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Colonizing Apes

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posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 01:33 PM
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I have heard humans referred to as “colonizing apes”. Given some thought, if there's one proficiency we can chalk up to human kind, uniquely ours, surely it's the role of colonizer. No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes. We have culture to thank for that- whomsoever dreamed of a fur coat passed it on that way, just as the man who first filed a spear point. But then, culture is not uniquely human. It's found aplenty in the animal kingdom, and we've merely benefited from our particular aptitude as humans.

It was all luck of the draw. Some unhappy simian ventured away from his verdant little copse, because his food was growing scarce. He ambled tentatively out into a wide open space, the savannah, and the sun beat down on him. His stature presented a large surface area to the sunlight, and neither was his hirsutism a boon here. He could see for a greater distance, perhaps eying the fresh corpse of some small mammal, circled by vultures. Deprived of his old niche, he approached, and picked at the carrion. Finding it nourishing enough, he sought out more to sustain him. Along the way, he scrabbled in the dirt for seeds, grasses and roots. Now, this new environ required movement over greater distances than was his custom. His progeny lived as he did, but their locomotion began to change, subtly but surely. Those of his offspring that could travel farther and cool themselves more efficiently survived in greater numbers, and they sired offspring of their own. Some happy simians also found that carrying food over a great distance was a boon during food shortages. They could more readily feed their offspring in this way, and thus more survived by the accidental cunning nature afforded them.

In due time, through mutation, selection, and long periods of transition, we are left with a new sort of hominid. A hairless ape- standing upright, he presented a smaller surface area to the beating sun. Coupled with highly developed sweat glands, he was quite cool, relatively speaking. His legs were long, and when he walked he expended less energy than his cousins on four limbs. He could travel great distances without rest, unlike any other animal in his domain. He could see very far- he could see any potential predation, long before it saw him. He moved to his carrion quarry with ease, light on his feet, with deft hands to carry and divvy up sustenance among his offspring. Eventually, something prompted him to pursue live quarry. The chase was long and arduous, and he expended more energy, but the caloric reward was starkly compelling. Our happy hominid took up his own manner of predation.

From this point forward, the kernel of sapience had been sown. The progression to our present state is obvious and logical. With his hands totally freed up, our hominid would find himself utilizing ever more complex tools. With the tool use came greater cunning and intelligence. His peers and companions grew in number, and more coordinated hunting tactics were carried out, and intricate social rites were observed. He began to speak, slowly and haltingly at first. In time, he had an expansive lexicon at his disposal. A natural progression. Agriculture was discovered, and I'm sure you all know the rest of this tale.

___________

So, I ask you dear readers, at what point does the increased cunning of a colonizing ape dictate that he be called human, that he assume the mantle of preeminence? Is it when he becomes self-aware? Some animals are quite self-aware, and self-awareness is not some barrier that a creature suddenly breaks through. It comes in varying degrees, at various levels. And even then, at times I find myself questioning the self-awareness of humans. Many humans have a pathological aversion to looking at themselves objectively, detached from some petty ego hangup. I posit that true self-awareness is knowing oneself in the most objective possible sense; if you continue you tell yourself that you are a good painter, but a multitude of people tell you otherwise, you accept it as fact and move on. However, many (perhaps most) people cannot do this. They cannot force themselves to fully accept an obvious fault. Often times, they either lessen the gravity of the fault via psychological defense mechanisms, or they go so far as to berate themselves over a self-fabricated failure, while ignoring the real flaw (which is often less severe than the self-imposed shortcoming)! All to protect a predetermined view of oneself that we desperately cling to out of habit and fear of change.

In the same way, the colonizing ape bloats his self-importance, pumping himself up to inordinate degrees of grandiosity, neither earned nor warranted. And what's even more disquieting, is that the colonizing ape seems to be undergoing a downward trend in this regard. The petty ego is cultivated and encouraged among the social lumpen. The bleary-eyed masses seem less and less self-aware with every passing day. Perhaps by design, perhaps by their own doing.

So, perhaps it's not self-awareness that confers our preeminence, then. So, it must be logic. Logic and rationale, the cornerstone of Homo-Sapiens-Sapiens. Logic and rationale, the way we know that 2+2=4. As a defining feature of humanity, it would be the quality that allows us to spurn emotion in favor of clear understanding. The quality that encourages philosophy for every man, rather than the blind submission to another's worldview. The trait that emphasizes a transparent, organic governance and political structure. The trait that lets us see through the forked speech of populist demagogues. The thing that promotes humility, and the willingness to relearn things we once believed, but now know to be wrong. The thing that fosters a desire to learn from others, and heed the wisdom of better men. The simple distinction between fact and fiction.

Surely, surely our supreme logic sets us apart......

Or maybe there is a different reality, a reality that you may not like.

The reality that your lives are a depreciating commodity, handled and allocated by grasping apes with an intractable urge to colonize a planet that's already hyper-saturated, pushed to the brink by humanity.




posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 01:36 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc
I have heard humans referred to as “colonizing apes”. Given some thought, if there's one proficiency we can chalk up to human kind, uniquely ours, surely it's the role of colonizer. No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes.


Ants not only outnumber humans by a LARGE margin on the planet, they colonize and are on just about every continent in most environments.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

All I have to say to you, Talorc, is "Ooo Oooo"!


Hah, you are bemoaning the shortfalls of this genetic evolutionary mutation out of the ape kingdom. I can commiserate with your take on the human species, I must say a very eloquent and intelligent brief history of our evolution.

I'm still trusting the universe on this. There is a reason. The universe has invested a great deal of time and trouble in us and has tolerated us beyond any kind of patience relating to our destructive nature.

The evolving is not yet finished. I still think we are changing quite rapidly. We have blasted off as a species. I just hope that before it is too late our wisdom can match our abilities.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Enjoyable. Thanks for writing.

Put a human in the woods with a single chimp and see who survives the longest.

I suppose when homo sapiens became the only humans could they dictate that they be called human.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Talorc
I have heard humans referred to as “colonizing apes”. Given some thought, if there's one proficiency we can chalk up to human kind, uniquely ours, surely it's the role of colonizer. No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes.


Ants not only outnumber humans by a LARGE margin on the planet, they colonize and are on just about every continent in most environments.

Ants are incredible little creatures. They're a lot more like us in some ways, than we would care to admit, me thinks.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

This is VERY true. Ants wage warfare like humans and even enslave other ant colonies.
Battles among Ants Resemble Human Warfare



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 07:31 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

originally posted by: Talorc
I have heard humans referred to as “colonizing apes”. Given some thought, if there's one proficiency we can chalk up to human kind, uniquely ours, surely it's the role of colonizer. No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes.


Ants not only outnumber humans by a LARGE margin on the planet, they colonize and are on just about every continent in most environments.


Of course there are more of them. The smaller an organism, the higher it's natural carrying capacity in most cases. Ant colonies don't use near the same level of resources a person would. And they still don't have the range of habituation that humans have. Good colonizers, sure, but not quite on the same level.

If humans were faced with some invasive species that wreaked a similar sort of havoc as we do, we'd probably exterminate it. Since we are logical and self-aware, we would consciously mitigate our impact on the world, especially when it concerns our own survival in the long run. So why don't we, really? I mean, obviously we're going to look at ourselves in a different light, obviously we are far different to any other kind of animal. Except, that seems to me the mindset of an animal that isn't so exceptional after all. An animal that, after removing itself from the limits of nature, is unable to self-limit, or at least impose that mindset on a wide scale.

It's not the way people think. Humans are clearly exceptional, so exceptional that these kinds of questions aren't really asked, and when they are they're met with a lot of indignation.

I guess we'll see in the future how far our wisdom can really take us.
edit on 10-8-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: Talorc


No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes.

Orcas have a global habitat range just as we do.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: Talorc


Since we are logical and self-aware, we would consciously mitigate our impact on the world, especially when it concerns our own survival in the long run.

Do we?

Show us some evidence.



posted on Aug, 10 2015 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

The other apes have to stay near fruit, for the vitamin C. Primates can't make ascorbic acid in their bodies the way all other living things besides guinea pigs do every moment of the day. So this major genetic disease, which all primates share, dictates range and abode. Humans just learned how to domesticate crops while the other apes haven't.



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 03:59 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Talorc


No other creature inhabits every tract of greenery and desolation, from the Amazonian jungle to the Saharan and Antarctic wastes.

Orcas have a global habitat range just as we do.


Orcas can't live on land.


Do we?

Show us some evidence.


Show you some evidence of what? That we are logical and self-aware?
edit on 11-8-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: Talorc

Ant mega-colony takes over world


A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same inter-related colony, and will refuse to fight one another.
The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.


Seriously, ants are AMAZING creatures and VASTLY underestimated.



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: Talorc


Orcas can't live on land.

And we can't live in the sea. Your point?


Show you some evidence of what? That we are logical and self-aware?

No, that we take steps to mitigate the damage we do to the environment. By which I don't mean burying the problem in our neighbours' backyards.



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Klassified

This is VERY true. Ants wage warfare like humans and even enslave other ant colonies.
Battles among Ants Resemble Human Warfare


Wow...They are so much like humans....(eyes rolling) don't want you think I am agreeing on this gem....
edit on 8/11/2015 by Chrisfishenstein because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

I've no doubt. It'd be foolish to underestimate any critter on this planet.

But you know what sort of pisses me off? The fact that people will only read the first paragraph of what I wrote, scroll down to your post, give it a star, and say "Welp, the ants must disprove it. Thread debunked, on to the next". All the while, no other points are addressed besides what I've written in the very first paragraph. The "colonization" argument was only small part of it. As another person said, it was mainly about our evolutionary limitations.

This is no dig at you personally, rather a dig at the mediocrity and stupidity of people in general.

The Australopithicine offshoots are satisfied with themselves, I'm sure.



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Talorc


Orcas can't live on land.

And we can't live in the sea. Your point?


Show you some evidence of what? That we are logical and self-aware?

No, that we take steps to mitigate the damage we do to the environment. By which I don't mean burying the problem in our neighbours' backyards.


Ah, we both misunderstood each other then. My point was exactly that: we DON'T try to limit our impact on the environment. We're on a terrible path where that's concerned. For all our supposed logic and reason, we're incredibly short-sighted. The post was supposed to be a bit sarcastic.

As for living underwater, maybe not, but there are things like this:

en.m.wikipedia.org...

Technology has made us the ultimate colonizer.
edit on 11-8-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: Talorc

Well if it wasn't for my post, it would be something else. As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid."



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: Talorc

Well if it wasn't for my post, it would be something else. As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid."


Aint that the damn truth?



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc

originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Talorc


Orcas can't live on land.

And we can't live in the sea. Your point?


Show you some evidence of what? That we are logical and self-aware?

No, that we take steps to mitigate the damage we do to the environment. By which I don't mean burying the problem in our neighbours' backyards.


Ah, we both misunderstood each other then. My point was exactly that: we DON'T try to limit our impact on the environment. We're on a terrible path where that's concerned. For all our supposed logic and reason, we're incredibly short-sighted. The post was supposed to be a bit sarcastic.

As for living underwater, maybe not, but there are things like this:

en.m.wikipedia.org...

Technology has made us the ultimate colonizer.

We don't try to limit our impact on the environment? Where did you get that idea? We do limit it, but not as much as you want. Lots of environmentalist-minded think humans aren't doing enough.

And ya I like your point about us using technology to colonize. Astyanax said orcas were global or something, but that's missing the point. Your point was clear to me: Humans have used technology and their mind to live just about anywhere on the planet:
1 We live underwater in submarines for days/weeks/months--and travel there via scuba gear and other things
2 We live on the surface of the water in ships and docks and can swim on it too
3 We can live in the air for days/weeks in blimps and for almost indefinitely if an airplane is refueled
4 We can live underground in bases
5 We have bases on antarctica/etc
6 We of course live on dry land--as we have for millions of years

1 We don't need 8 legs like a spider to climb, we got climbing gear
2 We don't need wings like a bird, we got airplanes and blimps
3 We don't need fins and ability to breath water, we got submarines
4 We don't need DNA to do these things because we use technology

There're countless other examples. There're species of creature living underground because of special adaptions, yet we can go down there because we have the technology to do that. We can go to space. What other creature is building rockets and launching themselves into space?? We're living there now because we built the international space station! No other creature on Earth uses nature as extensively as we do to engage ourselves in new environments--or colonize as you term it.
edit on 11-8-2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 11 2015 @ 01:08 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc
a reply to: Krazysh0t

I've no doubt. It'd be foolish to underestimate any critter on this planet.

But you know what sort of pisses me off? The fact that people will only read the first paragraph of what I wrote, scroll down to your post, give it a star, and say "Welp, the ants must disprove it. Thread debunked, on to the next". All the while, no other points are addressed besides what I've written in the very first paragraph. The "colonization" argument was only small part of it. As another person said, it was mainly about our evolutionary limitations.

This is no dig at you personally, rather a dig at the mediocrity and stupidity of people in general.

The Australopithicine offshoots are satisfied with themselves, I'm sure.

So you got an opinion and you're mad some people might overlook it or miss it? Welcome to the club. Everybody experiences that. This is a forum and like all forums people read and post what they want. Your comment reminds me of how the magazines and newspapers get enraged when people make critical online comments about articles, reportedly expressing "dangerous" and "bigoted" ideas. I think they call it an information war and it's their duty to educate all of us. Welcome to the real world, I say. Just because something is on the news or on TV doesn't make it immediately credible and immune to scrutiny, nor will I believe it just because the president says it. The irony is these kinds of people who ridicule the internet, characterizing it as a wasteland of bigots and trolls and dangerous individuals, just want a simpler world where people praise them and follow their lead.

Ok, so I'll outline your OP:
1 Humans are the master colonizers, thanks to culture, although culture isn't uniquely human.
2 Humans emerged because of a lucky streak and evolution carried them to their present state
3 When does a simian deserve to be called a human?
3.a. Can it be self-awareness? No. Humans don't wnat to acknowledge their flaws.
3.b. Humans seem less self-aware by the day
4 A simian deserves to be called a human when it exhibits logic and rational thought
4.a. It's the simple distinction between fact and fiction
5 Maybe humans are a depreciating commodity, managed by other humans on a planet hyper-saturated increasingly in peril

Is that accurate? I don't claim it to be. I read the whole OP before I made my first comment, but I was unsure what your point was. After outlining it, I'm still confused. I guess you're saying our days are numbered because we're starving for room and logic dictates a lot of us will have to die.

I have faith in humanity and know there're many smarter and more capable and compassionate individuals than me. I'd gladly die if it was a quick and painless thing like showing up at a clinic for a simple quick injection. But needless to say if this is your angle on it then it won't be popular.
edit on 11-8-2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)



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