Thursday, November 16, 2006


I watched an interesting program called clever-monkeys on PBS the other night. Monkeys are our ancestral, blueprint, relatives and they
have been monkeying around far longer than us.

Monkeys have very expressive, human-like, faces, 3D colour vision, hands with little opposable, thumbs which no doubt evolved to enable us to text message, but they also have highly intelligent problem solving brains, and distinct forms of communication.

That being said there are even more alarming simianlarities:

The young monkey around in protracted, overprotective, state of arrested development. Some Monkeys have learned how to self medicate with herbal remedies and most of them squander their brainpower on selfish endeavours such as stealing food and mates.
Does that remind you of another species?

More than any other simianlarity;

Monkeys live in stressful, violent, uber-competitive, societies that suffer from the effects of constant political turmoil predicated by the actions of highly, aggressive, dimorphically-dominant, males who fight with other males for supremecy on a daily basis but will call a truce and band together to lead attacks against outsiders.
I was quite alarmed to learn that more Capuchin Monkeys are killed by other Capuchins in their daily skirmishes than from predators.

Humans have always anthropomorphized these miniature replicant creatures and apparently we inherited lot of bad behavior and have more in common than we care to admit.

We apples didn't fall too far from the ancestral tree.

Humans are classified as Placental>Mammals>Primates in the family Hominidae and we certainly took our-own-sweet-time getting here.

Of course we've only recently started to figure out when we left our Family Tree.

Proto-mammals started out as refitted, reptilian, creatures who adapted to a safer more opportunistic, crepuscular, lifestyle sneaking around in the dawn (matutinal) and dusk (vespertine)and some species became nocturnal.

If we travel back in time, about 100 million years, we find the first evidence of Placental Mammals and by 65 mya Modern Primates arrive on the scene.

Somewhere around 40 mya we find evidence of the first Monkeys and when our modern climate began and Ice formed in the Antarctic 30 mya, Primates became extinct everywhere but Africa & Asia.

Now it starts to get complicated so hang on..
25 mya our Super-family: Hominoidea, the first Apes, start propping themselves up.

18 mya Gibbons, the lesser Apes, swing off the Family Tree and around 17 mya when early ancestors of the Hominids (great apes and humans) migrated to Eurasia from Africa just before these two continents were cut off from each other by an expansion of the Mediterranean Sea.

Recent fossil evidence found in Germany was determined to be about 16.5 million years old, some 1.5 million years older than similar species from East Africa.

Orangutans, members of our Great Ape

By 7 mya our rellies further speciate into our Sub-family: Homininae.

Our largest cousins put the GO in Gorilla, and off they GO.

Keep in mind that Gorillas & Chimps/Bonobos are genetically closer to Humans, than they are to Orangutans.

Chimpanzees, our kissin' cousins, really are a chimp off the old block, they share 98.4% of our DNA, and although Chimps divurge around 5 mya, they are considered members of our Tribe: Hominini.

The Chumps, our first recognisable proto-peeps show up about 2.6 mya when the first Hominids somehow removed their opposable thumbs off of their tool and started using sticks & stones & animal bones as tools.
Family: Hominidae, march off into the jungle around 14 mya.

Say hello to Homo Habilis, the handy-man;

"who can make our stock rise,
sprinkle it with tools,
wander the Savannah and start a miracle or two,
it's Habilis,

The Handy Man can 'cause he hooks us up with tools and makes evolution sound good"

OK, now we can include Homo Sapiens & our less fortunate extinct relatives.

We now have a classification known as the Sub-tribe Hominan.

Environmental factors may have also led to the isolation of the Chimpanzees we call Bonobos on or about 2 mya.

Bonerbos differ from the other Chimps in that their society is matriarchal and they settle disputes with SEX instead of violence..if only we could have stuck a little closer to this lot!

The much maligned Neanderthals (99.5% of our DNA) made their own way in this world around 350,000 years ago and lived alongside of Homo Erectus until the arrival of our ancestors, Homo Sapiens.

Erectus sprung up in Africa around 1.7 mya...

It's hard to miss the metaphorical rise of their ascension on this chart.

"The dominant view among scientists is the recent African origin of modern humans (RAO) that Homo Sapiens, our Common Ancestor, evolved in Africa and spread across the globe from Africa around 200,000 years ago, replacing populations of Homo Erectus and Homo Neanderthalensis."

The closest that anatomically modern Humans have come to finding a genetic EVE is a 140,000 year old individual who scientists refer to as Mitochondrial_Eve
*all humans alive today have DNA traceable to Mitochondrial Eve

If you're looking for a Genetic Adam, there is a 60,000 year old fellow dubbed Y-chromosomal_Adam who has not been universally embraced.

Moving right along,

70,000 ya we lose our Erectus..

until the emergence of Homo Viagrus in the late 20th Century

50,000 Stone tools start to get fancy-schmancy

30,000 Neanderthals disappear
leaving US, Sapiens, alone to perfect the tools that will enable us to kill prey and other Humans.

Thanks to the miracle of Agriculture, Nomadic Hunter-Gatherer Clans soon fall victim to the creation of Civilization. A surplus of food results in Humans being stratified into Haves and Have-Nots.

The Haves; Priests, Generals. Land Owners, Celebrities and Politicians, force the Have-Nots, the rest, to obey their rules.

4,000 ya Writing, the most powerful weapon ever invented, helps to instill enough fear and bullsh*t into the hearts and minds of the Have-Nots, that they can be coerced, cajoled, and even volunteer, to sacrifice themselves (via Slave Labour or Military service) to help? the Haves expand their Civilization...

usually by
taking over neighbouring Civilizations that they once traded with.

Civilization signals the birth of Homo Escapeons.

Once the majority of Humans had devalued themselves enough to become pawns subservient pawns, the defining trait of Civilization, the race to annihilate the other Escapeons began and we've never looked back.

We 've only just begun exploring our Family Tree and affirming what was once thought to be a ridiculous notion,that there only is one species of Human.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a cross-roads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
Woody Allen


  1. What do I have to do to get a Capuchin-o around here?

    Wear a tiny fez?

  2. How exciting is the news of species older than Homo Erectus being discovered? Namely, the Hobbit (Homo floresiensis) and Homo georgicus. It's amazing how these two discoveries have caused an uproar in the scientific community and question the validity of once sacred scientific theory. It just goes to show there's a lot we still don't know about human history! And that survival depends on both intelligence and luck--whether nature decides to bless us with good weather or wipe us out with a volcano!


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