The human species was born as stripped-down from normal features of homo heidelbergensis, not as supplemented. When ruthless nature in Africa exterminated the adult phenotype, it could not kill out the few members of the adolescent phenotype. They escaped extinction by using their willpower. Due to a natural whim (genetic defect), they had retained a teenage mind which gave them the opportunity to hide from the effects of the environment. Their survival was undoubtedly also aided by another feature belonging to their teenage mind: rationality.
The obsession to control the environment
Just as inborn rationality had always aided a child without him or her having every time to make laborious travels and putting one’s life at risk, it now aided the young adult homo heidelbergensis individuals. By deducting and abstracting new adults could reach out far beyond their natural surroundings. They became faster and more efficient. Being intelligent and skilful, they were able to plan their actions and anticipate others’ as well. They were cautious because they could think of what was possible.
In easier periods they equipped themselves to be able to fight difficulties in worse times. They could notice that the most immediate and visible benefit was not always the best for them. They could wait for better times. But most of all, these emotionally immature new humans refused to give up and to yield to nature like their normal adult fellow companions of the species. They were rescued purely by selfishness and prejudice. These were not new features, they had previously belonged to all adolescent individuals, but their dominance and prevalence were new. It is possible, that the prolonged care of the offspring favoured the stage of adolescence.
Therefore we can not say that we emerged as a new species. This is because these mental features had existed for at least hundreds of thousands of years, and no new capabilities appeared with man. Those adolescent grown-ups, who survived best from the natural disasters looked like adults but were mentally like teens. But as the adolescence of the population increased during the long African drought, the species lost the normal feelings of belonging to nature. This was the price of our survival. It was the milestone, which separated humans from other species.
Nature kept alive those who stayed the longest doubtful and questioning, These few individuals were mentally juveniles and reluctant to adapt to change. This characteristic became the seed of our everyday humanity, its cause and originator. The birth of the immature human species generated in the African drought is the key to our feelings of loneliness and imperfection and also our desire to master and highlight our own uniqueness.
The sky may fall on our heads tomorrow
The desire to look at the weather, the natural signs and the celestial bodies resides deep in humanity. It is normal for humans to keep an eye on environmental changes and to try to cope with their requirements. Every natural disaster exposes our highly obscure origins, our freakish emergence, our deepest fears and shame, the hidden weakness of our humanity, even if they were normal and natural alteration. If we are unable to adapt to external or internal alterations, we will change the environment to survive and to feel safer. Basically, this was the way we emerged. And, for this reason, our hostile relationship with nature comes out easily —especially if it is supported.
Man is a herd animal, but his engagement is not the normal herd instinct of an animal. It is the fearful and selfish search for the safety of an immature, non-adult individual. What is pivotal to human herd instinct is individuality, which, paradoxically, is the similarity of all and even the competition for similarity. Living in large communities is not only protection from nature but has become more real than nature. It has supplanted nature so that nature has in some places become an unnecessary part of the world. Nature is considered a supplies storage, a resource for human needs, the opposite of man, wild, domesticated, and even evil. It’s hard for us to see what’s wrong with this view.
If we could change the weather just like the rest of our environment, we would certainly do it. However, nature has shown us that our fears only make our crisis deeper, not eliminate it. Nature works in a way that, in spite of all human knowledge, is far too complex for man to control. But the weather and the environment can also be respected. Respecting the environment means respecting ourselves because we are part of nature.