ARE WE REALLY THE MOST ADVANCED SPECIES?
Do you remember the movie? “Stop the world. I want to get off!” If I shut out all the news from my eyes and ears, I should be happy in this beautiful summer in the most beautiful country in the world. Ongoing civil war in Syria that already killed a few hundred thousand people, 300 girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airliner with 400 people on board, the ISIS take over of Northern Iraq, missing bodies of three murdered people in Alberta, another Malaysian Airliner shot down by Ukrainian rebels, and conflict between Hamas and Israel. It goes on and on. I want to get off. The worst thing is: we soon forget and move on to the next exciting tragedy.
Humans are the only species that kill each other by the thousands. Do you still think we are the most superior living organisms? Matthew White is a historian and loves to count numbers. He counted the number of people killed by fellow humans en mass in history. He published a book listing 100 worst mass killings in the known human history since 5th Century B.C.E.
The first goes to the Second World War that killed 66 million people in four years. (20 million soldiers and 46 million civilians including 6 million Jews) Next comes Chinggis Khan who killed 40 million people to conquer a large portion of Asia and Europe during the Thirteenth Century. Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin were both mass murderers, causing the deaths of 40 Million and 20 million respectively during their life time. Religious conflict kills too, big time. Crusade in three hundred years killed 3 million, and Thirty Years War between Catholics and Protestants during the Seventeenth Century killed 7.5 million.
Other animals kill each other too, but in the much smaller scale and never deliberately. They fight for food, sex, and territory. But they never fight like humans over differences in ideologies and theologies. We boast that we are superior being than other animals because we think on a higher level than basic biological level. Really?
Historian Arnold Toynbee thought bees and ants survive humans. Cockroaches had existed millions of years before dinosaurs and they are still with us. They may outlive us if we continue to be so stupid fighting each other over ideologies, territories, and religions.
July 20, 2014