Ponder this drone photo of “a flying human tethered to a monkey” ground drawing made over 1,000 years ago as reported by National Geographic and excerpted by the Daily Star:
1. Aren’t the geoglyph and its description pretty good expressions of our evolved condition? Especially since it’s the interpretation of people who lived more a millennium ago?
With so many information sources freely available now, though, one couldn’t successfully argue that the ancients understood the world better than we do. Our understanding comes from our “flying human” time and efforts, without which we’re as ignorant as our “monkey.”
2. A few aspects of the current comprehension of the differences between our two pictured primates are in Genetic imprinting, sleep, and parent-offspring conflict:
“I remain skeptical of a tendency to ascribe most modern woes to incongruence between our evolved nature and western cultural practices. We did not evolve to be happy or healthy but to leave genetic descendants, and an undue emphasis on mismatch risks conflating health and fitness [genetic rather than physical fitness].”
Our “flying human” can make happiness and health choices that our “monkey” can’t:
“Our genetic adaptations often try to fool us into doing things that enhance fitness at costs to our happiness.
Our genes do not care about us and we should have no compunction about fooling them to deliver benefits without serving their ends.
Contraception, to take one obvious example, allows those who choose childlessness to enjoy the pleasures of sexual activity without the fitness-enhancing risk of conception.”
3. Another aspect of our two primates’ differences is illuminated in a reference to A study of DNA methylation and age:
“Aging is not and cannot be programmed. Instead, aging is a continuation of developmental growth, driven by genetic pathways.
Genetic programs determine developmental growth and the onset of reproduction. When these programs are completed, they are not switched off.
Aging has no purpose (neither for individuals nor for group), no intention. Nature does not select for quasi-programs. It selects for robust developmental growth.”
The epigenetic clock theory of aging cited the same author, and modified his point to say:
Aging decisions are examples of our “flying human” making choices that aren’t available to our “monkey” concerning the structure, direction, and duration of our one precious life.