Yes. I’m claiming that. Here is why. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines evolution as “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance.” When looking at this definition, the only component that we are more evolved in is the “more complex” part and I’m not sure that’s such a great thing. Below, I will dissect this definition with my opinions.
Before I tell you why I believe this, I’d like to tell you about how I came to this realization. Peter Theil, the founder of PayPal wrote a book called Zero to One. In his book, he asks the question “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” This is my answer. I think it’s an important truth and that very few people will agree with me on it.
It’s clear to see why people might disagree with me on this truth but what makes it important? I believe this truth is important because acknowledging it and learning from this truth will help humans move forward from the narcissistic beings that we are.
So, back to the definition. Who is in a lower state and who is in a higher state? I say trees are in a higher state than humans. What I mean is this: the average human being spends 44 hours a week doing something they hate in order to sustain themselves. I mean, we have to work jobs to be able to afford shelter and food. Trees are their own shelter and they don’t do any work to get their food (oxygen, sun, carbon and water) except for grow closer to the sun. And by sustaining themselves, trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen (which is useful) whereas humans do the opposite. Point proven. They are in a higher state.
As for complexity, humans have won. But complexity is not something you want to win at. Winning the complexity competition is like winning the IG Nobel Prize (the equivalent of a Nobel Prize but for insignificant accomplishments). Do you know someone that makes really simple things complex? You know him. He’s the guy who takes a two-step process and turns it into a for hour journey? Instead of taking the stairs, he’ll just scale the wall up to the 20th floor. I mean, this is basically any person who works in finance. Complexity is not a great thing to have. Trees are simple, humans are complicated species.
The third part of this definition is asking who is in a worse state and who is in a better one. I have to go with trees on this one. How many trees have diabetes, depression, mental illness, cancer or self-esteem issues? Not many that I know of. Are trees racist or sexist? No. And what is their average life-span? Well over 100. Trees live in a better state than humans.
The last section of out definition is “a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance.” Do I even have to explain this part? Relatively peaceful? Trees win. Relative political advance? This cannot apply to trees because they evolved past politics. Relative economic advance? It’s every tree for itself. It’s a total free-market. Ayn Rand would be proud.
If you still disagree with my point of view, that’s ok, it’s just your over-complicated brain talking. If you still disagree with me – that proves that trees have won. If you can accept this fact – the fact that humans are not as great as we make ourselves out to be – then you’ve learned all you need to from trees and you’ve started the progress of evolving our species one step closer to what it could be.
In life we trust,
P.S. Body builders… You think you’re more evolved than trees? Think again. They don’t work out and they don’t do steroids or any supplement for that matter and they have no problem building muscle. You know the saying “he’s got tree trunk legs?”