This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The Naked Ape
Just in case you think “mankind/humankind” is the highest point of evolution/”God’s” finest creation…
Recently I was browsing through an anthropology textbook and what I read got me thinking.
Strip, and stand in front of a mirror and take a good look at yourself sometime. Look at those stilt-like, unstable and breakable, those spindly arms (yeah, I know. But compare them with those of a gorilla, for instance), those pitiful feet with neither prehensile ability nor speed. Look at the soft skin, functionally hairless (and, no, a few sparse hairs don’t count as a pelt), unable to either protect from injury or cold. Those weak teeth, useless for defence or even as tools. Eyes that are OK so far as colour perception go, but which are clearly inferior to those of many other animals. A nose that is virtually closed to odours, ears that can’t catch a fraction of the sound spectrum around, and what have you?
If you think of intelligence, too, well, according to what’s being discovered these days, we aren’t really as smart as we like to think. Other animals communicate, count, use tools, show altruistic behaviour even across species, and if a chimpanzee is found making herself a skirt out of bark one of these days, I won’t be surprised.
What, basically, distinguishes us?
We destroy when we don’t need to.
Is that all that’s needed to be Masters of the World?