Are humans just another species in a long evolutionary line? Or, are humans part of an unknown and unfolding large change in the nature of evolution itself – something beyond the species? Common opinion, I think, holds to neither of these; instead, humans are considered to be a very special species, which has somehow surmounted and escaped evolution-as-usual. Evolution led up to us; today we ride airplanes. Sure, we might go extinct, possibly in some sci-fi version of apocalypse or some primitive version of evolution after an ecological collapse. But in general, we are assumed to be somehow post-evolutionary.
Did humans create civilization and discover all its technology? Or, did evolution and life’s patterns provide avenues into which human behavioral adaptability stumbled? In my estimation the former of these is the default answer of most of us and even of evolutionary theorists. However, it is hard to answer with the second option above since it has hardly been explored. My own answer is the second of these, and I want to do as much as possible to investigate this alternative in order to put the two choices above at least on an equal footing.
The upshot of this second option is that recent human evolution signals an incipient and huge pattern change in evolution on the order of the formation of some type of superorganism. The collective dynamics such as the obvious massive coevolution with domesticated species herald an unknown pattern such as a super-society of multiple species. Instead of “revolutions” like the