Modern man


Modern man now dominates the planet.
Its forests and its mountains... its oceans and its skies... its water and its air.

Modern man now lives better than ever.
He lives longer, more healthy (so they say) and specially having more things, more possessions, more assets, more stuff...

Modern man now is happier than ever before,
isn't he?


Who is modern man?

Modern man has come a long way. The following documentary illustrates really beautifully all the cosmic stages that finally have led to the world we now know.

However, contrary to many other documentaries, in this one you are also offered quite some disturbing not scientifically relevant references, that give the whole documentary a very human-centered and even industry-centered character, as if suggesting that everything has ocurred only to serve mankind, quite in the same way as was done by some older teachings, but then presented in a modern way. One can imagine that this exactly reflects how Big Industry would want to understand the meaning of Cosmic Evolution: "All those marvelous natural resources that have been put here so conveniently for me/us to exploit and make big profit on, by driving materialism and consumption!" It's like a scientifically packed biblical interpretation of mankind's supposed role of dominating his environment and exploiting this idea (and natural resources) just for personal or industrial benefit (not social or environmental).

Even if, momentarily, it is possible to simply enjoy the scientific and historic essence, because is truly well illustrated with beautiful and explicative images, it hardly compensates the worrying feeling triggered by a number of human and industry centered, quite specifally american, frases and references that are used right from the very start:

  • 00:00
    The very first image of this documentary is a quick view on New York City's skyscrapers and dense traffic.
  • 00:01 - 00:11
    to then skip to a short image of some apemen, leading to the opening sentence: "What if we could tell you everything, the entire history of the world. Now, what if we told you we could do it in just two hours". During the 10 seconds it takes to pronounce these words, the visual sequence is:
    apemen - cowboys - the sun - forrests - the earth - columbus' ships sailing towards the "new continent" - a fast secuence of the construction of the statue of liberty - sky with clouds - and again, NYC traffic.
  • 00:12 - 00:38
    "We're going (molecules) to tell (homo sapiens) the whole story (2nd WW airplanes):
    from the Big Bang (Big Bang) to the present day (California highway and streets),
    how the planet prepared (proto earth and moon) for the rise of man (prehistoric hunters),
    how the stone age (hand with stone) led to the steam enginge (early train),
    how the first seeds (ancient forrest transitioning into sprouting seeds) sprouted into cities and civilizations (ancient city street view and emergence),
    everything (neurons) is connected (organisms, fish, tiktaalik) and the path leads to you (monkey, city)."
  • 00:39 - 00:43
    "It took history 13.7 billion (primitive ocean, plate tectonics, magma, landscapes) years to unfold (flag of crusade?, astronaut & american flag on the moon, roman army, genghis kahn/barbarians?, napoleon/us civil war?, first aeroplane)"
  • 00:44 - 00:49
    "We'll show you everything you (statue of liberty - again -,  nuclear bomb, brooklyn bridge, cavemen) need to know
    in the next (persian warrior, canon firing, eifel tower) two hours (the globe)."

After this opening, the introductory continuation to the rest of the documentary is filled with the same kind of references:

1:05 - 1:45
"This is our infant universe. Everything that will ever exist, everything that will ever happen all begins here, whithin this tiny bundle of energy smaller than an atom. And right now, history as we know it is about to, misteriously, begin. For reasons we may never know our universe, suddenly, erupts!"
Dinosaur, ape, homo ergaster/erectus/sapiens, camel, caveman, ancient greek?, persian?, columbus's ship, US WW II tank, US flag, Einstein, astronaut & US flag on the moon, Mao?, US flag, scientist or politicians, Lenin?, primitive hunters, Ghandi, romans, Dalai Lama, the pope, Bill Gates, Tony Blair?, Martin Luther King?, Black Panthers?, Hindu people?, Allende's coup?, Santa Teresa, Steve Jobs.

And it continues...

"Within a fraction of a second the Big Bang creates all the energy that will ever exist. All the energy that will power the stars, that will fuel anything that ever lives, all the energy that YOU will ever consume... dates back to the beginning of time.
"When you put gas into your car, you're tapping energy that was created during the Big Bang. You're tapping the energy of the universe itself."


Popularizing science

Obviously neither gasoline or a Ford Mustang are the most representative exponents of either Cosmic Evolution or Human knowledge, but it is understandable that recognizable every day references are used to explain more easily and popularize science. However, in a world that is threatened with climate change due to industrialization, a planet becoming more poluted and scarser in natural resources each passing day because of an overkill in industrial production, rather different references could and should have been chosen. But the election of the makers of this video seems to have been made particularly to justify and promote big industry, materialism and consumerism, three concepts or world visions that have very little to do with "all our history" (if you consider the whole of Cosmic Evolution), actually quite the contrary and, in fact, threatening both the continuity of our own evolution as that of the planet as a whole on very short term on a geological scale, which is in fact the scale to consider. 

The way this video uses its every day examples, reduces the value of all human knowledge, achieved over tens of thousands of years and cultures, after thousands of millions of years of evolution of life, into short-sighted, recent-history, materialistic or industry-dependend references like oil, cars, fashion, luxury, design, modern technology, buildings, cities and wars.


Is modern society actually a 'civilization'?

As far as we know we humans are the latest result of the long sequence of processes towards ever growing complexity within the Evolution. Not just the Evolution of Life, but, indeed, the evolution of all that exists: the Cosmic Evolution which took almost years.

As said by many people in many ways, we are in fact no more than just stardust... simply a combination of molecules, that, however, after an incredibly long journey of never ending trial and error of physical and chemical reactions that started at the beginning of the universe itself, eventually developed and combined in such a way that we first reached something as extraordinairy as consiousness. This exceptional gift allowed us later to experience emotions, acquire knowledge and develop imagination. Combined they give us the miraculous capacity for inspiration, creativity and spirituality.

We might just be the only ones with these capacities in the universe.

According to early pages in the old testament, this special gift would grant us superiority over all other cosmic creations, either lifeless or alive; the crown of creation, and "thus" also the right to exploit everything to our will, needs and, sadly, greeds.

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
If one does not want to admit that this is saying something like: (over)populate the earth and take whatever you want, at least he can't deny it does make quite an excuse. Many fish we use(d) to consume in great numbers are at the brink of extinction now.

And it is this basic monotheistic belief that now greatly dominates the planet and global society, either in it's religious form or in it's inherited modern materialistic form, where it converts into fully abstract, artificial mechanisms like politics, economy, industry, marketing and fashion in an completely uncontrolled obsession to ever produce more and more (productionism) and therefore forcing consumerism. Unfortunately, after European colonialism and industrial revolution, this destructive mechanism spread all over the planet, grew out of proportions and, more recently, also out of control, in fact, to a point of having a will of its own and subjugating the decisionmakers and rulers themselves. The whole world is now essentially in an "always need, want or be more" status. 

We see how this society, within one and the same generation, is strangling, ever more fiercefully, the cradle itself that brought humanity into existence in the first place. We ourselves are now the cause of the sixth Mass Extinction Event. And it might well be the last.


The question rises if modern society can actually be called a civilization. The lack of humility, scrupules and ethics of those who most thrive in global society as it is, is obviously all but a reason to call it 'civilization'. And there is yet another characteristic that marks civilizations and which modern (industrial) society has not yet met by far: a duration of at least several centuries or even millennia! For a civilization to survive for that long, there must be a minimum of harmony with the natural environment that sustains it. It is clear that modern, industrial society doesn't.


Other societies

Other, very different believe systems and societies existed on the planet. Before colonialism began, five centuries ago, there were many more, all over the world. A wide variety of believe systems that, instead of accepting this special gift to humanity with selfindulgence, arrogance and superiority, took it with deep humility and respect instead, understanding it as the greatest of responsibilities. Responsibility towards all other cosmic creations and aware of their duty to preserve them with care. These cultures, that existed on all other continents, lived in sophisticated harmony with their natural surrounding, conscious of the fact that they depended more on the resources it provided, then the way around. They knew that and accepted never to take more than they really needed.

However, most of these cultures became extinct with the uprise of white, monotheist European imperialism and have long disappeared now. We can only guess how much wisdom and knowledge went lost with them. But there seems to be at least one people left, that has not allowed and suffered any interference by this raviging colonialism, the Kogi people in Colombia.

The existence of the Kogi people and their philosophy allows us a bit of margin and relief in those moments where some of us may feel that humanity has only brought suffering and destruction to this planet. It helps us remember, that the way we know the whole world to be today: full of agression, violence, competition, arrogance, egoism, materialism and greed, has actually been brought, imposed and spread by basically just one of those many world-views that existed several centuries ago. 
We should not forget that current society is living mainly under the spritual and moral monopoly of just one "brand" of thought, the one adopted by medieval, white, monotheist Europeans who then colonized great parts of the world and imposed their rules, laws and understanding of life. And since it has been this way ever since then, multiple generations ago, and has extended even more, it seems that practically the whole of humanity has always thought and been like this. That is why it is important to be aware of the extend of history and the fact that, for the longest time, mankind has not been like this at all. On the greater historic timeline even several centuries are in reality insignificant.

(if video doesn't show, you can go to and add /83771714, title is "Schooling the world")

This means that not all of humanity need be this way, probably not even most of the Europeans themselves (or any of their offspring on other continents). However, it does seem to be a fact that those who do have the previously mentioned characteristics end up ruling, having power and taking decisions in name of all of mankind. It seems the current dominating world system, automatically filters them out (or IN, actually) as to perpetuate this closed system of power, based on the exploitation of nature and fellow-man.

But eventually this closed system can be broken and a promising start is the growing awareness of the ordinairy people and the masses, as we actually are experiencing nowadays, thanks to the internet that allows this increased flow of information and mutual connections amongst all. Eventually common sense will prevail over greed and arrogance.

It might be a good idea to look back, if possible more than fivehundred years, and try to revive the spirit of those ancient non-aggressive and non-materialist cultures to learn both from them as from the few that are still resisting in modern day world, and spread their philosophy and teachings.


Possible further references

Someone who calls himself Moonwitch Indigo has compiled a Youtube playlist called "Mayans, Hopi, Kogi and oher peaceful Tribes people" (not checked)