There is a Zen saying, "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!" When Lao Tzu heard it said, he laughed and replied, "I meet the Buddha in every person I meet on the road! I bow in recognition and pass on by! That is the way the Buddha meets the Buddha!" Of course, Lao Tzu lived a thousand years before the development of Zen, but then he never really said most, if not all, of the things attributed to him. Being a stickler for precision takes the life out of living, shrivels the imagination, and shackles the soul in a dungeon built of layers of policy, procedures and crusty old theologians with their propensity for decency and order. Jokes make better points than lectures, dictionaries and encyclopedias are capable of making. And a lecture with no jokes attached is something cooked up in the devil's own kitchen. Lighten up! Laugh out loud with every opportunity that comes along! That's the way the Buddha meets the Buddha! (And the Christ meets the Christ!)
Making things better by the quality of our response to what is happening is the one great human contribution to the cosmos. The quality of response is the gift of consciousness to existence. Everything else responds to its experience in an instinctive, intuitive, knee-jerk, routine, predictable, unimaginative, redundant, locked-in and hell-bent kind of way. With consciousness, something new enters the game, or is capable of entering the game, depending upon how conscious we are of being conscious, how aware we are of being aware, and how well we engage the two worlds, unconscious and conscious in selecting a response that is perfect for the occasion out of all the possible responses available to us in the split-second between impact and response. This is an amazing experience in itself, experiencing our experience, and watching ourselves respond to it in ways appropriate to the moment and precisely what is called for out of awareness itself-- with awareness including not only what is happening here and now, but also what has happened, and what needs to happen out of our experience/memory/reflection/judgment, so that "Boom!" there it is-- the right action at the right time delivered in the right way, so that it is just what is needed. Making things better by the quality of our response to what is going on. (Of course, we can also make things worse, much worse, by the poor quality of our response to what is going on, and that is the element of pathology that humans bring to the table, being capable of acting in ways that are harmful to ourselves and others in a sadistic/masochistic kind of way, which is an inexplicable and inescapable downside to the experience of being alive. We have the ability to be for ourselves and for life, and the ability to be against ourselves and against life. Which is weird and undeniable, and, apparently, immune to conscious control.)
Between five and seven million years ago the first human ancestors stepped into the world. About two million years ago "modern humans" appeared, and displaced (or killed out) the non-modern humans (Neanderthal and Homoerectus, principally). In another two million years, and certainly in five to seven million years, we will be different than we are now. Different-better, I'm guessing. I'm guessing that because evolution doesn't back up, go in reverse, become what it was, very often. The movement is beyond where we are. But the impact of human stupidity upon the evolutionary process has yet to be experienced, so devolving isn't out of the question, because stupidity is rampant among us, and is driving the next evolutionary leap, and there is no telling what is beyond that. Life evolves, but there is no reason to think it ends. Ever. Bodies die, but that is no reason to think life dies. Life winks out of existence here and pops up over there. Why not? Life is eternal, everlasting, an aspect of Mind, perhaps, always "there/here," never going anywhere. Flowing into existence in some form, and disappearing out of existence, to flow back into existence, carrying nothing of its former existence with it as it flows through the cosmos. Always coming or going. Always moving. Never dying. Only transitioning from one form of being into another. Mind being Mind, perhaps. Doing what it does because that is what it does. Our experience is a very temporal/temporary thing. Why waste any of it? We are to live while we have the chance! We have never been before, in this particular configuration, and we will never be again. This is it! Why not make the best of it while we can?