Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Necessity of Change

A lack of climate change could kill us. Or at least keep our descendants from evolving. Seriously.

I was in class at the uni today, and a random TA showed up to play us a video in lieu of the professor giving a lecture. There were three possible videos to watch, and the professor had neglected to tell the TA which we were supposed to see, so he asked the class. While most of my compatriots voted to watch "First Steps", the first listed title, I wanted to watch the last of the videos, entitled "Last Human Standing". Which documentary sounds more entertaining to you?

"First Steps" was about the earliest possible ancestors of the human species. One of the claims put forth by the video was that although apes were already walking upright 6 million years ago, their chimp-sized brains flat-lined for about 4 million years and never grew any bigger. That it, they didn't grow any bigger (or presumably more complex), and really didn't become more human-like until the climate in Africa grew incredibly unstable. Huge lakes developed, then dried, then developed and dried, then developed and dried again for about 200,000 years. And that was the catalyst that caused the monkey-men to start adapting and making stone tools and begin becoming more like normal people. Climate change did that. Climate change was responsible for the evolution of the human race. Without it, we'd still be swinging in the trees (albeit, standing upright) and eating ear wax. A steady climate can inhibit your evolutionary growth for four million years.

So I ask you now - does it really make sense to artificially make the climate more steady and thereby stunt our own evolutionary growth? No, I think not.


“Man is more ape than many of the apes." Friedrich Nietzsche


Bri said...

Haha, Last Human Standing definitely sounds more intriguing to me. Silly people.

Did your class talk about it at all and make the same conclusions about climate change?

art said...

Did climate change cause the IQ enhancement or was there another event that cause both the climate to change and the brains to change? Perhaps increased gamma radiation?

How loudly did you protest the video choice? Were you the only one who wanted to watch the 3rd video?