Monkey See, Darwin Do
Science Daily thought so. In an article adorned by a picture of macaques enjoying a hot spring, the title read, “Primate Culture Is Just A Stone’s Throw Away From Human Evolution, Study Finds.”
The studious studiers were researchers at the Primate Research Center in Kyoto, Japan. They discovered what children already know: monkey see, monkey do. Lo and behold, the macaques learned a new behavior: stone-throwing. This behavior was learned and passed on to the young. The researchers looked beyond the stone-handling behavior of macaques and saw great achievements in science and literature just a stone’s throw ahead. Keep the funding coming, because “Research on such transformation may shed light on the evolution of stone-tool use in early hominids” – our ancestors.
Cave painting came next on the evolutionary timeline: the transition to a real human consciousness. EurekAlert reported on a new book by anthropologist David Whitley, Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit. By common agreement, the earliest cave paintings in France and Spain were already masterpieces. “To grasp what drove these ancient artists to create these masterpieces, and to understand the origin of myth and religion, as Whitley explains, is to appreciate what makes us human.” There’s some controversy over whether the first religion was shamanistic or not, but no controversy in the article about whether religion evolved.
By the time recordkeeping evolved (see PNAS), the human brain had evolved ways to expand its memory indefinitely. Human civilization came to full fruition. We had an IRS.
Thought you needed a good belly laugh for the day. Laugh harder by realizing they really believe this stuff. You’re a glorified macaque, especially if you like sitting in a hot spring. Or eating. It’s obvious – similarities prove we all had monkey ancestors, and they had ancestors all the way bacteria. Teary, it’s so backward.
Speaking of cave paintings, here’s a book you should read on the subject that makes a lot more sense: The Cave Painting: A Parable of Science by Roddy Bullock. It tells a fanciful tale that is all too true: a scientific establishment forcing its naturalistic worldview down the ear canals of students with utter disregard for the obvious.