This idea occured to me after I watched The Matrix. In the words of Agent Smith, ” It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you’re not actually mammals…(pause, big sinister smile). Every mammal on this planet naturally develops an equilibrium with their natural sorroundings, but you humans do not. You move to a new area and multiply… multiply until all the natural resources are gone. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area…”
Noble Smith’s claim that we are not mammals is of course hogwash, because the primary factor by which we identify mammals is being warm-blooded, which we certainly are (to all the biologists, forgive my inability to be more precise). The rest of his words, however, is certainly food for thought. How is it that humans are different and have risen so much above all the other animals, to the extent that our forefathers could arrogantly proclaim that we are at the apex of the ecosystem, rather than just another part of it? Was it mere chance that we are more ‘intelligent’ than the rest? Darwin’s theory certainly implies that anyway; by CHANCE, an error occurred during DNA duplications, and then the baby ape was smarter than the rest. Natural selection ensured that his descendants multiplied rapidly. Or maybe there is some deeper pattern that could explain this anomaly, that we have not yet been able to fathom. It cannot be regarded as impossible, because we still don’t know a lot of things, like the existence of alien life. And if we do discover alien life, that could give us a valuable insight as well. This is an excerpt from Michio Kaku’s book ‘Physics of the Impossible’:
‘Humans are vastly more intelligent than they have to be to survive in the forest. Our brains can master space travel, the quantum theory, and advanced mathematics-skill sets that are totally unnecessary for hunting and scavenging in the forest. Why this excess brainpower?’
Can you imagine a pig developing an atom bomb and screaming “Death to America!!” ? Or a horse giving a lecture on dinosaurs in a museum to kids on a class trip? Or a lizard tending to his garden tirelessly and then looking at it at the end of the day with his lizard-wife, deep satisfaction evident on his pointy face? Or maybe a mouse doing something even as simple as making tea?…. We humans have progressed so, so much but hardly any of us pause to look back and wonder. We are not just smarter than the rest, we are also capable of more complex emotions. Animals experience only the most basic types (which are, I suppose, necessary for survival), like fear and delight or as Anthony Robbins puts it, pain and pleasure. It would be hilarious to think of them being able to experience more subtle ones, like surprise , jealousy and suspicion…
There is one particular emotion that we possess, and I believe this is the reason that we come so far, and as Agent Smith says, do not develop an equilibrium with the sorroundings….greed (muhahaha!!). Because of our greed, we have always wanted more than necessary and are always looking for faster, easier ways to do things. This greed (and admittedly also short-sightedness) is the reason that we are etching our dominance over the other animals and pushing them slowly out of existence. It is the reason for the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. Other animals are satisfied in feeding themselves and their family. In other words, they keep to themselves! You won’t catch them robbing a bank and then drinking booze and ‘living the dream’….