Entering the Global Stage of Human Evolution – Part Two
The 21st Century is a huge and deeply significant transition to this new global stage of human evolution. In fact, this new stage underpins the remaining chapters of this book*. Every aspect of human life is being integrated into an ever more connected global reality. The entire 150,000 year history of Modern Humanity has brought us to this next stage of Homo Sapiens’ evolutionary journey.
It took our entire history to reach one billion in 1800. By 1900, human population had increased by 50% to 1.5 billion. Then it doubled in the next 50 years to three billion by 1950. Now, 70 years later we stand — at the time of the writing of this book in mid 2020 — at 8 billion. This is an increase of 267% in the lifetime of this author. So, for roughly 149,800 years the
growth was one billion. In 200 years, we increased that by 800%. We have only one planet and now we are everywhere on it, so we have simply populated ourselves into this new stage of human evolution.
While our population has been exploding, man has migrated all over the planet. Add to this an ever increasing electronic connectedness between people, and the result is a degree of global integration without precedent. Immigration has become a problem experienced all over the world. In the past half-decade, there has been an increasing reaction to this global flow, with rising nationalism and populism. This is a political reaction, led by politicians who are
using fear of a new reality to mobilize people to want to “go back” to “the better days of the past”… a time when people understood their world. Resistance to the new is something politicians frequently use to maintain the status quo. The status quo is only a temporary solace and is, in fact, an illusion. The only constant in the universe is change. That is why the
status quo never holds. The current status quo of the largely 20th century view of nation states is therefore soon to give way to the new dynamics and structures of a more globally integrated human existence at every level.
We are now all, to a greater or lesser degree, global citizens. We travel everywhere. In 1950 the total number of global travelers, defined as those traveling internationally (not for business) was one million. In 2015 that number was one billion, a thousandfold increase. Many people now travel thousands of miles in a day.
We are ever more connected individually via technology. Again, it was only in the last 175 years, with the invention and global deployment of the telegraph that Modern Humanity could communicate without being face to face. We often forget what this means from a historical perspective. 200 years ago, it could take weeks for a letter to get from sender to recipient,and weeks for a return response. The telegraph brought that down to hours.
Today there are six billion cell phones in use, which translates into 86% of all people over the age of 15. To a significant degree, communications back and forth anywhere in the world takes just seconds. There is no time, distance or place limit to communication anymore.
Many of us alive today have trouble embracing the future. It has been forgotten how far we have traveled in the last two centuries. Our current reality is not old, but new. In almost every aspect of human life, the reality we live in now did not exist in the 1980s.
Billions of people connected via speed of light fiber optics and satellites, is a reality that just came to be over the past decade. Never before have we all been so connected by communications and information immediacy. This connectedness is the foundation for the global age of human evolution.
History is accelerating. During most of human history, civilizations were unaware of each other. Let’s arbitrarily pick the first several centuries after Christ. The Roman Civilization in Europe, the Mayan Civilization in Central and South America and the Han, Wei and Jin Dynasties in Asia all existed at the same time. Yet they were completely unaware of each other.
Prior to the end of the 19th century, civilizations worldwide may have been aware of each other through trade or war, but were not connected by any information flow. Humanity is now moving to a space-based consciousness because we are all connected and what happens 15,000 miles away is knowable in seconds. This results in an acceleration of interaction, response, creativity and awareness that is new.
The deep psychological underpinning of this move to the global stage of human evolution was the earthrise photo taken by astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968.
As Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell claimed: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics looks so petty.”
So, our current ease of travel, accelerating connectedness, realization of Spaceship Earth as a common living space, plus the number and significance of global issues we are facing, all place us in a new global stage of evolution. And we will never go back.