Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Universe needs 'Business Process Re-engineering'

Evolution, they say, takes millions of years. We didn't get transformed from apes to homo sapiens in a couple of hundred.

But look what we homo sapiens have done in the just that timespan. Changed our lifestyle so completely that the evolutionary mechanism has been left far, far behind.

Take the human reproductive system. It was designed for a species which lived a maximum of 30-40 years. Hence we were made biologically capable of reproducing around the age of 14 - giving enough time for the offspring to grow into an adult while the parent was still alive.

But in the last 50 years, the human lifespan has increased by leaps and bounds. The average Japanese can expect to live to be 85. The average Indian, about 61 years.

Since you and me belong to a class of Indians with better access to healthcare, sanitation and nutrition that would definitely be much higher. Closer to about 75 I should think.

And yet, our bodies are functioning according to the old requirements. Girls will start 'maturing' around the age of 11 (even earlier than previous generations - thanks to better diet and other environmental factors). And so will boys.

At an age where we are expected to bury our noses in books, hormones start raging in our systems and instead, we start mooning over each other.

"Yeh padhai-likhai ki umar hai," say parents. And frown upon any 'distractions' from studies. It's like - the tap has been turned on - but there is no outlet.

My point is, in the '15-17 years of study' format of life, reaching sexual maturity at age 12 makes no sense - from an evolutionary standpoint. The idea was to enable propogation of the human race, right? In the modern context it works in quite the opposite manner. Especially for women.

The human female is born with a limited no of eggs. And the quality of these eggs declines with age. Hence doctors advise, women should consider having a baby by the time she is 30. And definitely not wait beyond 35.

This, effectively gives a woman just 5-8 years to establish herself in a career. Given that you complete an MBA or similar post graduate degree by 23-24, you now have to swiftly get ahead in your job and find a mate and have a baby in the next decade.

If you challenge nature and postpone having a baby, you may find it difficult or impossible to do so. There are modern fertility and reproductive techniques - but they cost a good deal and offer no guarantees.

Meanwhile, men can become fathers at 40 or even 50 or even 60!

So, if evolution was an efficient mechanism, women should actually become fertile closer to 18 - and stay so till their early 40s. That would still give the child born a very good chance of growing into an adult under the care of living parents.

And give women a better shot a 'equality' in high pressure careers and modern life in general.

I mean, under-age marriages still occur because dakiyanoosi thinking parents would rather have a girl who's crossed puberty safely chained to a husband. Instead of risking she complete her education and be exposed to temptations of the flesh outside. Crude but that's how a lot of people still think!

Bottomline: Like any other System, the one God created up there to manage the business of planet Earth and earthlings, just may need some re engineering...

15 comments:

  1. amazing post.....

    Nice thoughts....Do put up a "change request"
    (prayer) for god...

    ReplyDelete
  2. If god really engineered then probably he would not be god. all engineering is imperfect. It can not be perfect. so in this sense there is no such "thing" as god. So where are your complaints directed Rashmi?

    If you think god created human beings to follow great careers (go for mba or anything) then probably you do not know human beings forget god.

    Then there would be issues of individuality, again a myth you people have. even grains of sand would have individuality if given names. Rashmi is Rashmi to me but is she Rashmi to herself Rashmi? if she is, she doesnt know herself probably . She may be an MBA to the whole world but to herself is she an MBA? Well whats the ego problem with you?

    whats the sexual-inferiority complex?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rashmi, I think you hit the nail on the head for a lot of us. Despite what Amit thinks, ambitions however dictated by peer pressure and conventions must be fed, but it is difficult given two things - Biology doesn't seem to have evolved, and Men don't seem to have evolved either!

    So you have men who are otherwise career horses who insist that women be happy with another package, all the time claiming to be feminists themselves, because... well, they give equal value to men's work and women's work. (This possibly is a digression.. but oh well!)

    As for the sexual inferiority complex that Amit talks about, I think it's time to let on to him that the it is not so much a complex as much as a burden. The burden of responsibility, mostly due to social-engineering in terms of caregiving is still seen as women's prerogative. It's not a complex .. it's a lament!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely brilliant post. An insight on the Indian Adolescent for a change. Since the biological process cannot really be re-engineered, maybe we can start off school as soon as the baby is born! We will then have people seeing 4,5,6 generations even before they pass on. That would be something else!!

    On a different note, I wonder how the family soaps on TV would turn out in such a situation. We have enough confusion happening with 3 generations as it is! There would have to be a family tree diagram permanently in the corner of the screen to follow the plot (?).

    ReplyDelete
  5. When God created the purpose of woman was to reproduce and take care of the child and not compete with men in the corporate world. So I doubt if you would consider re-engineering for ways of life that we ourselves created and are now complaining about-what say?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rashmi,
    whats the use of being a mom at 40 and having an average life expectancy of 61 and the best part u cant even live to see ur grand children Or being partly or fully orphaned in a short span of time .I think it surely doesnt make sense.
    God is perfect in His works ,Infact in the older times people did comand a lifespan of 100-150.If one analyzes from the beginning the capacity of the first man and women to reproduce and further create a generation of descendants who were on their way further to produce further descendants as a cycle .One could expect a women producing children between 14-60.The Bible(Genesis 17:17) says Abraham's wife Sarah went on to produce a baby at 90 and live for another 100 years.Its fine if God blesses u enought a live long age to look after your children and see your grandchildren.Probably at that time men would continue producing children till their wives maximum fertility span.Not to forget the ancient indians were good at it and the Arabs still continue the tradition hoping the govt will look after their children and their education.
    I think your need for reengineering is baseless when most mothers aspire to be grandmothers and great grandmothers and so on when the life expectancy is just 61-85.Once life is too precious to miss the joys that God has in store for them

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rashmi,
    whats the use of being a mom at 40 and having an average life expectancy of 61 and the best part u cant even live to see ur grand children Or being partly or fully orphaned in a short span of time .I think it surely doesnt make sense.
    God is perfect in His works ,Infact in the older times people did comand a lifespan of 100-150.If one analyzes from the beginning the capacity of the first man and women to reproduce and further create a generation of descendants who were on their way further to produce further descendants as a cycle .One could expect a women producing children between 14-60.The Bible(Genesis 17:17) says Abraham's wife Sarah went on to produce a baby at 90 and live for another 100 years.Its fine if God blesses u enought a live long age to look after your children and see your grandchildren.Probably at that time men would continue producing children till their wives maximum fertility span.Not to forget the ancient indians were good at it and the Arabs still continue the tradition hoping the govt will look after their children and their education.
    I think your need for reengineering is baseless when most mothers aspire to be grandmothers and great grandmothers and so on when the life expectancy is just 61-85.Once life is too precious to miss the joys that God has in store for them

    ReplyDelete
  8. wow....this awesome....good one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The problem with evolution is that it doesn't have any goal....evolution doesnt seek to provide the best features in any species... so some organisms which live in the see beds where there is no light, still have vestigeal eyes..So do we have so many vestigial organs....what happens is only an after effect-survival of fittest- and the fittest can have lots of useless sidey features and if he has just a couple which helps him to succeed its good enough...
    As for Abraham's wife giving birth at 90...all my kudos to Mr. Abraham to be able to love his wife so passionately even at that age...oh, not a fatwa for me again

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Rashmi,
    Another wonderful post..cheers for that.
    I hate to say this but sadly this blog is turning into a man vs woman and mba from a top school vs mba from not a top school kind..
    this blog is a wonderful place, totally refreshing. I think u should avoid any unhealthy "jealous" criticism which turns debating into dirty politiking.
    all the best..
    ciao

    ReplyDelete
  11. how arrogant we have become to attempt to criticise something of which we know nothing ? can we claim to have understood the origin of life, its nature and purpose ? With no comprehension whatsover we dabble in this sort of thinking.

    I recall watching a lady presumably a spiritual guru asking rhetorically ..if the earth were slightly closer to or slightly farther from the sun would we be able to survive ? there is a cosmic order in the apparent chaos which we cannot fathom with our limited faculties. Let us remember our mortality and our presence in the grand scheme of things.. minutiae is the word


    Vasanthi emmanuel has a forceful point indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hahahaha

    Rashmi, but imagine how boring one's teenage years would become, when the only thing on your mind was *actually* padhai likhai.
    Also imagine the almost total collapse of the music, film and general related industries catering to teen angst.

    And all so that we can have better careers?
    Naah...
    I've liked my hormones, and I don't think I'd be capable of dealing with Onset of Puberty just before joining a college! (17-18 yrs)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for your post. I am a westerner married to an (Asian)Indian and my life has become miserable after marriage becase he and his family wish me to bear him a child, and they wish it NOW!
    I am only 28 and I feel I have my whole life ahead of me, not to mention unlimited chances in my current career. Divorce is not an option for him, he would rather wear me down until I give up. This will not be, however, as I am a strong person.
    I wish people were more open minded and would stop pushing their will on others. Especially ignorant people thinking of the old ways rather than thinking of better ways, or more loving ways.

    ReplyDelete
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