Natural or free choice

The morning mist has not yet cleared, and there are many thinly dressed runners in the Paris Botanical Garden. There is a long queue in front of the Museum of Comparative Anatomy in the corner of the Botanical Garden. After buying the ticket and entering, the hall suddenly opened up in front of me. At this moment, the warm winter sun happened to be projected through the huge window onto the first specimen entering the door-it was a person. Behind him are neatly arranged nearly a hundred meters long and thousands of animal bone specimens: blue whales, tiger sharks, African elephants, rhinos, yaks, antelopes, zebras… They all face the same direction and travel in one direction without exception. In the long evolutionary queue, they seem to follow that person.

The museum is part of the French National Museum of Natural History. It was established in 1898 and was originally built for the Paris World Exposition in 1900. Before I went, a friend reminded that there would be many children there on weekends. as predicted. Many children keep their eyes open and keep asking their parents what is this and what is that. Smaller animal skeletons are displayed in the glass showcases on both sides of the lobby on the first floor, while the skeletons of prehistoric animals on the second floor-pterosaurs, tyrannosaurus, mammoths, saber-toothed tigers…

As I walked out of the museum, I glanced back at the man. Compared with other animals, his body has almost nothing. On what basis can we humans call ourselves “the primate of all things”? The results of genome sequencing in recent years have surprised everyone: the DNA sequence similarity between the chimpanzee and the human genome is 99%. Evolutionary biologists believe that, in terms of behavior, we humans are chimpanzees in the sense of 90% and bees 10%.

Paleontologist Steve Gould once asserted: “Humanity has not changed in the biological sense for 40,000 to 50,000 years. We have built all cultures and civilizations with unchanged bodies and minds.” Nowadays, human beings face multiple challenges: super artificial intelligence may replace or even surpass humans in unexpected ways; super humans based on exoskeletons and genetic modification are also about to appear; some people take the initiative to abandon humanity and become self-willed to beasts. Associate.

In “On the Dignity of Man” (by the Italian medieval philosopher Picco), the creator said to Adam: “Adam, we did not give you any fixed position or exclusive form, nor did we give you a unique endowment… You are not bound by any restrictions, you can decide your nature according to your free choice. We have given you your free choice… You are neither heavenly nor earthly; neither mortal nor immortal; such a Come, you are your own noble and free shaper, and you can mold yourself into any form you prefer.”

What do you want to shape yourself into?