Professor Richard Dawkins proposes evolution be the new classics, an interdisciplinary degree that can truly explain the world and its myriad facets. Natural selection has led man this far, making homo sapiens sapiens the dominant species in today’s world, capable of utilising artificial selection to extend its rule.
The pre-eminence of the human race makes it view the world as one that revolves around it, and subjects all systems existing within the planet earth to this theory.
The law of evolution decrees every individual will look to survival above all else, thereby making humans inherently selfish by nature. The corollary of this is that individuals are incapable of the altruism required for the greater good. Selfless acts that are looked to for inspiration can be interpreted as selfish acts of people who sought to make a mark. Others became disciples, willing or otherwise, and society improved as a by-product.
A consequence of this egocentrism is that marriage is a compromise. Anthropological speaking, it is in the best interest for any human being to repel monogamy since it significantly reduces his or her chance of finding the perfect mate and producing the best genetic offspring that will fare well in the evolutionary test.
Modern societies the world over have denounced this as a heresy, insisting on monogamy. Marriage is an institution that is encouraged, by force at times, not only to conform to social convention, but to derive additional benefits available to citizens by law.
Bangladesh is a country that despises and derides relationships between opposite sexes – and they always have to be between opposite sexes – that do not fall within the definition of “marriage.”
The political parties, however, seem not to be interested in the concept of marriage. Perhaps they are trying to bring about radical changes to social perspectives by dismissing compromise. It is an ugly word, an unsavoury one that stands for weakness.
They are like the deluded creationists, who, in the age of the internet which makes science available at the click of a button, reject science. Those who believe the world is 10,000 years old, or less, are the real heretics.
Their condemnation of knowledge and reality, and persistence with living in the Dark Ages, shunning truth, progress, a bright present and a brighter future, are the gravest of sins. Pity, then, that these are the people Bangladeshi politicians seek to emulate.
It would be foolish to think that it has not always been this way. Governments in the first two decades of the independent nation concerned themselves with establishing authoritarian rule, with the blessing of foreign powers.
Since the sham that passes for democracy returned in 1991, whichever party won took it upon itself to continue treading the path of its predecessors and establishing autocracies. Had the opposition exercised magnanimity and humility in 1996 and 2006 rather than trying to devise nefarious means of holding on to power, maybe their hypocrisy in talking about what the people want now would hold more sway.
It opted for perversion for self-preservation over evolution and development. Much of its anger at present is surely derived from the current government playing its tune, maybe playing it better.
To its credit, the government did not give in to the yearning for absolutism when it was last in power. It chose instead to abide by the Constitution as it was then, an assertion it is making once more.
The price for shunning hubris in 2001 was to face extinction between 2006 and 2008. The adaptation that came thereafter has put it on a par with the opposition. On the one hand, this could mean that Bangladeshi politics has evolved not one iota since 1971.
On the other, it could mean that Bangladesh is finally primed for the next step in its evolution that has threatened to come to fruition in the past, but did not come to pass.
The trouble with evolution is that it is a constant process, slow in terms of how man measures time. Homo sapiens sapiens is not the final stage of human beings, merely its present. The changes it is undergoing, its development, are not always obvious, and may be so minute as to be disregarded for decades, centuries.
Then there are the dinosaurs, now extinct. Perhaps it was luck and not evolution that saw their end. “Unlucky people are stuck in routines,” says Professor Richard Wiseman. “When they see something new, they want no part of it.”