Well! What does that make us?
In every respect the only true answer to that is - Lucky! Lucky to be part of the 'US' that we are and, questioning as we do, our role in our community of US and its relationships and dealings with the other communities of US that populate our world. Fact is we're pretty lucky to have a world where US can exist.
Acknowledgement of that luck should be the humbling factor forming the foundation of our values. The fact that through the galactic roll of the universe dice this small, but pretty amazing planet, should be able to sustain, develop and nurture life as we are beginning to know and understand it. Add to that the part played by the casino of biology where one sperm from millions fertilises an egg from an egg bank developed in a female foetus. Taken together nature has made the fact of our existence Luck beyond the dreams of avarice. The luck nurture gives us has less odds, but smaller prizes.
Nature seems to expend a lot of resources in order to make its randomness and individuality viable; especially in the higher echelons of the species it has developed and up till now, has supported. Our specie, the US; as a relative newcomer to the evolutionary scene has, not unreasonably, regarded itself as the pinnacle of evolution and claimed the role of caretaker, controller and, very recently (in evolutionary terms) is developing the role of exploiter. It could be argued in the contemporary world we're beginning to impose our world on nature. You have to ask whether that's a wise move?
Because, while we may be the top dog to date it would be stupidly arrogant to believe we represent the end of evolution. And criminally arrogant to believe that we as a species have taken more than a few hesitant steps along the path of our own evolutionary process. Our diary of failures we call history shows how little progress we have made. Yet, to date, we are the only specie given the capability to recognise the existence of evolution and, in conjunction with that, to have the freedom to choose how to go about it. This is a choice we rarely consider and a freedom we rarely (or are rarely allowed to use)
Biologically it's generally accepted that all of US human specie have the same body parts. We know now that the heart doesn't break because of unrequited love; that the brain and its mind compose our moods, feelings and imaginings. Imagination on its own can influence the others, but, in everyday use they are a continual mix being added to by experience and knowledge. We know the traits of mood and feeling are pretty well shared with all the vertebrates. Imagination is shown to a limited degree by some but at a fairly primal level. Our imagination seems to have no limits other than the limits we don't yet know about and have failed to imagine. In the past it has dreamt up the concept for us of minor gods related to earth, wind, fire and water; then sub gods for war, love, health and just about every trial and tribulation life threw at us. Then, just as they were beginning to look a bit tacky and gormless, some bright spark imagined the One God - ethereal, omnifarious and omnipotent. This for a while was the answer to everything; until it proved to be the solution to nothing.
As a concept its genius was its supra - generallity and the amount of scope it allowed for the imagination. It couldn't be stained, blaimed or questioned but, and here was the first hairline fissure in its omnipotence - it could be negotiated with provided you used the offices of its proselytes and paid the fees and performed the rituals. Its problem was and still is, any limitation to the imagination is a oxymoron. Every step it yields to knowledge creates the next leap for imagination and in time concepts that have outgrown the usefulness or hinder progress wither on the vine of evolution.
We have one other capability which may be tied in with imagination and its sub-tracks of reason and morality, it may in fact be the engine of morality and the fuel for imagination; the name we have given it is conscience. That is a capability we share with no other specie.
Are these then the concepts, imagination and conscience that are our guide through the pathways of evolution? Because if they are, and this crude analysis has a toe to twirl on, we as a specie are adding another dynamic to the gap we're developing from nature.
The first of these is nature patience and investment in introducing random elements.
We haven't the patience or integrity to fully understand this process. Nature has no conscience. It doesn't need or have the scope for one. It doesn't recognise a single Bee, Horse or Elephant; doesn't recognise a specie or the lack of them, it merely accommodates them. It make no special provisions for us in this regard. Natures integrity is only claimed to be understood by the laws of physics - the laws of physics may change as our understanding grows; the integrity of nature will not change.
The second is natures generosity in allowing for the scope and investment necessary to create our individuality.
In one sense at least this individuality is measured in the capability of our conscience. Yet, in general our interpretation of it is processed in the imagining of positive or negative aspects of this in relation to tribal, community or governing controls where we apply morality. When it's used in the advancement of technology or knowledge it's only in their use that conscience plays a part.
The third is the failure to maximise the role and effect of conscience.
We actively submit our individuality to institutions and systems devoid of conscience. The conscience is the policeman of our imaginings, the judge of our actions and our custodian if we get it wrong. It is a unique and major player in our pathway of evolution. Yet our institutions of all persuasions actively avoid any format for conscience to be promoted within their establishments. There is a reason for this and it centre's round the simple fact that placebo's wont work on dogs.
But they work very well on the Mr & Mrs Clucking Tosspots. They in fact thrive on them.