Wired to devolve

The gestation period for an elephant is 22 months, apparently so it can get its brain right. I’ve been wondering about what we could do if we had 13 more months to grow some smarts: Reverse global warming, obliterate all disease, eradicate famine, put an end to war? Not likely on this last one.

I have seen too many nature shows, have known one too many baboons, and have been made to bear my own darker impulses all too often to believe that we humans are capable of transcending our baser selves–at least not without a lifetime of intentional struggle in that direction.

Everywhere we are in conflict with our brethren: in Afghanistan, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen. And, where we are not engaged in an active fight we are spoiling for one. Alas, we are hardwired to beat our chests and scratch our underarms. Afterall, we have babies to make and mouths to feed, and there’s just so much viable sperm and fresh kill to go around.

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