Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Affinity for the Ape

CONCENTRATING on how well we can run in relation to an ape is demeaning to
the ape and aggrandizing of human physiological achievement.  Watching the first episode of "the Origins of Us" (BBC2, presented by the eminently qualified young Dr. Alice Roberts), we never hear of how well an ape can tree swing/climb compared to us, but what is trumpeted in the programme is
how we  'evolved' the ability to run (including a lot of close ups of Dr. Roberts buttocks movement's as she is analysed on a treadmill) and left our closest
relative, the ape in Africa 'behind' - with that the unspoken implication of how beneath us his ability to swoop through canopy is in comparison.  But our running/upright walking ability doesn't come over as such a great advancement when compared with the running abilities, for example, of dogs and cats. This of course isn't mentioned. Nor are the physiological aspects of sight, flight, ability to swim analysed in evolutionary terms.
Which mammal can boast the canopy gliding ability of the ape ?   Its an unparalleled specialism that far outweighs our supposed evolution to walk on hindquarters and jog.  

We can't fly, conserve energy, swim, see, smell, jump or listen as well as creatures - we don't live longest either- so what makes us so damn superior anyway? Not our ability to live well, certainly not our physiology.
We aren't particularly good at any one thing compared to the spectrum of creatures in nature, excepting the opposing thumb which enables us, supposedly through advanced tool making, to engage ultimately in abstract thought. But how many people can even do this properly ?  Few, the best of them can get a job with BP.

How well it has enabled us to live rather than merely propagate our specie on this planet to plague proportions is a pertinent topic for writers of non-fiction.   We live and engage badly with the world.

Optics are our greatest achievement. 
Medical science's methodical extraction and synthesis of what nature already provides, is not really invention at all. Optics are, whether tele or micro, the real impressive 'tool'.

(Specialist & Common Ancestor argument first encountered in Bjorn Kurten's 'Not from the Apes')

No comments:

Post a Comment


Follow by Email


Search This Blog