The discovery of primate ancestors of mass up to 1.5 kilograms contemporary to dinosaurs was just announced. Our primate ethology is old, and made ready to handle big, ferocious things.
A few lapidary answers to some recent comments.
Brodix, in an impressive conceptual salad, brandished Good and Bad. Are God and Evil relative or absolute? The answer is both.
Is Bad good because without bad there would not be good, and that would be bad? This is an old quandary, often used cynically by various brutes throughout history.
The oldest process is the fight for resources, as Putin pointed out yesterday, adding that is why Russia will be alright in the future, as the fight for resources will intensify, and Russia is resource-rich (so my dictatorship is OK).
Clearly Mr. Brodix is no physicist (Brodix believes “all the colors of the spectrum are between black and white”… whereas the colors are between ultraviolet and infrared…or deep red and deep violet).
However, Brodix touched on deep stuff. Brodix pondered where do things start, where do they end? And suggested that “Form is the apex of that process.”
Believe it or not, Quantum Physics is in the process of answering a lot of this, it turns out, using non-locality, and entanglement. The Tunnel Effect means things do not start, or end, as we thought. And so on.
“Form” is indeed what drives Quantum processes. And the Quantum is certainly a driver of the sort of evolution Lamarck envisioned (no screaming: this is state of the art research…).
The fundamental property of life is adaptation.
Human ethology is also, like Baboon ethology, absolute. Morality, ultimately, is codified ethology, so morality, good and bad, are also absolute.
Another commenter, Brandholm “would consider us closer to super-Bonobos than super-Baboons. Regardless, I have a question regarding your claim that ancient Greeks didn’t know of them.”
The Greeks knew about baboons, indeed. They also learned mathematics from the Egyptians, including some theorems which now bear Greek names. However, no Greek school of philosophy took baboons as models for humans. I do. But well, I’m not Greek.
My point: Homo is a super-baboon because both species evolved in the same environment, and found the same neurological, and thus ethological, solutions.
There were giant baboons, and they came early on the the Homo Erectus extermination list, as they competed for the same resources.
It’s fashionable to laud Bonobos. Bonobos are the modern version of the good savage of Rousseau. A figment of the politically correct imagination.
However, it’s fashionable to admire what one does not know. Bonobos live south of the Congo River, in the deep, tall forest, in a gentle environment, free of lions, hyenas, gorillas, chimpanzees. Bonobos have few enemies: leopards fear them, and humans are few. They eat the world’s largest fruits, some of them fifty pounds or more. Bonobos have plenty of sex in captivity, and females are large and dominant. So cheap lovers of love proclaimed Bonobos to be lovers, and ideal primates.
Yet, it turns out, Bonobos still kill each other. However, not doing it with as much enthusiasm as normal chimps do, Bonobos could never compete with normal chimps, let alone kill the occasional lion (some chimpanzee races are called “lion killers”).
Normal chimps have evolved in a very competitive, lethal environment. I saw one once, in the savannah park, miles from any serious forest, where plenty of lions roam. He went up a ridiculously small tree, looking very threatening and hyper energetic. Then he ran off. How could that be, miles from any forest? Well, lions are not stupid: they avoid dangerous prey (they will generally leave if human children walk towards them, as I personally experienced).
Baboons roam the savannah, far from any forest. They are very much like human in a crucial way: to survive in the savannah, they are born soldiers. They form armies, they get militarily organized, with lethal discipline, they have fierce leaders. And they are experts of terror and make-belief: they depend upon both to drink everyday.
Predators fear baboons: although they sometimes sneak on them at night, they typically flee when a large baboon troop is on the move towards water. As baboons need to drink, nothing stop them. And their terror tactics are astounding. They also throw stones (from below, and that gave me some advantage, in mock fighting; yes, they are playful).
The quandary of the Baboon condition is that they need lethality, organized mass violence and terror, so that they can express the love that allows them to survive. No species does this to this extent, but for man.
If you want to understand, and, thus, predict, the Islamist State, you have to understand baboons.
Double entendre meant, of course! Differently from Sony pictures, which does not dare risk satire with the North Korean nuclear dictator, crazed baboons don’t scare me. Making scathing fun of the North Korean dictator is not just a question of freedom of speech, or thought. It is a question of survival.
North Korean goons have often threatened even pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
“If the U.S. imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival … our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon — the sources of all evil,” Hwang Pyong-So, the director of the North Korean military’s General Political Bureau, said in a televised speech 28 July 2014, according to Agence France-Presse.
Charlie Chaplin made a satire of Hitler. It was not enough to wake-up the supine public opinion of the USA. But it helped.
From lack of satire, few in the USA know that their country is threatened by one of the most grotesque dictators in history, a crazed baboon who, Constantine-like, killed a large part of his family (and even his main sponsor).
Satire is not just about what we know for sure, it is also about what could very well be. Obama correctly irate, pointed out that: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States.”
The Baboons’ main weapons are make-belief, and terrorization. They are experts at moving an entire front of trees (by jumping on branches, hidden by leaves), or at looking completely crazed, and as if inflecting a terrible bite was the only thing in the universe which mattered to them, due to their astronomical hatred and derangement of all senses.
These extreme behaviors are actually careful computations. How do I know this? I have played with wild baboons who engaged in parodic versions of the more serious, really crazed stuff.