Who the hell are we that we hold ourselves in such high regard that we invent gods like us?
Man (in some form) has been on this earth for only four to five million years. That may seem like a long time, but in comparison with the universe’s five billion years (plus or minus) it amounts to a snowflake in a snowstorm. (The tendency here was to use some analogy referring to a fart – but I have already done that.)
Our species, with its egocentric intellect and piercing insight, has divided all life on this planet into two categories: human and non-human. WE (the human race) have decided that human life is important, and not-human life exists to serve OUR needs and pleasures. Non-human life we divided into animal and vegetable. Few people, in their conscious moments, actually consider themselves an animal; but, when we follow out the chain of evolution it’s obvious that man is only another branch of the animal kingdom. However, we hold our self-importance in view of our superior intellect.
Human intelligence: Now don’t get me started. If we display human intelligence on a bell curve the norm (middle) would fall somewhere within low mediocrity: people barely able to operate within the bottom three rungs of Maslow’s Hierarchy
• Physiological needs: food, water, elimination, warmth, rest, avoidance of pain, sexual release.
• Safety needs: protection from the environment through clothing and housing, security from crime and financial hardship.
• Love and belonging needs: desire for affection, and acceptance into a group.
If we look at the back end of the curve we find a tremendous percent of the population that is borderline retarded. These people tend to breed borderline retarded children, and at this time their birthrates are higher than the general population, which steadily skews the norm downward.
On the front end of the curve we find people capable of operating at a level to supply their need for self esteem and for aesthetic gratification (Maslow’s fourth and sixth). Finally, there are only the smallest percent of humans capable of cognitive understanding and self-actualization, and most of this last group can operate only within some limited autistic field. . (I know Maslow’s hierarchy was not designed to demonstrate intelligence, but the level where people exist is a good indication of their mental capability.)
Where are my statistics? I don’t have any. But if you want an insight to the average man on the back side of the curve just check out any Tea Bagger political rally, or you can tune your radio to RAP music or listen to Glen Beck on Fox Network. The list is unending: Suicide bombers - David Keresh followers - Jim Jones followers, Heaven’s gate. If you read Carolyn Chute you’ll recognize that the Beans of Egypt Maine are the norm on the back side of the Bell Curve.
Can you make a case for an intelligent human race? Good luck.
Let’s take a look at this animal group we call human. Biologists divide all animals into different levels depending on certain features. The biological classification for Humans reads similar to any other animal on earth.
THE BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION (TAXONOMY) OF MODERN HUMANS:
LEVEL NAME FEATURE
Kingdom Animalia Animal
Phylum Chordata Spinal Cord
Subphylum Vertebra Segmented backbone
Superclass Tetrapoda Four limbs
Class Mammalia Suckle young
Subclass Theria Live birth
Infraclass Eutheria Placenta
Order Primates Most highly developed
Superfamily Hominoidea Human-like
Family Hominidae Two-legged
Genus Homo Human
Species Sapiens Modern human
*Note: with the exception of Genus and Species our taxonomy is identical to the chimpanzee
I feel, Biologists have fallen short in their classification of humans (and perhaps other animals as well), and that one more level – Gender - should be added to identify sex. The male and female of the Human species are as far apart as lions and gazelles in physiological and psychological make-up. To identify a single animal we must denote sex. But, this is fuel for another fire.
The bottom line is that we are omnivorous, bipedal animals whose closest kin in the animal kingdom is the chimpanzee (According to Vincent Sarich and Allen Wilson of the University of Berkley, the DNA of blood protein of human and chimpanzee differed only by 1.6 percent.) Being omnivorous, meat is an important source of our protein. Humans as well as chimpanzees have always been willing to kill other animals to supply their protein needs. For humans as well as chimpanzees cannibalism has been recorded. Humans, like their chimpanzee cousins, wage war and genocide (only we do it more efficiently.) Humans have bigger brains and larger penis than chimpanzees but smaller testes. Also the gluteus muscle that attaches to the enlarged posterior portion of the human pelvis is huge as compared to other quadrupeds, proving that we are the biggest asses of the animal kingdom
With the anthropological, biological and DNA cataloging that has been done to date, it is blatant ignorance to try and deny evolution. It is like holding on to the belief that the earth is the center of the universe and everything in the cosmos rotates around the earth. Yet, fundamentalists Christians still (successfully in many backward states) try. They deny evolution because in their doctrine man is created in God’s image, and if evolution were true that would mean that God looks like Lucy (Australopithecus Afarensis.)
|Adam and Eve|
Mankind is the most dangerous and destructive life form that has ever existed on this earth. We have proven more dangerous to other species than the dinosaurs and more deadly than the plague. We don’t kill just for food or defense. We kill because it is our nature. Young boys grow up playing army and cowboys – pretending to kill. Most interactive video games that young adults prefer - roll play killing. The NRA would like every American armed with a concealed weapon: the idea being that you can kill them before they can kill you. Now, we factor in nuclear weapons and commercial environmental destruction, and it is just a tossup which will wipe us all out first. Scientists tell us our sun will someday become a red dwarf and bring an end to our universe, but I don’t think we need worry about that.
To understand mankind and his niche on this earth we must start at the beginning. Around 5 billion years ago the earth was formed. The time from earth’s formation until approximately 545 million years ago is known as the Precambrian Era. During this era bacteria emerged; and, toward the end of the era multi-celled life began.
During the Paleozoic Era (from 545 to 251 million years ago) there was an explosion of underwater life forms. Shellfish, fish, sea animals, amphibians and reptiles evolved.
The Mesozoic Era (251 to 65 million years ago) began with a devastating extinction resulting in ninety percent of life being destroyed. During this period dinosaurs evolved to dominance and we find evidence of lower forms of mammal life.
The Cenozoic Era (65 million years ago to present) also began with a mass extinction, possibly caused by an asteroid or comet colliding near the Yucatan Peninsular. The dinosaurs were gone. The earth cooled. Rainforest gave way to grasslands and woods, and mammals diversified. About 4 million years ago the first members of the human family of primates emerged in Africa.
If you were to layout a time-line of the earth using one inch as a million years it would stretch to almost a hundred and thirty yards (longer than a football field.) On that time-line man would only been present for four inches and modern man (Homo-Sapien) for one one-hundredth of an inch.
New discoveries in Africa and China are adjusting what we know about the decent of man, and like computers our family tree is being constantly updated. Through the archeological record we have trace our lineage back between 38 and 26 million years ago to Aegyptopithecus, a small twelve-pound monkey. Between 23 and14 million years ago we find Proconsul, a chimpanzee like creature evolved. Ramapithecus, about 7 million years old, was a three to four-foot tall upright walking ape. Finally, about 4 million years ago our line leads to the direct ancestor Australopithecus (which if not the beginning of our line – is near the beginning.)
Australopithecus could be called an ape-man. He was smaller than today’s humans, had a larger brain than an ape, walked on two legs, lived in bands and hunted with clubs.
Next in line, about 2 million years ago, we find Homo-Habilis. He was primitive and made stone tools and constructed shelters.
Next, came Homo-Erectus that lived between 1.5 million years ago and 400,000 years ago. Erectus’ brain was twice the size of Australopithecus. He stood about five feet tall and was the first hominid to leave Africa. He built huts, cooked food, invented tools, had a language and lived in bands.
Between 230,000 and 30,000 years ago we come to a split (probably not the first) in our lineage. Neanderthal branches away and becomes a dead-end link. Because of the many European archeological sites we know quite a bit about Neanderthal. Neanderthal had a three-pound brain - comparable to our own. He spoke a language, lived in caves, made tools, hunted with spears and buried his dead. He was stockier than modern man and had somewhat simian facial features. It has been said that if you put Neanderthal in a suite and let him walk through a mall, no one would give him a second look.
Neanderthal was replaced, some believe exterminated, by Cro-Magnon, which existed from 40,000-10,000 years ago. Cro-Magnon was replaced by modern man (Homo-Sapien) about 10,000 years ago. Cro-Magnon painted on cave walls, made pottery, built nets and spears and traps. He lived a tribal life and except for his more primitive life is not particularly distinct from Homo-Sapien. For some reason (just like declaring Europe a separate continent from Asia) we have decided to distinguish ourselves from Cro-Magnon and call ourselves Homo-Sapien or modern man.
Now, this has been a general representation and by no means a complete picture. The spaces in-between and at the beginning of this lineage are being filled in by today’s anthropologist, paleontologist, archeologist and with the great advances of DNA science.
At any rate, the human race today seems to prefer to present itself as ten thousand years old. We are fairly newcomers and have risen to the top of the food chain remarkably fast, but like the dinosaurs our time will pass. The next dominant life form on this earth will undoubtedly be the insect. We all know the cockroach is here to stay, and how about the population explosion of ants around the world? Anyone from Maine who has suffers through the summer bug seasons of black flies, deer flies, no-seeums, midges, misquotes, wasp and hornets will attest to the awesome power of the insect. Even Mark Twain in Letters to the Earth declared that God was a fly.
There we have it; so much for the divine dominance of the human race. When I look at our species I see ignorance, cruelty, egocentricity, manipulation and deceit as the norm. As individuals most humans are amiable enough but as a group we are a disaster to our environment, ourselves and the other creatures we share this earth with.
So, where do we go from here? The human being is obviously getting larger. Today’s generation has been raised on fast foods, and between televisions, computers and automobiles we have developed a sedentary existence. We are taller than our forefathers and due to our diets and inactivity obesity is becoming pandemic. (Of course we make excuses by saying that obesity is a sickness; but, to paraphrase George Carlin; when did eating too much become a fucking disease?)
When we see humongous fat people, to large to walk, riding around the supermarkets in electric carts shopping for food – are we looking at the future of the human race? Add to this the depletion of the ozone layer that is allowing dangerous sun rays to enter our atmosphere and we could speculate a time when the race becomes nocturnal. And, let’s not forget the kids walking around all day with earphones plugged into their ears…hearing loss?
So there we have it: mankind of the future – a huge, deaf, nocturnal blob of flesh that eats its own children (we will have killed all the other animal life,) riding around in motorized chairs with our only sensory input coming from virtual reality glasses.
Of course, that’s ridiculous. Remember? We are all allotted three score and ten and like Miss Marple I shall soon be overdrawn – and when I am gone this world will no longer exist.