WHAT IS THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF MANKIND?
Updated: Feb 6
Zaya Firdaus, 1st year of LLM, from Mangalayatan University, Aligarh
An achievement is pretty much, by definition, intentional. My answer to the question is: “TO SUSTAIN LIFE DESPITE THE ODDS”.
I believe that the biggest problem or desire of mankind and the solution or fulfillment of it, is the biggest achievement of mankind. The common desire of mankind is to remain satisfied while approaching their death bed, whereas the common problem was to sustain life when the nature was not biased with the creatures other than humans. We will be dealing with the latter part here, i.e., problems of mankind because the desire of satisfaction can never be fully achieved as human beings possess an exploring character which keeps on demanding more. And happiness is more like a state of mind which varies from person to person. What gives me immense pleasure might not give you the same level of pleasure. But problems need a rational and intelligent mind to solve them.
So the survival of the fittest to the most dangerous predator – History has witnessed how we evolved among the species. We developed weapons and started killing ourselves. The greatest achievement of mankind is that it keeps on surviving despite the odds, wars, plagues etc. Our instinct of survival has taken us out in the space. To go beyond the stars to find a new home. But amidst all, we have forgotten that if we save this earth for our future generations instead of finding new homes for them, that will be among the best things we can do. Many will say that the instinct of survival is inbuilt. Who wants to die anyway? But no! The nature has not gifted us in the form we are in today. Man was not alone.
Ape who had bigger brains. When all our contemporary creatures did not pass the test of time, we survived and thrived at the same time. Human beings have the ability to manipulate things in their favour.
Darwin has described in his famous book, On the origin of species by Means of Natural Selection, where nature was the ruler and two key forces determined what survived on this earth: natural selection and random mutation. Natural selection meaning hereby ‘Survival of the fittest’. Random mutation means the DNA that underlies our biological traits slowly varies through chance from generation to generation. By changing the genetic code, we have enlarged the lives of many people. We increasingly bend nature to our own desires. I consider our very evolution to be a greater feat than all other accomplishments. Now one may ask, why no other achievement can supersede it? Simply because it is directly responsible for the sum of those accomplishments.
Secondly, the acts of humanity are also no less than any achievement because who wants to live for others? Still, we had people who have stood against the wrongs despite knowing that they will lose. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master” said Abraham Lincoln. Humans have the instinct to raise voices against wrong, to distinguish right from wrong, and that is how we are evolving. Human history is almost exclusively about glorifying mass-murderers. Yet, there have always been advocates of peace.
After these, all other achievements, if you ask me, depend on the field. Still, what I consider to be the great among all are mentioned below in the order of their importance:
Medicines: The survival wasn’t possible if there were no medicines. As we had diseases which were incurable in the past, and it was the reason for them.
Innumerable early deaths. In this regard, the discoveries of Edward Jenner, 47 who discovered the concept of vaccination and Alexander Fleming, 39 who discovered penicillin and the concept of antibiotics, can be attributed to the top.
Language: And if it weren't for language, we wouldn't be anywhere close to as advanced as we are today. Because without inferring meaning from words, no discovery or invention was possible. Communication is the sole basis of imparting knowledge, thoughts or ideas.
Computer: Yes, you read it right, computer and not internet. How would one get access to the internet without a computer? The basic algorithm that the computer uses is common in all laptops, mobiles, televisions etc. Only such computers are responsible for the great discoveries today, the medical examinations in hospitals, ticketing services at the railway counters and many more. We can’t even imagine our lives today without computers.
Apart from these, there are several other achievements as well which have brought remarkable changes in the quality of our lives. Like the internet, but if it becomes self-aware, then it may be disastrous for us, for example, the bollywood movie Robot. Domesticated fire. It helped as in cooking food, making it easier for us to get more glucose to the brain, this is when a human being unleashed the creative energy from their brains to discover and invent all the things attributed to humans. Before trains and aeroplanes, I would like to put the invention of wheels. The Wright brothers achieved a man’s historic quest to fly. Railways also enabled the transportation of a greater range of foods. Ocean voyages were the first crucial building block in the globalization of the world. Saturn 5, the most
Powerful machine ever built.The climbing of mount Everest, magic by magicians etc.
If I look behind me today, I have nothing but praise for homosapiens. Our species did it as a whole. We have together proved that -
Only the scope of our imagination can either limit or unlimit our progress