Musing

TWO PERCENT

Homo Sapiens. Humanity. Mankind the dominate species on this planet. The product of millions of years of evolution, which is still ongoing and who knows where or when it will end. Six or seven million years ago we broke away from a common ancestor and started down to road to becoming the sentient beings we are. We are of the primate suborder Anthropoidea and are cousins to the Great Apes, Monkeys, and the Chimpanzee, who is our closest relative with only a 2% genetic difference.  Oh what a difference that 2% makes. I am not going to argue as to how we came to be, that will be for another time. Suffice it to say we are here and will be for quite some time to come. We really are remarkable creatures, not the strongest, nor the fastest, we have no claws or fangs , no heavy fur to keep us warm yet we are the masters of this world. This all came about due to that amazing little three pound computer inside our skulls. It did not start off being amazing in fact it took eons upon eons  for it to grow and learn. It learned by storing the information that all our other senses provided. It saw, heard, smelt, tasted and felt the environment all around. It learned to recognize ,what was and wasn’t safe to eat and drink, what was dangerous, to find shelter, to fight or flee. With each new experience and sensation the brain grew developing new pathways and synapses. Learning always learning. Nature gave us another remarkable feature,. The opposing thumb. A marvelous piece of engineering allowing our species to better grip or pick thing up. We developed the ability to walk upright which increased our range of vision. The use of primitive tools followed and then the mastery of fire. With fire we had protection, warmth and light in the terror of night. We learned that a cave gave us better protection from the elements than crouching under a bush or tree. Next to fire the development of weapons was a great leap forward. For with weapons came the ability to kill more efficiently and the chances of survival became greater. We were on the road to dominance over all other species. That remarkable two percent difference made it all possible. We became social animals coming to-gether in groups for better protection and diversity in our genetic makeup. From small bands came clans then tribes From camps came villages, towns and cities. Common language and customs made us ethnic groups which evolved into nations. Somewhere along our path man discovered WAR. Only one other species out of the thousands that have or do inhabit this world  wages this phenomenon, Ants. Man, the supreme being on this planet and ants one of the lower periodically slaughter each other. WAR; Humanity at its’ best and its’ worst. We really are quite good at it and the reason for that is we have been doing for so long and we have been doing it for so long because we are good at it. , Whether we like to admit it or not the reality is we are a warring species. The first recorded war took place 4,712 years ago in 2,700 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era)but we had been butchering each for millennia before that. The reason we know about this war is that by the time it occurred writing had been developed. Wars have been fought for just about any reason you can think of. Territory, water, food, wealth, religion, women, and basic survival. War has and is an integral part of our makeup forcing more rapid development upon us. Thanks to war there has been faster growth in science, medicine, and engineering. From day one we have sought better ways to kill our enemies, defend ourselves, and heal those wounded in war mainly so they could fight again. We are capable of such marvelous advances and such horrific destruction. In the first wars not many were involved and deaths were relatively few but with the inventions of more efficient weapons the deaths increased until now we are capable of wiping our selves complete out Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.)through Nuclear, Chemical and Biological weapons. Apocalypse is the push of a button away. Perhaps it would have been better if we had not retained the Two Percent difference and stayed roaming the forests and savannahs search for food and a mate. Then again that Two Percent has caused us to make such beautiful works of Art, Literature, and Music. It is the driving force that will take us to the Stars and perhaps beyond. When all is said and done we are Godlike.   

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