One of the most fascinating things to me about this documentary, hands down, has to be the touching on mans reaction to the discovery of their humble number of genes. In every talk about human evolution, or any talk of evolution for that matter, it BECOMES a talk about human evolution whether it had anything to do with ‘us’ or not. (skeptics being the more common perpetrator of this subject’s derailing.) But human pride seems to seep even into the most scientific environments of study. Man is far too complex simply out of observation, but once studied, it was found we only had 23,000 genes. Comparing ourselves to CORN and CHICKENS is an even more laughable ‘crime’ of this particular documentary. Shouldn’t it be admired that this marvel is a truth? Shouldn’t we be astounded in a more positive way that our complexity is far more simple than we imagined? Everything about us has to be ASTOUNDING. Whether it be that we were once thought by the most intelligent of scholars to be the only creatures with souls made by an omnipotent power, or even said to not be MAMMALS by modern believers of the christian faith? Are we really all that special? Not at all. Now, those are more petty stabs at a single groups expense, but this behavior is seen in all man- now and in the past. Our grandeur.. our superiority of existence even influences the modern speculation of how many genes we might have had. While this certainly is NOT the reason for the educated guess of our genes, knowing that the people who worked to find that number had observed without a bias eye, it still seems evident that they looked upon mankind with the pre-notion that we are BETTER than the rest of earth’s life.. when we are no better or more important to the universe itself than any foul is. We should be proud of our existence, but more humble than we are now in our comparison to the rest of what we know to exist. Our magnitude of self-glory as a species is wonderful, but also laughable in its application and effect on what we believe…. or refuse to believe.
While this isn’t much of a reflection on Darwin and evolution as it is a poke at humans themselves, I couldn’t help but feel pushed to go on about this subject. Darwin and his ideas fascinate me beyond belief, and I regret not writing something a little more educated about that… but I can’t help myself from poking at a tiny thing like that. Hearing anyone argue that they aren’t a member of the rest of their evolutionary ancestry only becomes more of a joke now that mankind has all this information about us and our species at it’s fingertips. While we are magnificent animals, we are still just one of many. Although we may be a magnificent creature capable of things no other animal can do, we are replaceable. As a product of evolution, we should know better than to think we are the only creature that will ever be ‘human’. I do agree, however, that we are special for now.