( I ) FROM BLOG 25: Swami Vijnanananad (S. V.) on Learning and Evolution.
Certainly,organisms have always kept up pace with the developed mind, the size of the brain and so with intelligence. Apparent retrogression (backward movement) in the transitional (intermediate) stage, reflects the requirement of personality at a given moment. But the total effect was always amelioration (improvement).
Evolution which started from the single cell progressed based on the ability of learning. With the development of the brain and intelligence the pace of development accelerated. It was evident at each stage and as of today due to the explosion of knowledge availability due to internet the evolution has arrived at a distinct stage.
This aspect, which S.V. elaborated in “What Mind Means” (for details refer to Blog: Evolution of Mind) is discussed 50 years later by the great scientist Stephen Hawking as cited below.
( II ) From reference below: Stephen Hawking on Learning and Evolution
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/07/stephen-hawking-the-planet-has-entered-a-new-phase-of-evolution.html (Interested readers may refer to the entire article dated July 3, 2009. The relevent excerpts are reproduced below).
As hawking says:
“But what distinguishes us from our cave man ancestors is the knowledge that we have accumulated over the last ten thousand years, and particularly, Hawking points out, over the last three hundred”.
We are now entering a new phase, of what Hawking calls "self designed evolution," in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA. Hawking observes, our human brains "with which we process this information have evolved only on the Darwinian time scale, of hundreds of thousands of years. This is beginning to cause problems.
In the 18th century, there was said to be a man who had read every book written. But nowadays, if you read one book a day, it would take you about 15,000 years to read through the books in a national Library. By which time, many more books would have been written."
I am sure that during the next century, people will discover how to modify both intelligence, and instincts like aggression.
If the human race manages to redesign itself, to reduce or eliminate the risk of self-destruction, we will probably reach out to the stars and colonize other planets.
Please note that Hawking is emphasizing on the 'motive' of human behavior. And motive emerges from nothing else than “mind”.
Vijay R. Joshi.