Why I wrote the previous post


The other night while I was in bed I was watching a French language television station that I pay extra to receive from my cable TV provider. The station was broadcasting a documentary about the bonobos. I watched several minutes of footage of these fascinating, smart, and gentle creatures, and as I drifted to sleep, it occurred to me to wonder--what if it had been thet instead of we who had made that decisive great evolutionary leap of intelligence? What if they, instead of we, had become the dominant species on the planet? Of course, I'm hardly the first person to pose that sort of question--the whole premise of the movie The Planet of the Apes (or at least the original 1968 version with Charlton Heston--I never did see the remake) was that evolved ape species wisely shouldn't trust the humans to rule the world.

But I guess the real question that comes to mind is--why us? Was it a pure fluke that we became the dominant species on earth? As we plunge the world towards a host of calamities--climate change, overpopulation, water shortages, and destructive wars--was all of this inevitable, and does this prove that we were the wrong species to take charge? Or was it just that we have made a lot of wrong choices along the way, choices that easily could have gone a different way? Could things have been different?

The optimist in me believes that humans had and still have the capacity to make the right choices. After all, our species doesn't just produce polluters and warmongers, but also ecologists and pacifists. If we really were such an inherently terrible species, there would be no idealists, dreamers, and saints among us. Those who try to build a better world are a testimony to the possibilities that lie before us.

But I still can't help but wonder what the world would be like if the bonobos were in charge.


Matthew said...

Lost men/women believe is 'lording it over others'. They are 'human havings', not 'human beings', who manipulation and propagate all sorts of violence in search of happiness.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

When enough people wake up there will be change...before then, self interest will reign. Violence is effective in the world of darkness.