Evolution’s Payback: My Qualms about Humanity

Taking my cues from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the following post is inspired by the misanthrope Gulliver would become.

All in all, my life as a human being has not been dull or terrible by any means. The simple fact that I can type to you and analyze myself as a living creature is enough for me to be grateful. Sadly, I cannot ignore the major evolutionary flaws passed down over the years. Given the fact that we’re a relatively new species on the planet compared to say, alligators or sharks, I will allow for a margin of error on the side of evolution. As a collective, though, comparing humans to pretty much any other animal on the planet is depressing. Why, you ask? Because we SUCK! We lost the game of genetic roulette based on the simple fact that we came into the game with every other creature having the best traits.

Prometheus and Epimetheus deciding what animals should have what traits.

I may be taking a page out of Greek mythology, but the facts are clear-humans did not have the natural ability to survive. We may have had some skills at one point, but in 2012 we have lost almost all forms of survival abilities. Like the story of Prometheus and Epimetheus, humans were left with nothing when the animals were given important traits.

My recent obsession with survival tv shows has provoked an internal struggle in me. How can humans be the top of the food chain if we can’t even survive in the wild without being close to death almost every time. Anyone outside of a developed nation understand the hardships of living off  the land, and respects Mother Nature for all her terrible/beautiful ways. Man vs. Wild/Dual Survival/Survivor Man has taught me how truly vulnerable and weak humans have become.

The following are the somewhat rhetorical questions/comments I would like to ask Mother Nature as to why she screwed our evolutionary progress.

1.)  Out of all the animals, humans have the least amount of protection from bacteria and parasites. There are so many things we can’t eat, and even if we can eat it there is no guarantee that it will still be good for us. Take for example common pork, which can lead to trichinosis, parasites, flu, and cysts. Something as simple as pork can lead to so many problems inside our bodies. Other animals have bacteria and enzymes in their body to eat what has been provided by Mother Nature. We aren’t physically prepared to handle eating in the world around us. So, I want to know why?

Great proof how evolution can help an animal survive

2.) There are parts of our body that we don’t need and haven’t needed for a long time. Animals have evolved over a short period of time (in relation to the age of the world) is astounding.  Lizards have evolved to regrow their tails as a way to protect them if a predator attacks. Elephants are shedding their tusks to protect future generations from poachers. Humans? We have an appendix that researchers believe was once used for roughage, and now it’s a waste of space (possibly fatal). What I don’t get is why it stopped being used.

Yes, we “evolved” to use our brains to hunt instead of starving. However, the world is not all civilized, and it shouldn’t be. Therefore, if there is uncharted wilderness that some of the 7 billion people in the world can stumble into, then we should still have the capability of going back to our good survival days.

In addition, we have silly aspects of our body that we haven’t gotten rid of and we should. We don’t need our pinky toes anymore, but still have them. We get goosebumps to let us know that we are cold. Since we don’t have feathers or fur all over (shed all our thick body hair), there is no point in having goosebumps because it doesn’t do anything. WHY, Mother Nature? WHY?

3. Then, our outer body has evolved to become soft, vulnerable, and weak. Dual Survival has taught me that our feet used to be completely capable of working without shoes, and now we can’t walk a mile without proper footwear. Cody from the show has lived 20 years without wearing shoes. There is something truly amazing about the decision to get back to our survival instincts. I’m sure over decades our feet could be trained back to that level again, but people are too comfortable being weak.

Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin on Dual Survival

Also, think about the other predators or dangerous animals in the wild. Poisonous snakes/spiders/sea life have developed venom cocktails that are easily designed to kill us within hours. Most of the animals use this venom for small animals that become their food and protect against animals half our size. So, what defense do we have against a mix of hemotoxins (destroy blood cells/stops clotting), neurotoxins (paralyze your body), and any other toxin you can imagine? Other than weapons (probably not likely in the wild), you can run. More often than not, you will end up falling prey to these predators and not reach a hospital with anti-venom. This notion of not being the top of the food chain is not new to the animal world. However, to invincible humanity it is still a shock that we cannot protect ourselves against small animals.

Will kill a human in hours!

Ultimately, the worst aspect of our evolution has been–our brain. While many will argue our ability to rationalize, think, and speak would be undeniable asset. Yet, we suffer from fear, stress, and distractions rather than focusing on surviving. We constantly distract ourselves with superficial things while other animals know how to survive with the clearest actions and goals. How is that we can have superior intellect, and be outwitted by simple “beasts”?

The questions baffle me every time I watch some person trying to survive in the wild. The vulnerability of humans is so astounding that I wonder how we have survived this long. I know that I wouldn’t survive a few days in the forest of Belize or the Sahara Desert, but recognition is the first step. It may take the apocalypse for humans to get back to the basics. Maybe that is what we need as a species to realize how out of touch we are with nature.

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Evolution’s Payback: My Qualms about Humanity

  1. Regarding number two, why do men have nipples? (There’s probably a perfectly good reason for this, but whatever it is I don’t know it haha).
    But I agree with everything you put forward in your blog, you’re quite right. And especially with our brains – I think this is almost symbolic of society in general – everything has become so complex and complicated that it stresses us out. Sure we can do amazing things with our brains, with technology, with the way the world works, but at the same time more and more people are needing to take a break, to find forms of escapism so they are not overwhelmed. And I think getting back to nature would certainly help with some of this. I think we need to find that balance again, for so many reasons.
    Great post! 🙂

    • Thank you. It’s been bugging me for so long I needed to write it down. Btw men can lactate and produce milk I hear, so maybe it’s because of that 😛 It’s sad when we can create massive machines that defy logic for its time, but we have forgotten how to build a fire without matches or build a shelter without circular saws and automatic nail guns. I wish I could learn all of the thing survival shows teach because I don’t want to be a human who can’t survive in nature.

  2. I am reminded of the Star Trek (Original Series) episode where they are on a planet controlled by brains in a jar, basically. (It also reminds me of Futurama! lol) The creatures had evolved to the point where they did not need bodies and their brains were so evolved that they could control others. They needed other beings to serve them and entertain them. I can see how the writers arrived at the idea for this show, much as your post states – we are a more cerebral creature, not able to survive without our technology and our THINGS.

    When I was researching history for my books, I was so fascinated by the original North American inhabitants and how they lived off the land. In the evolutionary scheme of things, that was really only a couple hundred years ago and there are still tribes of people who live this way, today. If there is an apocalypse, THEY will be the survivors and will have to teach US how to live – and some folks think they are so primitive! They are smarter than all the rest of us put together!

    • Right on! That’s definitely what I was getting at:brains in jars served by whole people. Because they may be superior in intellect, but they can’t take care of themselves. If only we could take care of ourselves the way our ancestors did. It would be in the interest of our own survival if we learned “their ways” in addition to advancing technology. It is important to study the past because it gives us knowledge for the future. I think we have forgotten that notion of learning from our elders hundreds of years removed. We have people in developing nations that have those skills ready to show us how to live, and we ignore it. I hope I can learn just a little from these survival shows so I won’t be completely useless.

      • You could always become a Girl Scout leader! They learn a lot of camping skills that could be useful. I know I learned a lot when I was a ‘Brown Owl’ (Brownie leader) so I could take my daughter and her fellow Brownies camping.

      • Oooh sounds like a good idea. Although, I think that would conflict with my association with the Boy Scouts. My fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, is deeply rooted in the ideals of the Boy Scouts, so maybe I could learn from them. 🙂 Great advice, though, thank you!

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