Stephen Baxter - Future Quotes
4 Sourced Quotes
There was no design in this: no sense of improvement, of purpose. All that was happening was that each organism was struggling to preserve itself, its offspring, and its kin. But as the environment slowly changed, so through relentless selection did the species that inhabited it. It was not a process fueled by life, but by death: the elimination of the less well adapted, the endless culling of inappropriate possibilities. But the potential of an unseen future was no consolation to those who lived through the relentless culling.
A growing belief that behind every event lay intention—be it an evil thought in the mind of another, or the benevolent whim of a god in the sky—was perhaps inevitable in creatures with an innate understanding of causality. If you were smart enough to make multicomponent tools, you eventually came to believe in gods, the end of all causal chains. There would be costs, of course. In the future, to serve their new gods and shamans, the people would have to sacrifice much: time, wealth, even the right to have children. Sometimes they would even have to lay down their lives. But the payback was that they no longer had to be afraid of dying.
It (i. e., agriculture) was the most profound revolution in hominid living since Homo erectus had left the forest and committed themselves to the savannah. Compared to this phase shift, the advances of the future—even genetic engineering—were details. There would never be so significant a change again, not until humans themselves disappeared from the planet.