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Calleva Research Centre

Research Centre for Evolution & Human Sciences

Turning Existential Crises into Existential Discoveries

What an existential crisis has in common with evolution? Questioning the purpose of your existence and sensing the disconnection from your "genuine self" are not your "keys" to some appalling superstitious abyss. These are the dormant triggers, which eventually lead to the necessary actions in your life. If you go through an existential crisis, it means you are a profoundly evolved human being. It is not enough for you to fulfill the basic human needs to feel your wholeness. You strive to get the answers to philosophical questions, which revolve around your mission on Earth. Evolution did not only choose you to pass your unique genetic material to the next generations; evolution endowed you with an astonishing intellectual capacity. Thus, in the modern world, you are learning so hard to value diversity and you have the freedom not to be like the majority. After overcoming your mental crisis, you peacefully realize that your existence proves you are one of a kind. Indeed, we have reached evolutionary heights, as our lives are not merely about winning genetic lotteries and surviving. We live in an era where psychophysiological aspects amalgamate with philosophies based on experience.

When it seems that Homo sapiens have never been smarter, you can remember a good old phrase - "there is always room for improvement." It is even irrational to speculate about an evolutionary equipoise, considering a well-known fact that we still can't use the full capacity of our brains. Hence, it is logical to assume that the evolution of human beings is an ongoing process, and we will continue evolving to a marvelous extent.

An evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky once said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Yet, it is important to understand that evolution is not only about strengthening our expendable organisms; it is about revolutionary transformations in our thinking patterns. Our bodies remain almost the same as they were hundreds of years ago, but the overall intellect of the humankind has been rapidly evolving only for several past decades. Every new generation surpasses the achievements of the previous one. Owing to high technologies, we have learned to absorb information much faster, and the percentage of educated individuals is growing year by year. The paradox is that our increased knowledge and immense self-awareness are the main causes for the intensified existential crises. Severe depression and anxiety are the "mental viruses" of contemporary humanity. Seemingly, we have everything we need to be healthier and happier, but we, spectacular intellectual creatures, still cannot find that inner peace.

Is there an ultimate tool to help us comprehend the human world at the deepest levels? The answer is human sciences. It encompasses a fusion of contrasting studies, such as biochemistry and psychophysiology, evolutionary biology and sociology, neurosciences and philosophy, anthropology and justice studies, among others. It delves into the physically explicable and mentally inexplicable phenomena. The significance of the human sciences is that it gives us the challenge to explore ourselves from discrepant perspectives. It reflects cutting-edge approaches, which verify that exact sciences can perfectly coexist with abstract studies. For instance, Oxford University has created compelling interdisciplinary degrees, which allow you to delve into genetics, and then switch to ethnic diversity issues. They serve as an inspiration for creative people, who have never thought about studying molecular science along with history and art. Subsequently, when exploring an artwork, you might guess not only its psychosocial moods and intentions but also the genetic makeup of its creator. When genetic engineering is perceived as the highest art of our future possibilities, we will turn existential crises into existential discoveries

Having combined the best conventional knowledge with the most open-minded scenarios of anthroposophical development, human sciences put us at the threshold of neo-evolution.