Thursday, November 30, 2006


In my new TIME magazine there is an article by Jeffrey Kluger titled Why we worry about the things we shouldn't and it highlighted a point that comes up quite often in this blog..

"Part of the problem we have with evaluating risk, scientists say, is that we're moving through this modern world with what is in many respects, a prehistoric brain."

"We think that we've grown accustomed to living in a predator free environment in which most of the dangers of the wild have been driven away or fenced off, but our central nervous system-evolving at a glacial pace-hasn't got the message."

As you know we are not living in a predator free environment.
We are our own worst enemy!
Humans are still killing other humans and the last century over 50 million of us were sytematically eliminated by our own countrymen.

So I was wondering...

You know how scientists are telling us that humans are exchanging DNA from all corners of the globe and that in a couple thousand years we will have a more uniform appearance..a nice deep taupe with what we now refer to as afro-asian highlights.

Do you suppose that once we have less physical distinctions that we might not kill each other as much?
There is only one species of human.
Why do we keep MYTHing this point?

I personally think that Religion is more divisive and it seems highly improbable that there could ever be peace on earth as long as these competing religions exist to divide us into us and thems.

So suppose that the religious elements finally killed each other off and sent each other to their respective great beyonds.
All that remains to repopulate the planet are a couple million similar looking human beings. Is it possible that they could overcome that prehistoric brain and work together..or are we completely and hopelessly lost to repeat the past?

Would the survivors find other ways to separate each other based on something equally ridiculous?

The 20th Century, the bloodiest in human history, was the Century of Genocidic Mass Murder.
More than 50 million people were executed for ethnic, political and religious excuses proved that. Here are some of the worst examples of man's inhumanity to man according to National Geographic:


Our record speaks for itself.
Is there anything aside from an extraterrestrial invasion (which I don't believe is remotely probable) that could unite our species?

Will we ever get the message that there is only ONE species of human?


  1. Anonymous10:57 a.m.

    I don't think so.

    The point about living with a primative brain is important. We will continue to find reasons to see each other as different, and therefore threatening, for millenia to come. The labels will change, but the underlying reason will remain the same: Fear. It drives everything human beings do.

  2. laura elizabeth,
    I fear that you are right. We are scared little creatures..we have never outgrown our nervous nature.

    We might as well be back hobbling around the Savannahs of East Africa like we were millions of years ago for all the good that our modernisation is doing us.
    What we have really perfected is how to kill other people.

  3. Anonymous12:15 p.m.

    Acutally, i think you're both wrong, but for reasons i find even scarier. we are on the verge of creating genuine artificial intelligence. possibly within our lifetimes, certainly by the end of the century, there will be artificial life forms whose intelligence and computational powers far outstrip our own. when that happens, organic life forms (that's us) will be obsolete. the human race is on the brink of extinction. (i have this on good authority from a genius mathematician i know.) so it's all moot.

  4. chaucer's bitch,
    Well..there it 'tis!
    I saw a doc the other day on these MIT profs who were designing AI thingamabobs to respond to humans by simply scanning the human face.
    They were teaching these machines to recognize individuals and read their expressions and tone of voice.
    That is only a hop, skip and a jump from what you are talking about since all of the knowledge/information base material is already easily manipulated by computers.
    You are right...

  5. nope, we naturally fear the unfamiliar, which in turn does crazy things to us.

  6. angela,
    Do you mean that the famous quotes:
    Familiarity breeds contempt,
    and children.
    Mark Twain
    Familiarity breeds contempt,
    while rarity wins admiration.
    ...should be tweaked to read,
    Unfamiliarity breeds contempt.

  7. reyspoutine2:16 p.m.

    "living in a predator free environment"?
    what planet did this guy drop in from?

    that undermines everything that he says after that. you just have to look south of the border (THE border) to see that predatory thinking is alive and well.

    and seeing how little natural intelligence there is on this planet, maybe some of the artificial variety will be a good thing.
    hmm, i don't actually believe that, i just thought it sounded neat. nevermind.

    religion isn't any more divisive than anything else. as long as you have ignorant people, there will be divisions. should we eliminate all sports, all entertainment (okay, maybe that one), all philosophy, all science, everything except our basic needs? waitaminute, that's how this all got started.

    it's stupid, ignorant people who create divisions where none should exist. religions preach love and understanding. idiots preach that my choice is better than your choice, and i'm gonna bust you in the nose if you say anything bad about my oilers again.

    so there.

  8. I'd like to have a quote that will carry my name on through eternity, but no. Fear and contempt are not one in the same!

  9. 1. agree 100% on religion. most divisive thing ever invented.
    2. went to private school? uniforms? we cliqued according to SOCKS.
    3. re the crow following you? corvids are the smartest birds second to the psitticids. they use tools, make objects for fun, play, have collections and adopt pets. how does it feel to be the pet of a bird?

  10. reyspoutine,
    Do you ever get tired of being wrong?
    What's so funny 'bout preachin' love and understanding...except that at the very centre of it is the fact that this is the ONLY absolute truth and reality...THE ONE TRUE RELIGION...
    some exceptions may apply/
    not valid without prior written approval/
    entries limited to one per customer/
    purchase necessary

    OK fine! Unfamiliarity breeds fear! Geez
    I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition...
    NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!
    Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise....

    Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....

    Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....

    Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again

  11. first nations,
    hey! SOCKS it is..even if all human beings were almost identical to each other in appearance they would divide themselves up into different sock factions. Unbefrickinlievable.
    The Crow has found a new CAWse Celeb to intimidate...
    what in the wide world of sports is a, psitticid?

  12. I think I should have been given some speck of credit here for being your token audience about this last night.

  13. I wish we were all deep taupe in colour NOW - got this skin that's way too white to be living in such a hot and burny country :).

  14. Actually, there are TWO species of human; US and THEM.

  15. Wow so many things to look forward too for us? our children? or our grandchildren? How about faith in humankind that maybe we could respect the people next to us and they could pass it forward.. I know it seems i live in a dream world but i still believe that because we are all related anyways maybe we should learn to respect one another a little more. As for the AI factor i believe if we create it we should be able to disassemble it as well and someday we may all have to rely on each other to survive.
    Where is the love people?

  16. Not failing to find Differences among us is the biggest Similariry among us humans.

    It's sad and I hate to say it's a trait that wont die for centuries. If we ever learnt anything from history, would we have so many racial/religious etc wars today? It's actually increasing!


  17. grumbuler11:24 p.m.

    Actually, the predatory nature is closer to the surface than ever.
    Mankind is (by turns) prompting and
    evading the inevitable mass dust-up
    needed to cull the species. The
    merger of souls spoken of by laura
    e is unlikely to happen until after
    some pretty ugly demonstration of
    might in the face of stupidity, and
    then, only if some of learn about
    the joys of anal cranial extraction

  18. Nope... unfortunately, as a species we lack much soul and evolution in more ways than just the physical or that associated with the brain... greed, avarice, power and the like will always rear their ugly heads and we will always be surrounded by those who cannot see past the nose on their faces, who exist like mere automatons with no true consciousness, with no vision of a larger picture...

    So no...

    Calll me cynical and though I was/am of the type who wants to save the planet, believes in green power, recylcing and all that nice crap, I will be the first to tell you that we will not save the planet. Things will get worse but all this fighting for the betterment of our selves and the world in which we live and the like at least slows down the process... hey, I'll take what I can get and pitch in my 2 cents worth...

    After 9/11 happened, one of the most vicious events in our most recent history, I was thrown in for a loop... and then, one day, when talking to an amazing friend of ours (who is a world renowned Osteopath/Homeopath) he reminded me that the best we can do is to focus on our own journey here... create as much good karma as we can, live with compassion and control what we can, which is what is within... everything else, well...

    It's a mess and I clean what I can while I watch my back because you never know... you know? ;-)

  19. there is one way the universe is going to teach us to behave, its going to send us the mother of all asteoroids and wait to see we get together to save our asses.

    There's a contest at my site bro!

  20. within earshot,
    Yes you were an excellent audience even though your journalistic tendencies prohibit you from just listening and force you to play 'Devil's Advocate' and dream up every possible niggling counter-point and opposing argument...I have found that whether I speak very LOUD or
    really-really-fast-like-this it doesn't make much difference.
    Your professionalism knows no boundaries and the fact that you probe my subconscious reptilian cortex by pouring Whiskey down my piehole every 15 minutes in order to get TWO sources to verify my statements proves this.

    Bring it on. I was reading about Australia's drought this morning..yikes.
    I always think of the line in the song Great Southern Land by Icehouse...Burn You Black!
    I guess that you lot are going to need more camels and less sheep as the planet heats up.

    THE michael,
    If only we could start putting the sign of the Beast on THEM so that we wouldn't have to waste time saying hello to THEM at the Supermarket.
    People like US have to stick together and poke fun at THEM for as long as we can..until they shut down the Internet anyway.
    Sure they can take my keyboard..from my Cold Dead Hand.

    Here is some Black Eyed Peas to listen to while I figure it out...
    People killin', people dyin'
    Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
    Can you practice what you preach
    And would you turn the other cheek

    Father, Father, Father help us
    Send us some guidance from above
    'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
    Where is the love (Love)

    Where is the love (The love)
    Where is the love (The love)
    Where is the love
    The love, the love

    It seems to be getting worse because before the 20th Century we didn't hear about everything seconds after it happened from every corner of the globe.
    Now that instantaneous news is upon us all of this hatred just adds fuel to the fire that is growing exponentially.
    Very Sad/Very Scary!

  21. grumblerella,
    You shed a new light on the term shit for brains!
    I fear that you are right. The stage is set for the next great Extinction Level Event. Perhaps with our ingenuity mankind will be able to outdo even the massive Permian Event that wiped out 90 % of living creatures on the planet.
    Of course each of these catastrophes sets the stage for the next dominant species and I would like to once again take this opportunity to welcome our Insect Overlords!

    miz bohemia!,
    Mercy sakes alive I have struck a cord with the Boheme."It's a mess and I clean what I can while I watch my back because you never know"
    I concur with your astute observations..we can do whatever we can to not add to the problem and work on improving our lives and enriching the lives of those near and dear to us. But we also have to get involved and try to keep a handle on our politicians.
    As a Canuck it seems odd that we are now seen as replicant soldiers fighting for the Americans. Our forces have traditionally been viewed as Peace Keepers but the overwhelming Us v Them campaign of the Rovian White House has stirred up a hornets nest and unleashed 100 Bin Ladens.
    Canadian soldiers are pushing back the Taliban so that Afghan kids can go to school..but to the extremists we are just trying to demolish the vision of a New Global Caliphate. We're stuck in between a rock and a very hardline place. Can we abandon those kids?
    Those kids are the future.

    If it wasn't for our little moon we would have probably be terminated long ago..I read about astronomers tracking Killer Asteroids far out in space and I think about how we have dealt with such problems in the Movies.
    I am torn between sending Bruce Willis to blow up the bloody thing ala Armaggeddon or shipping my daughters off with Elijah Wood to hide in an underground compound in Colorado like Deep Impact.

  22. Anonymous10:29 a.m.

    No way we're ever going to have peace when humans have a mob mentality and use it to get rid of anyone different from themselves.
    Sad but true.

  23. Even if religions were obliterated and mankind were photocopyingly uniform there would always be something to start separate groupings.
    It is in Man's psyche to stand up and leave a mark.

  24. mad-town knitter,
    Sad but true...I suppose that I should try writing creative solutions to these world problem pieces. Nobody seems to think that there is much hope and that is pretty bloody depressing.

    See even the gentle cream-man believes that we are sentenced to an existence that is earmarked for conflict. Since our DNA is 99.99 something identical we certainly have a lot in common that we could focus on. Geez!

  25. Today, that is 3rd Dec, I have been watching mob violence in many parts of India. All started due to trivial reasons. It truly made me sick that I switched channels to watch stupid Hindi song and dance movies.

    But does that make the violence go away? See I am still thinking about it.

    More one is civilized more uncivilized he/she behaves..

  26. gautami,
    I can't believe it either...
    how people never seem to get past age old conflicts or dream up new ones..
    or how they are always looking for a scapegoat to blame for their misery...
    always someone, somewhere stirring up trouble...always.

  27. i prefered deep impact. it made me cry. nearlly that is.

  28. ghosty,
    You could say that Deep Impact had a deep impact on you!

  29. Things won't change untill women rule :-)

  30. hildegarde,
    Well hurry up!
    I can't wait to be worshipped as an object of desire..and I promise not too flaunt my wares.

  31. we may be trading dna and making the world smaller all the time, but i reckon that even if everyone was the same colour- something would be used as a distinguishing feature- you'd be in the minority if you had blue eyes and hence you'd be discriminated against!


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