Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Of Apes and Men

Even when I was young, I never understood why being related to a chimpanzee, or admitting we are apes, is such a difficult thing for religious people to do. It truly puzzles me. First, we have to be animals, there are only two other options to that one and minerals don't have imaginations.

Actually, I do understand the reason, what I don't understand is why they cannot .... grow up.

When we think of other species of animals, we often characterize and stereotype them to make them more comparable to our own species. This helps us to relate to them, one of the ways we see empathy helping our species learn to live with similar species in symbiotic relationships.

By stereotyping the species, we are able to identify those more like us, though it does have one flaw, which I am about to demonstrate why it's a flaw. So many have this stereotype of the "monkey throwing poo," or some other seemingly grotesque act.

Of course, these people are forced to ignore the fact that human children do, in fact, throw poo. Or even paint the walls with it, are very young ages. Watching a toddler explore the world around them, it's hard ignore just how similar we are to our distant cousins.

The denial of our similarities is a very complex subject, one that requires we look at many aspects of the human mind itself. The simplistic explanation is that every species has a segregation instinct, to distance themselves from those who they are not genetically compatible with for reproduction.

One of our beneficial traits is also a responsibility in itself, the ability to ignore, or even alter, our instinctual behaviors. It is the trait that not only allows us to advance our understanding of the universe, it is also why denying that we are apes is insulting to our species.

Very few species ever have the trait that allows them to control their instinctual behaviors like we do, it is a badge that should be worn with pride, and utilized as much as possible. But these people who want to deny our genetic lineage just because of a survival trait that's only suppose to prevent us from trying to breed with them are not using this rare trait our species have, they are, in fact, acting like apes more than anyone else.

It's rather ironic, the people who deny that humans are apes are behaving just like apes by doing so. So the next time someone denies our relatives in common with the chimpanzee or deny that we are not apes, ask them why they keep acting more like an ape than a human.

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