanine held together with hydrogen bonds. All life is made from these chemical building blocks, and of course I have simplified the description of how it works, but tiny variations in the coding create completely different species. We humans share 96% identical coding with Orangutans, which shows just how connected we are to other primates.
Why I am a human being is really just an accident of how the human genome has evolved over time. I am a human being because my parents, grand parents and ancestors were also human. I am a slightly different human being to them because I have inherited slightly different combinations of traits from all of my ancestors. So while my eyes are blue, and my mother had green eyes – I inherited my eye colour from another ancestor. I am a formed human unlike any other, but with lots of similarities to my parents and their parents…this is how all species evolve.
Life is complicated and simple at the same time. I am lucky that I am a self-aware Human; intelligent and able to ponder such questions as ‘why am I a Human Being?’
An interesting YouTube presentation by Sean Carroll on ‘The Meaning of Life,’ makes an interesting case for us, as human beings, individuals, to influence our own world more than we think…