Saturday, May 12, 2007

Are we going to genetically cook up a more advanced chimp?

They found chimps living like early humans, somewhere in Senegal. By the looks of it they are more similar to mankind than all other chimps, even the Bonobos, and gorillas, our closest living cousins. They use spears, and they dwell in caves. They are not the jungle type chimps, but the savanna type.

What do these chimps in Senegal constitute: the last remnant of primate evolution? Can there be such a thing, by the way? Or are they the first glimpse of the re-invention of mankind? And then, whose re-invention? Ours perhaps?

Because indeed, we could look at these chimps as an opportunity to push re-evolution. To perhaps create a versatile new type of human being which could make the life of ‘real’ humans even more pleasurable. We could create a new order of slaves.

How does this prospect strike you? Ugly? Well of course, it is the greatest outrage. Nevertheless, consider the question.

I think the answer will be that we might do one thing or the other, but in neither case we will really know what we are doing. Leaving the chimps as they are, or pushing their stock a little faster through the evolution chain.

What would our criteria be? How would we like to see this chimp evolve? Think of it. What you are really asking is which selective advantage your wish to grant to the chimp above all other advantages. In what way would you like to see a male chimp be more successful than an other? That is the basic issue..

We could first of all study the current habits of this particular group of chimps. Let’s see what characteristic in their group is a sure added chance for survival.

This is how you build up the more ideal new kind of humanity. It takes a long time. Because it is not simply a matter of one single advantage but of a multitude – mix – of advantages. And over time these can change according to circumstance: adversity and opportunity.

We should take this to account as and when we wish this chimp group to evolve in any direction whatsoever. I think it should lead us not to tinker with evolution altogether in any pre-masterminded way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo Theo, van Bloggerland naar de Volkstuinen, een leuke reis. Interessante stukken, tot een volgend keer.

12:38 PM  

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