Origin of the Species Revised

In Western society, we have long been taught about “On Origin of the Species”, by Charles Darwin. It is a theory based on “survival of the fittest” and fighting for survival. We view much of life and our world in the same context.

What if there were another way to view the world?

I watched a show in the past, Babylon 5. In this show, there were 2 incredibly powerful forces outside the human and human allies. The Shadows and the Vorlons. Later in the show, you learn that the former believes in progress through conflict and the later via cooperation.

When we look at evolution, it is rare that anyone would think that ever organism should be in conflict with every other. In fact, we usually assume species, or families, or other groupings work together so that a subset of the species survives or dominates.

What if what we see is NOT survival through fighting, but rather survival through cooperation?

I was listening to Gregg Braden as he posited this position. He was talking about climate change and how we are currently handling the issues. It made me think of some of what I see going on regarding this debate.

Those who are proponents of the idea that there is something humans can do to alter climate change are not open to cooperation as far as I’ve seen. Unless cooperation is defined as “Do what I tell you for the reasons I tell you or you should be destroyed.”


I was listening to NPR, The 1A, a while ago. Someone from the American Petroleum Institute (I believe) was on. He said that as an organization they didn’t believe in anthropomorphic climate change. But, he added, they did see the need to clean up the atmosphere.

Same result, different paths.

The moderator would have NONE of it. Aside: If you haven’t listened to The 1A it is an incredibly liberal show with an incredibly liberal host. Because of his extreme positions, he wouldn’t accept a win. He only wanted conflict or complete capitulation to his ideas.


At this point, nearly everyone has heard of Greta Thunberg.

If you agree with her, she’s the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. Hoorah for kids taking the lead to “save the planet” for THEIR generation and beyond.

If you don’t, she is as close as you ever hope to get to Satan. Her anger, her hatred, her “we will never forgive you!”

Regardless of your opinion, her bottom line is, do as I say or else!

Energy Companies

I heard this week that one of the major energy companies came out and said they’re done with alternative energies. They feel they’ve tried, failed economically, and no matter what they do they can’t gain public support.

Again, if you don’t vilify these companies you have no place in the “green” society.

Is there an Alternative to Hate and Division?

I believe there is. Instead of pitting groups against each other. Instead of deliberately instigating all-out war. Instead, find areas of common interest. Find where you can agree and work together.

Or follow the traditional model, create strife, make any change more and more difficult, and only accept complete destruction of “the enemy.” Give your opposition nowhere to go. No moves to make. The only thing they can do is fight back. Even if you “win” you leave scorched earth behind you, shattered relationships, and you instruct the next wave how to deal with you when they come along.

Will humans come to realize that perhaps evolution is more showing us that cooperation is the successful model rather than competition? I’m not sure. But here is my attempt to project the idea into the world.


Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes
Michael Barnes is founder and CEO of Awakened Innovations, Inc. Awakened Innovations helps nonprofits to save time and money by connecting them with high-quality, vetted, service providers. Previously, Michael has been a business coach; Director of Lab Operations at, Assurex Health (a genetic testing laboratory); and built the Cincinnati Biobank and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Michael’s overarching passion is to help others succeed and fulfill their mission in life.

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  1. Hi Michael. Thanks for your view on such a critical topic. I am an out-of-the-box thinker and visionary. I always have been and you can imagine the frustrations I have gone through trying to create positive dialogue around everything from climate change to equality with people of extreme views (many in my family!). In regards to climate change, for years I have tried to make the point to people on both extreme sides that it doesn’t matter if climate change is caused by a million-year earth cycle that’s data we are not privy to or that it is a man-made problem. I tend to think it is a combination of both. The one fact we can agree on is that there is a rise in human medical conditions such as asthma and allergies and a concerning change in our weather systems that will eventually break the Insurance Industry and our food supply if nothing changes. Joel’s point that this is a very complicated problem that has too many hurdles is the current reality we face. There are going to be tough choices to make. I don’t see many people willing to leave their coastal homes or ride a bike to work or not traveling by air. So the first step may have to be a bandaid approach to responding to disasters more effectively and reducing pollution as much as we can. I feel sad that humans wait to hit rock bottom before they will do anything. But for those of us who see a different future world that is positive, love-based and peaceful, we need to keep speaking out. We need to hold the light of this better world like lighthouses in the darkness. The changes that are happening now are only going to increase in the future with the trajectory we are on. Cooperation will be forced on us eventually. Thank you for holding a light for the future. We need your light.

    • Thank you for the comment. I’ve had the climate change discussion many times. A few ideas:

      As I mentioned, the gas companies are giving up. They can’t win no matter what they do, so they’ll go into trench warfare. How about if people who believe in MMGW get behind what gas companies do that is good?

      Regardless of MMGW, the economies of the earth are changing (at least developed nations) and people want green energy. So, why fight the MMGW debate when the economic implications are pretty clear. “Businesses are greedy and just want money!!!” OK, then help them get more money by doing what “you” want 😀

      And your point regarding shifting the discussion to “how do we improve health” is another potentially collaborative discussion.

      Those are cooperative solutions. Although GW wasn’t really my main point, lol.

      There are also other ideas of what to do that would at least shift the thought process. This was a fascinating TED talk that may have a solution.

      What I find interesting is that our “human inginuity” that may have contributed to this problem is now being touted as the solution. That got us Mercury in lightbulbs. Saying that smoking was healthy, being told to eat margarine, don’t eat eggs, regulate alcohol and tobacco, etc. Then let’s reverse all that cause we were wrong. What if we took the strategy of letting nature heal nature. I could go on and on 😀 Even though I am not certain of the science, he seems to have some pretty convincing data.

      And thanks for the kind words. I always love to find fellow lighthouses 😀 Finding those who will join me in seeking joy for all 😀

  2. This is an interesting article, Michael but I strenuously disagree with almost all of it. You cling to a theory that our species was not created by G-d as was our planet. There is way too much violence and hatred in the world which we can each have a minimal effect on changing. Simply finding areas of common interest is not going to change anything as the problems are far more complicated. It is not as simple as you make it. There are different opinions about our climate. Nobody has produced convincing facts. Competition is healthy and natural, especially in business. Yes, we can cooperate more with each other but that depends on the area. Nobody is going to cooperate with somebody else for a purpose they do not feel is right. You offer up many ideas that you have thought or read about yet little of it has any credibility.

    • I’m presenting a different way to look at the world. And that thought exercise will not agree ith everyone. I understand since the comments sound like what I believed long ago.

      In the meantime, I’ve learned a massive amount. Seen things I previously thought were impossible according to my old world view. Talked to people, done and experienced the truth of what I say.

      And credibility is in the eye of the beholder. I flat out reject your assertion that “little of it has any credibility.” You disagree. That’s fine.

      I appreciate the comment.