Monday, January 18, 2010

7 Reasons You Should Want to Be Related to Monkeys

1.  We are the latest link of a chain going back trillions of generations and billions of years, a weaving, winding branch with millions, upon millions of radiations since its root--as Darwin pointed out, many of those deceased branches are the rock that we build our houses and the ground beneath our feet. "We" made it through the Archaen, the Cambrian, the Carboniferous, the Jurassic, the Cretaceous, the Pleistocene. "We" battled trilobite, tricerotops, smilodon and spear tip. "We" have swum, crawled, burrowed, stalked, fled, climbed, scampered and sprinted. Watch this vid with a similar idea put to music--

2.  It castes the light of understanding on human nature, psychology, and human foibles. Don't take this as an excuse for vice. Those from the religious right often despise this type of thinking since it seems to give a license to behave like an animal. I'm not doing that. I'm not giving an excuse to act like an animal, I'm giving an explanation for when we act like a human. Our finitude, our instincts, the always incomplete process of evolution limit our abilities. We're a work in progress and that's the only way we'll make sense of ourselves.

3.  You understand the masterwork of humanity. We are the possessors of the most complex structure in the known universe--the human brain. We, a collection of vibrating molecules, can contemplate our role in the universe, can be moved to tears by the love of another, paint the Sixteenth Chapel and write the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

4.  Truth is always more beautiful than lies. Note: beauty does not equal attractive. The mythological accounts of the creation of the universe and man man be attractive to the reader, but since they're basically founded on lies they can never be truly beautiful, because they're never be virtuous. Reality will always be more more breathtaking because it's real.

5.  Accepting that we're the product of evolution at the same time means that the timeline arrow of progress is still going on. Not only can we help shape that by our own reproductive choices, but increasingly more so through harnessing the power of genetic modification. For crying out loud, we've made rats that can glow in the dark! That's awesome. If that weren't enough we can also tantalize our imagination about the future evolution of humanity. What's next?!...

6.  We can appreciate animals on a deeper, more empathic level because we understand first hand that their minds aren't that differnt from ours. The emotions they feel are real. Their loyalty like that of our own.

7.  Our body becomes a history wonderland. Two arms and two legs becomes the digitless fins of the first tetrapod, five fingers becomes a nostalgic throw back to our amphibian ancestors that first walked the land, a dextrous opposable thumb that could touch the tip of each of the other fingers--an advancement that made tool work possible, our lungs--the modified gulping sacks of fish, our jaws--the revolutionary advancement of the Silurian period fish, our eyes--portals to our past souls that went from eye spots, to a pinhole eyes, to enclosed chambers, to a lensed masterwork with an iris, an iris that if is blue is only as old as 10k +- years.

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