Monday, November 09, 2009


We're Climate Primates

We Earthlings love to talk about the weather. It is a unifying and universal  "safe" topic because it affects us equally and determines how we survive. 
Scientists are now uncovering evidence that the weather was the catalyst that propelled Humans to become bipedal problem-solving omnivores.

The biggest obstacle preventing us from working together is the hardwired impetus of our natural inclinations to dominate other groups and steal their resources.
One of the primary weapons in our arsenal has been religion.

In the grand scale of our arrival, religion is a very recent invention. Our petulant narsecissim demands some cosmological structure..a reason for "being" and an order of where we fit in. All of the geographically oriented gods were invented to justify that specific group's concept of it's superiority over the animal kingdom and other humans.

The pantheon of gods always reflected the geographic and climatic peculiarities of their territory. What surprises me, well sort of, is how unwilling most modern humans are to abandon the supserstitions of their ancestors? 

I understand the psychological Fear...the thought that we don't fit in, the Universe just IS, and that there may very well be nothing after DEATH, are all anathema to our being special.

Even though we now have so much convincing evidence of the How?What?When?Where? and Why? we humans became the dominant species, the majority refuse to forsake the relics of our struggle to eliminate or dominate and enslave others.

At the moment I'm following two episodic TV shows;
 DARWIN'S Brave New World

Charles Darwin was devastated when his daughter Annie died from tuberculosis in 1851.

It was the last spike in the coffin of his dwindling Faith and enough to dissolve his fears of publishing his theory of Natural Selection; that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors.
Victorian England was NOT amused and even the Scientific Community was still in the vice-like grip of the Biblical Creationists.

Darwin "could not see the work of an omnipotent deity in all the pain and suffering such as the ichneumon wasp paralysing caterpillars as live food for its eggs." In the program Richard Dawkins opines that the death of his beloved Annie pushed him over the edge.

Fast-forward a Century to present day and we discover that the majority of Humans still believe that they are "magical/special Creations" and vastly superior to the other members of the animal kingdom.  

Others cautiously sit on the fence and imagine themselves as a kind of APEGEL..part mystical being with an eternal soul carried around in a mortal-physical package which is disturbingly similar to simians.

What really may have "created" us was the weather.

Recent discoveries have uncovered evidence of extreme climatic fluctuations in Africa where homo sapeins were forming. By then our ancestors had split from our nearest cousins 3 million years earlier and several prototypes of people had taken shape. The winner was the line that was the most adaptable. The extra protein acquired from scavenging bone marrow and meat from other carnivores probably sped up the process of growing bigger brains.

Africa was once a huge tropical rainforest but it has been drying up for 10 million years. Encroaching savannahs provided new opportunities and walking upright not only better visibility and protection from predators, but it freed up the hands. Walking is also far more efficient than knuckling.

Our brains began to expand to allow for more problem solving and our hands gave us a leg up on the other apes. Evidence of dramatic shifts between drought and deluge forced the early Humans to think up ways to acquire food and avoid predation.

This version certainly isn't as sexy or special as the garden of Eden myth. Since the time that humans invented their regionally-specific gods we have been at war trying to establish dominance over territorial ownership of goods and services.

Darwin was well aware that his discovery would spark a never-ending schism in society. I am shocked, well sort of, that so many people in the 21st Century still exist with the notion that there is a Creation-EVEsolution_controversy ?

This controversy is virtually none existant in the scientific community and most people who are literate and have access to this information are slowly coming around...but travel around the globe and you'll find that most Earthlings are still enslaved by a handful of self-appointed, fear-mongering, zealots who wield their authority based on religious precepts.

I'm old enough to know that achieving "World Peace" is impossible. Even without the intrusion of religion and all of it's divisive devices the natural instincts of our ancestors that we carry in our programming make it impossible to stop coveting our neighbour's natural resources and their goods and services.

That's why it's easier to just talk about the weather :)  


  1. Loved this post. I was reading an article written by Neil deGrasse Tyson that talks about the origin of the universe this week for an essay I'm writing and your post reminded me of it, In the Beginning. He's my favorite scientist dude. Have you ever read his stuff or heard him talk? I think you'd like his theories.

  2. "travel around the globe and you'll find that most Earthlings are still enslaved by a handful of self-appointed, fear-mongering, zealots"

    No need to travel the globe ... just head to your nearest Southern Baptist Church!

  3. We get a lot of rain here, I am evolving into a slug - that's ok though, slugs don't use that many resources they just annoy some gardeners - who will be extinct soon

  4. We're leaving behind the big boost for the next evolutionary overlords of Earth.....LOTS and LOTS of nitrogen fertilizer and carbon dioxide........walking trees.......thinking algae......svelt seaweed.......etc

  5. Very pleasing post. I agree that "religion" is the fairly recent progeny of organized fear, but not true paganism, or plural-god worship. That's ancient and, to my mind, sensible. The god of wind, rain, sun, water, trees (depending on the culture) were all more meaningful and inspiring that the omni-vengeful one-god ideal. Connected to weather you make a valid point: sacrificing to the god of rain during drought or fire during winter, it all ties in to our human need to explain why things in nature happen as they do, yes? And being large-brained curious little bipeds, we won't stop until we get answers - become god in other words. Ultimate goal maybe? Thanks for bringing out our inate fear of nothingness. Fascinating.

  6. Ah, you should have been at my kids school while I was eavesdropping on the moms from the school's 'prayer circle'. They were excited over the new Excel spreadsheet showing prayers asked and outcomes. Not only have the Fundies bastardized science with trying to fit it to creationism, they have Microsoft too! The prayers are mostly for stupid things, like "Please Jesus, help Michelle do well on her spelling test". You'll never hear,
    "please Lord, help the Iraqi babies whose arms have been blown off", namely because they couldn't place Iraq on a map anyway. Help me! I need to move to the city! Sorry, rant over. (And great post btw!)

  7. it's cold, damp and cloudy in London

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  9. I've spent the last two months doing the washing up, thinking that not using the diswasher was aving energy. It wasn't. And it was more expensive.

  10. It's hard to lose ideas and fears so instilled in us at a young age. They almost become instinctual, hard to resist, hard to give up.

    It is interesting how that tv show was discussing the role of the weather in evolution in Africa.

    I used to frustrate my Sunday school teachers when I asked them why the Bible didn't mention the other people God created alongside Adam and Eve. When they said God created only Adam and Eve, I asked them, so their kids married each other? Isn't that against the Bible? And wouldn't their kids be all messed up?

  11. Walking is also far more efficient than knuckling.

    I shall spend the day testing this theory.

    *hunkers over*

  12. Your posts never cease to amaze me, and I learn something new eberytime.. the only thing that never changes is my awe I have for your intelligence.. no crappolla mate!! :)

  13. If we are here not to do
    What you and I wanna do
    And go forever crazy with it
    Why the hell are we even here?

    There was never any good old days
    They are today, they are tomorrow
    It's a stupid thing we say
    Cursing tomorrow with sorrow

    - Ultimate, gogol bordello


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