I think human beings are absurd, inefficient, and strange creatures. If you look at simpler organisms like fruit flies or bees, you’d realized that ironically, within their simplicity, there arises a sense of complexity and efficiency that are unmatched by higher mammals. Just think of what fruit flies, ants, and bees do all day through out their whole lifetimes. They are programmed very efficiently by evolution to be very good at a few things, and they perform these tasks perfectly. They are machines that are built to carry out very specific parts of certain tasks and do nothing else that are not within their job descriptions. All parts of their bodies, nervous systems, and movements are crafted toward completing certain and highly specific goals, and there are no parts on their bodies that are “hanging out”, or are “good for nothing”. They are designed perfectly to play their roles within the environments that they are given with, and they fit perfectly and harmonically within their systems and parameters by applying their specific principles. In other words, they are EFFICIENT, COMPLEX, FAST, SPECIFIC, and they get the job done (whatever nature asks of them).
But humans, on the other hand, are sloppy and inefficient by comparison. We don’t have that specific THING or that specific GOAL to accomplish as a species. It is as if we were put here on earth not really knowing why we are here (isn’t this a question philosophers constantly ask themselves but a question nobody can find answers to)? We are good at THINKING, and processing information, you might say. But the processing powers and the abilities of our brains and our nervous systems are not exactly efficient. It takes 20 years or more just to learn the basics of life as a human being and to merely exist, problem solve, and survive without guidance from parents. You call that efficient? You see, despite our complexity and intelligence, our brains are not really designed for higher level, abstract thinking. It’s almost impossible to figure out quantum physics and other classic, but nevertheless unsolvable problems of philosophy such as the mind body problem, and the problem of free will.
Think of how hard it is for the mind to learn calculus. The computational process of the brain is slow, clunky, inefficient, and sometimes useless. Compare what we do (thinking) with what a bee does (pollinate flowers), which do you think come more naturally and efficiently? Bees are by natural flying and pollinating machines, and they carry these tasks out without having to learn them, and they do them unconsciously and automatically because that’s what nature designed them to do ultimately. But did nature design us to think? To understand math and write poetry or make sculptures? DO these things come as effortlessly and efficiently as flying and pollinating are for bees? I don’t think so. And even when we do come to certain conclusions or understanding about the world, such understanding isn’t exactly necessary from the perspectives of survival and reproduction.
So in short, I don’t think we are by any means of standards more “complex” or “intelligent”. Our bodies are weak and are obviously not designed to endure the harshness of nature. Our brains are our only weapons, but yet, they are not very good at what they do. Thinking takes a tremendous amount of energy, and the way our brains process complex information is actually pretty slow, clunky, inefficient, and highly unnatural.
Sometimes I would walk around and feel the heaviness of my own head, and I would think to myself: Jeez, I look like such a freak of nature with such a huge and inconvenient organ. Indeed, big heads have a lot of costs. It makes giving birth very difficult, and humans have the highest mortality rate upon birth, and it takes 20 years just to make our brains mature enough to help us survive on our own without our parents. Big heads are also prone to head injuries in accidents. So why on earth did we evolve to be and to look this way? Why do we have all that extra spaces in our excessive and wasteful brains to do a whole lot nothing? We don’t FIT within our environments very well, and we have a lot of extra stuff “hanging out” of us that are “good for nothing”. Intelligence is not even sustainable. Think of how our intelligence is destroying us already. Bacteria and viruses, on the other hand, have almost 0 signs of intelligence. But look how well they are doing. They have been around since the beginning of life, and will certainly still be around when we wipe ourselves out. So stop kidding yourself by telling yourself that intelligence is “special” and that it is somehow the pinnacle, or final goal that evolution is driving towards. It’s not.