(n.) A group of people who are not related by blood but who share a common culture, language, traditions and beliefs. (pl.) People of the same ethnic, cultural, linguistic or genetic background. (expanded definition adapted from Wikipedia). The members of this group typically share the same ideas, values, practices and lifestyle.
(p.) “The superiority of man lies in his using his intelligence and powers for the improvement of his kind. Man is thus the creator of life, the maker of culture, the author of his own biography and the designer of his physical world”. Darwin on Man. New Gene-editing technologies have given humankind the capacity to cut and paste genetic material from one species into another’s genome with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency.
Mankind has the power to shape its own definition and values by means of political and religious rhetoric. Since man is the only animal among mammals that has brains that function without the help of emotions, intellect and desires, these definitions and values are established and enforced by him alone. Humans have re-discovered the soul of the planet Earth through self-godliness.
“Man is an experiment which Nature has conducted upon herself, and through which she may perhaps again repulse her offspring”. Darwin on Man. The pre-historic age of mankind was filled with violence and conflict as hunting and gathering were the order of the day. Society was complex and tribal customs served to regulate and guarantee rights and duties.
“At the close of the prehistoric era, the development of social organization appeared to have attained its highest pinnacle. The arts, the sciences, the useful arts and the useful industries provided the material foundation on which the various portions of society luxuriously flourished. Men in these early societies developed a consciousness of their inter-relationships and their relations to each other, and the influence of the spiritual world became predominant in their thoughts and feelings”. Man. His Descent into Society.
“If we analyze the development of the faculties in man, we shall find that he at the first stage of development invested more effort in his spiritual character than in his physical one. He attained his sexual side only later, at the time when he had developed the other three powers of body and mind”. Darwin on Man. The Descent Into Society.
” Mankind exists, above all other things, to propagate its species. But it has not, in all ages, achieved so far, a successful development”. Darwin on Man. The Descent Into Society.
” Civilization, far from being a creation, is an evolution, a modification, a triumph of civilized institutions. Every race or tribe, under every circumstance, has, in some way, attempted to regulate its social institutions; and, in doing so, they have left their written records, to which we are still apt to look for the history of humanity, and for a history of civilizations”. Darwin on Man. The Descent Into Society.