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Humanity's Evolution, Part X

Updated: May 3

Gershom's hand felt warm in my own. His nearness intoxicating me in a way I hadn't felt in a long time. Sandra took center stage and it took me a few minutes to realize she had begun to speak. The planet project was too important for me to become this distracted by my feelings. I gently let go hoping a little physical distance would dim the effects.

"My colleague Anne did a remarkable job describing the attitudes and limitations our ancestors faced in the 21st century before the First Age of Enlightenment. Her lecture makes mine a lot easier," she said with a smile in my direction.

I waved and smiled back at her. Sandra like me wore the physical features of one of the Enlightened 50. I had become the noted Muslim woman, Rahab whereas she was the famous Evonne, a strikingly beautiful African American woman. "Any talk about the First Age of Enlightenment must begin with the man who started it all, Kevin Cooper. It is a great loss to Historical Anthropologists that Cooper never wrote a complete memoir unlike many members of the Enlightened 50. I do think, however, that Rahab probably understood him the best. Her books describe him as a middle-aged white man who rose to political fame in the United States, a country.

In the 21st Century, the world was divided into 195 different countries, and they were run by nearly just as many separate governmental organizations. Cooper was a member of the United States government. He had some influence, but he found the changes he wanted to make in society were too hard for any one government to undertake. He also tragically discovered he was dying from a deadly disease, which at the time was known as prostate cancer.

Rahab puts it best when she says. 'He feared the problems plaguing our world would never be solved, and future generations would continue to wrestle with them long after he died.' " Sandra paused her dark eyes looking at us. "We are fortunate that Cooper's fears proved to be unfounded. It is unfortunate, in my opinion, that none of the memoirs published by any of the Enlightened 50 ever tell us how he went from anxiety over our ancestors fate to the conception of what we now call, The Academy of Hope.

This experiment in itself was simple. Cooper sought out young adults of various races, genders and beliefs. The only thing they had to have in common was the desire to solve the world's problems. They met and worked together for one solid month in what Cooper called the Academy of Hope.

Rahab remembers having severe doubts about this experiment as an academy student. She writes, 'No one knew at the time what we would ultimately become. We were all so different and had more than enough reasons to dislike, even hate each other.'

Sandra paused peering at all of us again. "We all know the end of this story. Cooper's experiment worked. He died before seeing the end result but the lessons the Enlightened 50 learned from him were never forgotten. It then led to even greater leaps of enlightenment until we became ultimately the Little Dragon race."

"The question that I think is on everyone's mind is why is this piece of history relevant to the planet project," Sandra said. "Because of the question that no one has yet solved. It is one that historical anthropologists and theologians of all faiths continue to actively debate. Was the First Age of Enlightenment inevitable or was it a miracle? I don't know the answer. But the answer will be very relevant to the new physical species we will be creating for the planet project. They will face many of the same challenges as we have and as their creators we will have to accept that whatever they become will be our responsibility.

I believe strongly that Anne and Gershom's idea of giving the new species a social code that will help them to avoid many of the mistakes we made at our emergence is a good idea. I know it will help them to eventually take their place alongside us," Sandra concluded. My friend then asked if anyone had any questions.

Gershom gave out a heavy sigh and folded his arms together in front of his body. A slight frown on his face. It wasn't hard to guess what he was thinking. "Perhaps my views are not as unique as you would like them to be," I whispered to him. He gave me a side-long glance. "Well your first lecture and our debate certainly made it easier for her to express this opinion. I wonder if you hadn't been so eloquent earlier if her lecture might have taken a different turn."

I gave an exasperated sigh. "Sandra is an intelligent and gifted historical anthropologist. She is quite capable of making her own opinions without relying on my judgment. Admit it Gershom your views are not shared by the majority of us."

He then gave me an exasperated look. "Anne, that has always been true for me."

That ends Humanities Evolution, Part X. Next month is Humanities Evolution, Part XI.

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