I think our current state of evolution might best be described as early adolescence.

In my way of thinking the beginning of domestication, with the resulting push towards civilization, symbolizes the time when a child would begin school. The Industrial Revolution symbolizes the beginning of puberty, and our current state of high technology and power over the Earth symbolizes the rapid physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of early adolescence.

Much like adolescents have to navigate through treacherous mazes of temptation and emotional turmoil, the human race has to learn how to balance the benefits that come with great power and control against the potential catastrophes that can result from shortsighted, unsustainable growth.

Adolescents, for the most part, survive the dangers of puberty and reach adulthood; statistics to that effect are freely available. There are no such statistics to reassure an emotionally immature yet all too powerful human race.

To paraphrase our instructor, we won’t know if we made it to adulthood until we get there.