The Evolved Ape
Ever since the dawn of history Man has regarded himself as the ultimate creation of God. Man has always seen himself to be above every other species that he shares the planet with. But moving from fiction to fact, Genetics reveal to us that Man is an amalgam of all the species on Earth. We share 10 percent of our genes with the humble Plants, 40 percent with the Frog, 60 percent with the Rat and 98.5 percent with the Chimpanzee-our closest living relative. Chimps, Bonobos (a sub-species of Chimpanzee) and Homo sapiens shared a common ancestor before the branch split leading to the Australopithecus that led to Humans, the Chimps and bonobos. Does this genetic resemblance have anything to do with the way we and our cousins behave? Anthropology reveals the answers we need! The uncanny similarity between the existence of prostitution and rape in the Chimp and our society is hard to dismiss.
Chips and our society share another important trait- Patriarchy. The Chimp society is highly male dominated where the alpha male calls the shots. Prostitution is also a common feature in the Chimp society where it manifests in the concept of meat for sex. The males also at times forcefully copulate with the females. The bonobo society surprisingly is quite different. It’s a society where the power ratio is equally distributed. In a bonobo society, disputes are settled by the acts of sex and not by fights. The bonobos can be regarded as the hippies. They are open to sexuality than we might think. When it comes to dominance it’s the females who call the shots. When a male tries to dominate a female, he is kicked out by the combined force of the female. The bonobos follow the phrase make love not war.
Clearly humans are more similar to the chimps. But if we want to call ourselves humans and as the most intelligent species on Earth then we have to embrace the truth that deep within we are still animals. The bonobos seem to be much more evolved than us when it comes to peace and sexuality. It’s time we break the ridicule blanket of patriarchy, hegemony, racial and gender discrimination and evolve into a species that can be really regarded as a race that follows the path of humanity rather than merely preaching it!
About the Author: This article is contributed by Zuber Ahamed, our Intern.