The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Stone Age Chimps Offer Humans New Opportunity

Science fiction is full of stories of the benevolent advanced species who helps guide a much more primitive people to a better understanding of their universe. These advanced species put their primitive counterparts on a path that advances them in their evolutionary struggles. Well, science has provided us, we humans, with the opportunity to become that advanced and benevolent species ourselves. It seems African chimps with stone resources readily available to them have entered a stone age all their own. It's pretty simple tool use at this point, rock hammers for pounding open tough nuts, but it's a start.

The question is, could we bring ourselves to be concerned enough about another species to actually provide such help. Or, are we more primitive than we like to think? Will we remain mired in our own arguments, feuds, and turf wars and not be inclined to help? Or, will we be so greedy for land and resources, that we will drive yet another thinking species into extinction, as we have done before. The choice is ours. I hope we'll follow the science fiction path. I hope we'll be more successful at it than the monolith seeding aliens of 2001: A Space Odyssey whose advanced knowledge led the early humans to use those bones as clubs to kill off a particularly irritating rival for a water source. While the monolith technology is beyond us, the ability to help is not. Although, we would have to violate that Star Trek Prime Directive to do so. I wonder if we will?

For one of many articles on this subject of tool using chimps, see: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150818-chimps-living-in-the-stone-age

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