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We’re only human: But what does it imply?

As living, breathing, and thriving humans, we often believe a common pretense: we are the most superior form of life. Sometimes people refer to organisms, especially humans, as ‘perfectly designed’, but our aquatic ancestors had to twist and stretch and rework what they already had. You can’t get to the perfect solution for being a human from that fishy starting point! 

Read this humbling excerpt from Prosanta Chakrabarty’s latest release, Explaining Life Through Evolution to know more about the human origin!

Explaining Life Through Evolution Book Cover
Explaining Life Through Evolution||Prosanta Chakrabarty

“Your body is a disaster. I don’t care if you look like Padma Lakshmi or Michael Jordan. We are all hunks of water-logged flesh, hanging off of sticks of collagen and calcium, made up of teeming pockets of bacteria that are held together by strings of blood all covered in an oily skin bag. We are frail naked apes with giant lollipop heads with exposed and vulnerable dangly bits that are so ill-equipped for life that we get tired after standing up still for ten minutes.  

Why? Again, we are literally fish out of water. 

We are taught to think we humans are perfect: no less than the pinnacle of evolution. Hogwash. The only thing we got going for us are our big brains, and we use those brains just enough to think we are better than everything else and to build things to make us feel important but that will also destroy the planet and ultimately ourselves—time for some humility. 

It isn’t all bad. We do have the advantage of getting more oxygen directly from the air than from water (which has a lot less oxygen), but gas exchange is more difficult through lungs than with gills. But we mess that up too by using the same tubing for breathing as for feeding, and we have just a little piece of flappy tissue (the epiglottis) to keep food from going down the wrong pipe. And that never fails— (choke, choke) right.  I’d rather have the body of a crappie (the fish) than our crappy bodies. 

We can see in our bodies the evolutionary connections we have with more recent ancestors too. We still have the remnants of a tail (which is just an extension of the spine) as the coccyx; and we get goosebumps to raise non-existent fur on our bodies (which we lost in becoming ‘naked’ apes). Yes, we had hairy ancestors with tails, but no, not from monkeys. Unlike a common popular myth, we did not evolve from monkeys. We share a common ancestor with monkeys that led to both tailed monkeys and to the tail-less great apes (of which we are one).” 

Evolution isn’t as linear as we think it to be. If you’re keen to know about the complex history of evolution, and how we came to be, get your copy of Explaining Life Through Evolution now! 

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