THE OVERCONTROL OF EVOLUTION
BASIC EVOLUTIONARY material life—premind life—is the formulation of the Master Physical Controllers and the life-impartation ministry of the Seven Master Spirits in conjunction with the active ministration of the ordained Life Carriers. As a result of the co-ordinate function of this threefold creativity there develops organismal physical capacity for mind—material mechanisms for intelligent reaction to external environmental stimuli and, later on, to internal stimuli, influences taking origin in the organismal mind itself.
65:0.2 There are, then, three distinct levels of life production and evolution:
1. The physical-energy domain—mind-capacity production.
2. The mind ministry of the adjutant spirits—impinging upon spirit capacity.
3. The spirit endowment of mortal mind—culminating in Thought Adjuster bestowal.
65:0.3 The mechanical-nonteachable levels of organismal environmental response are the domains of the physical controllers. The adjutant mind-spirits activate and regulate the adaptative or nonmechanical-teachable types of mind—those response mechanisms of organisms capable of learning from experience. And as the spirit adjutants thus manipulate mind potentials, so do the Life Carriers exercise considerable discretionary control over the environmental aspects of evolutionary processes right up to the time of the appearance of human will—the ability to know God and the power of choosing to worship him.
65:0.4 It is the integrated functioning of the Life Carriers, the physical controllers, and the spirit adjutants that conditions the course of organic evolution on the inhabited worlds. And this is why evolution—on Urantia or elsewhere—is always purposeful and never accidental.
1. LIFE CARRIER FUNCTIONS
65:1.1 The Life Carriers are endowed with potentials of personality metamorphosis which but few orders of creatures possess. These Sons of the local universe are capable of functioning in three diverse phases of being. They ordinarily perform their duties as mid-phase Sons, that being the state of their origin. But a Life Carrier in such a stage of existence could not possibly function in the electrochemical domains as a fabricator of physical energies and material particles into units of living existence.
65:1.2 Life Carriers are able to function and do function on the following three levels:
1. The physical level of electrochemistry.
2. The usual mid-phase of quasi-morontial existence.
3. The advanced semispiritual level.
65:1.3 When the Life Carriers make ready to engage in life implantation, and after they have selected the sites for such an undertaking, they summon the archangel commission of Life Carrier transmutation. This group consists of ten orders of diverse personalities, including the physical controllers and their associates, and is presided over by the chief of archangels, who acts in this capacity by the mandate of Gabriel and with the permission of the Ancients of Days. When these beings are properly encircuited, they can effect such modifications in the Life Carriers as will enable them immediately to function on the physical levels of electrochemistry.
65:1.4 After the life patterns have been formulated and the material organizations have been duly completed, the supermaterial forces concerned in life propagation become forthwith active, and life is existent. Whereupon the Life Carriers are immediately returned to their normal mid-phase of personality existence, in which estate they can manipulate the living units and maneuver the evolving organisms, even though they are shorn of all ability to organize—create—new patterns of living matter.
65:1.5 After organic evolution has run a certain course and free will of the human type has appeared in the highest evolving organisms, the Life Carriers must either leave the planet or take renunciation vows; that is, they must pledge themselves to refrain from all attempts further to influence the course of organic evolution. And when such vows are voluntarily taken by those Life Carriers who choose to remain on the planet as future advisers to those who shall be intrusted with the fostering of the newly evolved will creatures, there is summoned a commission of twelve, presided over by the chief of the Evening Stars, acting by authority of the System Sovereign and with permission of Gabriel; and forthwith these Life Carriers are transmuted to the third phase of personality existence—the semispiritual level of being. And I have functioned on Urantia in this third phase of existence ever since the times of Andon and Fonta.
65:1.6 We look forward to a time when the universe may be settled in light and life, to a possible fourth stage of being wherein we shall be wholly spiritual, but it has never been revealed to us by what technique we may attain this desirable and advanced estate.
2. THE EVOLUTIONARY PANORAMA
65:1.1 The story of man's ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. Man's primordial ancestors were literally the slime and ooze of the ocean bed in the sluggish and warm-water bays and lagoons of the vast shore lines of the ancient inland seas, those very waters in which the Life Carriers established the three independent life implantations on Urantia.
65:2.2 Very few species of the early types of marine vegetation that participated in those epochal changes which resulted in the animallike borderland organisms are in existence today. The sponges are the survivors of one of these early midway types, those organisms through which the gradual transition from the vegetable to the animal took place. These early transition forms, while not identical with modern sponges, were much like them; they were true borderline organisms—neither vegetable nor animal—but they eventually led to the development of the true animal forms of life.
65:2.3 The bacteria, simple vegetable organisms of a very primitive nature, are very little changed from the early dawn of life; they even exhibit a degree of retrogression in their parasitic behavior. Many of the fungi also represent a retrograde movement in evolution, being plants which have lost their chlorophyll-making ability and have become more or less parasitic. The majority of disease-causing bacteria and their auxiliary virus bodies really belong to this group of renegade parasitic fungi. During the intervening ages all of the vast kingdom of plant life has evolved from ancestors from which the bacteria have also descended.
65:2.4 The higher protozoan type of animal life soon appeared, and appeared suddenly. And from these far-distant times the amoeba, the typical single-celled animal organism, has come on down but little modified. He disports himself today much as he did when he was the last and greatest achievement in life evolution. This minute creature and his protozoan cousins are to the animal creation what bacteria are to the plant kingdom; they represent the survival of the first early evolutionary steps in life differentiation together with failure of subsequent development.
65:2.5 Before long the early single-celled animal types associated themselves in communities, first on the plan of the Volvox and presently along the lines of the Hydra and jellyfish. Still later there evolved the starfish, stone lilies, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, centipedes, insects, spiders, crustaceans, and the closely related groups of earthworms and leeches, soon followed by the mollusks—the oyster, octopus, and snail. Hundreds upon hundreds of species intervened and perished; mention is made only of those which survived the long, long struggle. Such nonprogressive specimens, together with the later appearing fish family, today represent the stationary types of early and lower animals, branches of the tree of life which failed to progress.
65:2.6 The stage was thus set for the appearance of the first backboned animals, the fishes. From this fish family there sprang two unique modifications, the frog and the salamander. And it was the frog which began that series of progressive differentiations in animal life that finally culminated in man himself.
65:2.7 The frog is one of the earliest of surviving human-race ancestors, but it also failed to progress, persisting today much as in those remote times. The frog is the only species ancestor of the early dawn races now living on the face of the earth. The human race has no surviving ancestry between the frog and the Eskimo.
65:2.8 The frogs gave rise to the Reptilia, a great animal family which is virtually extinct, but which, before passing out of existence, gave origin to the whole bird family and the numerous orders of mammals.
65:2.9 Probably the greatest single leap of all prehuman evolution was executed when the reptile became a bird. The bird types of today—eagles, ducks, pigeons, and ostriches—all descended from the enormous reptiles of long, long ago.
65:2.10 The kingdom of reptiles, descended from the frog family, is today represented by four surviving divisions: two nonprogressive, snakes and lizards, together with their cousins, alligators and turtles; one partially progressive, the bird family, and the fourth, the ancestors of mammals and the direct line of descent of the human species. But though long departed, the massiveness of the passing Reptilia found echo in the elephant and mastodon, while their peculiar forms were perpetuated in the leaping kangaroos.
65:2.11 Only fourteen phyla have appeared on Urantia, the fishes being the last, and no new classes have developed since birds and mammals.
65:2.12 It was from an agile little reptilian dinosaur of carnivorous habits but having a comparatively large brain that the placental mammals suddenly sprang. These mammals developed rapidly and in many different ways, not only giving rise to the common modern varieties but also evolving into marine types, such as whales and seals, and into air navigators like the bat family.
65:2.13 Man thus evolved from the higher mammals derived principally from the western implantation of life in the ancient east-west sheltered seas. The eastern and central groups of living organisms were early progressing favorably toward the attainment of prehuman levels of animal existence. But as the ages passed, the eastern focus of life emplacement failed to attain a satisfactory level of intelligent prehuman status, having suffered such repeated and irretrievable losses of its highest types of germ plasm that it was forever shorn of the power to rehabilitate human potentialities.
65:2.14 Since the quality of the mind capacity for development in this eastern group was so definitely inferior to that of the other two groups, the Life Carriers, with the consent of their superiors, so manipulated the environment as further to circumscribe these inferior prehuman strains of evolving life. To all outward appearances the elimination of these inferior groups of creatures was accidental, but in reality it was altogether purposeful.
65:2.15 Later in the evolutionary unfolding of intelligence, the lemur ancestors of the human species were far more advanced in North America than in other regions; and they were therefore led to migrate from the arena of western life implantation over the Bering land bridge and down the coast to southwestern Asia, where they continued to evolve and to benefit by the addition of certain strains of the central life group. Man thus evolved out of certain western and central life strains but in the central to near-eastern regions.
65:2.16 In this way the life that was planted on Urantia evolved until the ice age, when man himself first appeared and began his eventful planetary career. And this appearance of primitive man on earth during the ice age was not just an accident; it was by design. The rigors and climatic severity of the glacial era were in every way adapted to the purpose of fostering the production of a hardy type of human being with tremendous survival endowment.
3. THE FOSTERING OF EVOLUTION
65:3.1 It will hardly be possible to explain to the present-day human mind many of the queer and apparently grotesque occurrences of early evolutionary progress. A purposeful plan was functioning throughout all of these seemingly strange evolutions of living things, but we are not allowed arbitrarily to interfere with the development of the life patterns after they have once been set in operation.
65:3.2 Life Carriers may employ every possible natural resource and may utilize any and all fortuitous circumstances which will enhance the developmental progress of the life experiment, but we are not permitted mechanically to intervene in, or arbitrarily to manipulate the conduct and course of, either plant or animal evolution.
65:3.3 You have been informed that Urantia mortals evolved by way of primitive frog development, and that this ascending strain, carried in potential in a single frog, narrowly escaped extinction on a certain occasion. But it should not be inferred that the evolution of mankind would have been terminated by an accident at this juncture. At that very moment we were observing and fostering no less than one thousand different and remotely situated mutating strains of life which could have been directed into various different patterns of prehuman development. This particular ancestral frog represented our third selection, the two prior life strains having perished in spite of all our efforts toward their conservation.
65:3.4 Even the loss of Andon and Fonta before they had offspring, though delaying human evolution, would not have prevented it. Subsequent to the appearance of Andon and Fonta and before the mutating human potentials of animal life were exhausted, there evolved no less than seven thousand favorable strains which could have achieved some sort of human type of development. And many of these better stocks were subsequently assimilated by the various branches of the expanding human species.
65:3.5 Long before the Material Son and Daughter, the biologic uplifters, arrive on a planet, the human potentials of the evolving animal species have been exhausted. This biologic status of animal life is disclosed to the Life Carriers by the phenomenon of the third phase of adjutant spirit mobilization, which automatically occurs concomitantly with the exhaustion of the capacity of all animal life to give origin to the mutant potentials of prehuman individuals.
65:3.6 Mankind on Urantia must solve its problems of mortal development with the human stocks it has—no more races will evolve from prehuman sources throughout all future time. But this fact does not preclude the possibility of the attainment of vastly higher levels of human development through the intelligent fostering of the evolutionary potentials still resident in the mortal races. That which we, the Life Carriers, do toward fostering and conserving the life strains before the appearance of human will, man must do for himself after such an event and subsequent to our retirement from active participation in evolution. In a general way, man's evolutionary destiny is in his own hands, and scientific intelligence must sooner or later supersede the random functioning of uncontrolled natural selection and chance survival.
65:3.7 And in discussing the fostering of evolution, it would not be amiss to point out that, in the long future ahead, when you may sometime be attached to a corps of Life Carriers, you will have abundant and ample opportunity to offer suggestions and make any possible improvements in the plans and technique of life management and transplantation. Be patient! If you have good ideas, if your minds are fertile with better methods of administration for any part of the universal domains, you are certainly going to have an opportunity to present them to your associates and fellow administrators in the ages to come.