Welcome to another post from Paul’s archives. Actually you get two posts for the price of one this week.. Whilst we consider ourselves to be the top of the food chain.. things might have been very different as you will see when you read the little extra revelation at the end of the first article today.
Last Man Standing by Paul Andruss
In Alice Roberts’ book ‘The Incredible Unlikeness of Being’ about how humans came to be, she says:
‘For most of history, Mankind thought himself the pinnacle of creation. Now he believes he is the ultimate purpose of evolution. Evolution has neither pinnacle nor purpose. We are simply one species on an extremely pruned branch of the great Tree of Life.’
What she means by being on a ‘pruned branch of the Tree of Life’ is that every human species that has ever existed, except for us (Homo Sapiens), is now extinct.
Around 40,000 years ago…
(A blink of an eye in evolutionary terms – modern humans have been around for about 200,000 years. Neanderthals were around for another 100,000 years before that)….
Around 40,000 years ago, there were at least another 5 unique human species on the planet with us (Homo Sapiens):
Neanderthals in Europe and the Middle East;
The Red Deer people in China;
Denisovans in Siberia;
Homo Floresiensis (the Hobbit people) of South East Asia;
And possibly revenants of Homo Erectus – a common ancestor to all the above human species, who existed for almost 2 million years.
In the short time it took Homo Sapiens to dominate the world, each of those human species went extinct. Perhaps we were responsible. Perhaps we were not. Who knows?
All that now remains with us on our pruned branch of the Tree of Life are: orang-utans, gorillas and chimpanzees.
We share around 96% of genes with chimps and look how we treat them. We experiment on them in laboratories and eat them as bush-meat.
If other species of humans were alive today would we use them as experimental subjects? Would we be civilised and put them into zoos?
It is a sobering to think how we might treat other species of human when we consider how we have treated our own species throughout history.
The way we are going, perhaps one day we will be the only species left on the whole damn Tree of Life, never mind our one pruned branch. And that’s if we’re lucky.
And as an added bonus.. we are also lucky in another respect…
Rats to you too.
With apologies to Beatrix Potter (Andruss)
Genetic analysis shows that the rodents (rats & mice) are the closest living relatives to the primates (monkeys and us). So next time just think on, but for an accident of evolution it could be them standing on a chair screaming while you scurry across the kitchen floor.
©Paul Andruss 2017
About Paul Andruss
Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.
Paul has written four novels, Finn Mac Cool, and the (Harry-Potteresque) Jack Hughes Trilogy. ‘Finn Mac Cool’ and ‘Thomas the Rhymer’ are available for free download
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You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/
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