We humans have waged war for centuries. It’s not the same war, or is it? What do we fight wars for? In the past, we had men who were great leaders conquering their neighbors for land. The more land a nation or kingdom had, the more prosperous the king was. So he had incentive to go out and take more land from his neighbors until he controlled a vast amount of land. Then the leader died and his followers found themselves fighting with each other over who controlled what and the maps all changed. Humans fight each other over resources. We still do. Today the resource is oil. Those that have lots of it sell it to those who don’t have any or have smaller reserves of it. The problem is that there is not enough of it to sustain our needs for as long as we would wish, unless we cut back on our need for it.
The hoarders control the flow of oil, and the consumers clamor for it. That’s the way with any resources, really, not just oil. Now that I think about it, we are fighting the same war repeatedly. You have something I want, so we fight. One of us walks away with the resource and the other is left with nothing. That’s what we fight over, things that we feel we need. Resources are the root of every war, no matter how we try to dress it up. Someone somewhere has something that someone else wants. That’s how wars start. We might whip up support for the war by appealing to patriotism or loyalty to the group, but the plain fact is, we fight over resources. As a resource dwindles, the fighting over it will increase.
That’s scary. We have such an arsenal now. We could be the reason we go extinct. The dinosaurs had the asteroid, as the current thinking goes. We will have ourselves. We will be the instrument of our own extinction. I don’t even think that is unique. I think other species have outpaced their environment and gone extinct as a result. That is what we are currently doing. We have only existed for a mere few million years as a species, from Australopithecus to homo sapiens, but we will likely go extinct in less than a million years as we drive ourselves there with our wars, and climate manipulation. The dinosaurs lasted longer. The difference between humans and dinosaurs is that when the dinosaurs went extinct, they didn’t take very many other species with them, just their own.
Even then, not all of them did go extinct; we still have some of their decedents, in the form of birds. Some dinosaurs simply adapted and evolved. I’m not so sure that humans will be able to do that. We are too suspicious and cruel to anyone who is different, outside the norm.
Survival of the fittest means that the most average of the group is the one who survives. Outliers usually are picked off; sometimes, though, the graph shifts and an outlier becomes the average. That’s how evolution works. If we pick off our own outliers, as we do, we can short circuit evolution. That’s how we will go extinct. We won’t adapt and evolve. We’ll just disappear from the fossil record.