… because he had achieved so much – the wheel, New York, wars and so on – whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man – for precisely the same reasons.” (Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy)

What if we are not the most evolved things on the planet? Given we define the concept “evolved” and with that we set the rules of the game, I suppose we might well win. But why not question it? Just because we haven’t got what we would call meaningful knowledge of other Earth life forms’ being-ness, why should we presume to say we’re as good as it gets?

Let’s look at a few of the bad points about human beings: we’re war-like, destructive, greedy, jealous, self-interested, self-obsessed, tribal and territorial.

Some faiths say that at our most enlightened, we ought to be giving, thoughtful, careful, listening, protecting of life and others’ quality of life and peaceful. I suspect “happy” comes in there somewhere, as a consequence.

So that is us at our most spiritually “evolved”. There are lots of non-human creatures who fit that bill more often than us, don’t you think? I quite like whales, to pick a random example. They live for 200 years and have existed for 18 million years, apparently. They don’t kill larger or intelligent life and live sustainably. They communicate. Seems a pretty good life, doesn’t it? ‘Til some idiot tries to hunt you. But that’s like living in London: you pays your money and you takes your chances in this ole game of life on the planet.

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