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Biped Posturing

You and I are bipeds, the most dangerous and cunning animals created by evolutionary forces on planet earth. When our ancestors took their first tentative steps and raised their heads above the savanna two to three million years ago, we scavenged what the other animals left for us. Our ability to clearly see the horizon when we stood up on our two hind legs was our eventual undoing. Nature played with our DNA creating branches of the human evolutionary tree that eventually petered out. The first human prototypes were just that, human prototypes. Evolution is never linear. In an attempt to deal with a large number of variables it tends to go in circles before a successful prototype branches out on its own. Cro-Magnon man, the product of millions of years of biped evolution was unleashed from the African Rift Valley little more than a hundred thousand years ago.

Cro-Magnon man was a killing machine that made Tyrannosaurus Rex look as dangerous as a plastic figurine from an old fashioned Kellogg’s Cornflakes packet. Cro-Magnons had brains, fingers, they suckled their young, carried them until they could walk, they created weapons, hunted and spread across the globe killing animals and their genetic cousins at will. Even the mighty Neanderthals didn’t stand a chance, their DNA eventually incorporated into our own.

We started growing things, settled down, created cities, cultures, religions, killing each other with increasing ferocity and brutality until we dominated nature, the oceans, rivers and even that thin atmosphere that makes the blue planet an evolutionary hothouse. Today we are the masters of all we survey, every square metre of ocean land and air our domain. We have forgotten our destiny is inextricably linked to the interconnectivity that exists between every living and non-living thing on the planet. Our planet is dying, our ingenuity is currently keeping us one step ahead of disaster.

We as a species are at the crossroads. Do we continue on our pathway to extinction destroying everything we touch? Do we strength our tribal links in the knowledge what stands between us and our survivor is our neighbour? Do we build a fleet of starships to destroy future worlds learning nothing from our evolutionary journey? Or does nature do the job for us and euthanise its most dangerous and successful evolutionary child? The only thing I'm thankful for is I won’t be around to see nature’s intervention in our evolutionary trajectory if we continue to follow the path we have followed since we left the Rift Valley a hundred thousand years ago.