My apologies that I didn't spot your post until a few days ago. My screen moves each "reply" over a notch to the right until they are listed simply as a dot and " 1 reply."
Susan asked, "What do you think will be man's next evolutionary step? Even though we have technology will we make the correct steps regarding our spiritual evolution? And what would those look like?"
I must separate my wishes from my limited understanding of evolutionary theory. Theory is the easier to express.
a) Our individual traits follow environmental pressures. Traits change to the extent they are heritable and helpful in producing more children and getting them to reproduce. Any shift in environment has the potential to shift previous "winners" into "losers" in the reproductive lottery.
b) Because of the instability of our environment, we act in opportunistic, exploitative fashions (a condition known as r-selection, please see separate postings). This tendency is often held in check by strong personal contacts between members if a smaller group exists. (Everyone knows everyone's business. The Old Testament is a monument to individual monitoring and personal accountability!) My own, perhaps marred view is that religious practice encourages reciprocity within a group whenever its size is too great for mutual, face-to-face monitoring between the individual members. The notion of a "super alpha, a God" becomes another means to inhibit theft, adultery, fatherless children, and homicide while encouraging sharing, forgiveness, and group cohesion. "Alpha is always with you," a phrase that comforts alcoholics and inhibits sneaky children.(1)
c) Any "correct" response, spiritual or physical, is judged by its contribution to survival of clusters of genes across generations. There is tremendous variability in our looks, character, temperament, and talents. Natural selection makes its choices at a leisurely pace, sometimes requiring generations and generations to produce fundamental changes. If we get hit by a rock, then natural selection may play with smaller pieces. One estimate is that no creature on earth larger than 35# survived the meteor impact of 65 million years ago. (And that rock was only about a half-kilometer in diameter!)
My wishes: That Browning was correct when he commented, "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world" and that some being with warm, fuzzy intentions towards humanity actually exists and is not an underachiever. I used to go on evening hunts with Fred, four-pawed, black, with yellow eyes, a cat who retrieved bottle caps when I tossed them. I strolled our fields on clear, fall evenings watching stars; Fred stalked a track parallel to mine, usually 20 feet to my left and rear. We shared our hunt even if for different quarry. He caught no mice, I found no Ultimates aside from his friendship.
1) The internet is another realm wherein the environment is unstable and opportunistic behavior reigns. I'm waiting for "conscience" and "ego" functions to develop because I believe that our Hunter & Gatherer Minds will always build a H&G culture. Cooperation and long-term planning should become more evident. However, given the vulnerability of the Net (a couple of nuclear blasts in our atmosphere could eliminate nearly every transistor we own!), the relative abundance of resources (time and web sites), and its anonymous character, then people will still behave in an opportunistic manner. (Incidentally, altruism - being helpful at some cost to yourself - is also conspicuous during r-selection. We are all more generous to each other during times of abundant resources and high probability of kinship such as when a new territory is invaded. People on the Net will often give each other a lot of help so long as there is no conflict in interests.)