Humanity on the march: Pity the Martian
- Greg Marinovich
- 13 Aug 2012 11:57 (South Africa)
In this moment of celestial celebration, I perhaps express a rather dark perception of human nature. The reason I don’t think our introduction to any extraterrestrial life form—intelligent or otherwise—will be to their benefit is that our history as a benevolent species is not great. We don’t need Lucifer, Shaytan or whoever to egg us on towards evil, all we have to do is relax a little and let our true nature run free. Before you send an exorcist to my door, consider that there is irrefutable proof of our unholy inheritance all around us, even without giving credence to the tale of Cain.
I know there are a handful of you out there who cling to the idea of Earth being divinely constructed in six days some 5,000 years ago, but most folk believe dinosaurs really did roam the planet and human evolution from our apish precursor cousins is a predetermined linear progression.
We’re all familiar with the T shirt: chimp to Boeremag prototype, right? It feeds into our sense of our “right” to be the dominant life form. The simplistic human story arc has our simian predecessors start catching and eating protein-rich animals, evolving language and figuring out to stand on our hind legs to spot danger or opportunity on the African savannah. And so we evolved through pre-humans like Homo erectus into our “final” manifestation as Homo sapiens. You know, the folk who conquered fire and then invented the soufflé and Viagra.
But then, back in Africa other pesky paleontologists recently found another African skeleton with a flat faced skull that matches a single find from the 1970s called Homo rudolfensis. (They knew his name was Rudie?) Seems this is a parallel species of human (I use this loosely) from some 2-million years ago that is outside of our lineage. And of course we had Homo habilis from the same era. So there were three lines of pre-humans existing simultaneously in Africa. At least.
So the almost deific—and heroic—story of our evolution has been dealt a mortal blow. Maybe we are just a completely random event, with a cruelly intelligent bent that enabled us to survive.
And then there are the Euro quasi humans, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. The Neanderthals seems to have been an annoying glitch, an evolutionary dead-end that our ancestors might or might not have shagged. Talk about coyote escape tactics from the lust cave the morning after! Actually, some scientists say Neanderthals were red headed and pale skinned, so quite possibly they looked a little like those cute Scots lasses.
And they disappeared rather suddenly, last seen sunbathing outside a cave on the Iberian Riviera some 28,000 years ago.
More recently, scientists made a discovery in a collapsed Siberian cave, and suddenly there was another extinct European species or sub-species they call Denisovans.
Sadly, they managed to extract DNA samples from both of these human-ish things, and it seems that, yes, we did indeed sleep with both these species, their genes are intermingled with ours. Eurotrash takes on a whole new meaning here. But boys will be boys, hey?
Yet they disappeared. Were they badly adapted to the environment? Did they fail to deal with climactic changes? They couldn’t come up with a decent bride price? Perhaps, but I doubt it. I think they and good old rudolfensis and erectus and whoever else we dig up out there fell foul of our own fine species, Homo sapiens.
I think we called them makwerakwera or Hottentots, and whacked them; killed them off. Just like the poor Neanderthals who fled our human propensity to rape, pillage and enslave, until all they had left was a little redoubt at the southern tip of Europe. You see where I am going with this; why we have to keep inventing devils and demons and the like to blame for what is intrinsically us?
Pity those poor innocent Martians, should they ever have to deal with us face to face, however fearsome they figure themselves. DM
- Marikana: When comrades clash, it is the truth that suffers
- Marikana Commission: When ‘warning shots’ kill and wound
- Marikana massacre: The first of Lonmin’s voices are heard
- Marikana Commission: All for naught?
- Marikana Commission: Man and his truth – a story of the policeman who was not afraid
- Will Marikana’s Mr X be a game changer?
- Rape as spectacle, rape as genocide: Notes from Rwanda, 1995
- In photos: The prison of the Rwandan Génocidaires
- The Shell House Massacre: Another piece of the bloody puzzle emerges
- The Truth Elusive: Shell House massacre, 20 years later
- Farlam Commission: More Marikana massacre secrets and lies
- Marikana Commission: The long game reveals itself
- The law, poker and service delivery protests: Up close with Charles Nesson, Messianic US lawman
- Molhem Barakat: Death of a teenage lensman raises ethical concerns of war photography
- Makgabeng: Limpopo's ancient protest art
- Marikana, one year later: the hell above and below ground
- The truth, endangered: Miners' representatives withdraw from Farlam Commission
- As Farlam returns, the truth about the massacre remains a distant, perhaps impossible goal
- Africa’s photojournalists: The wars are not over
- Mandela & me: A journey of uncertainty and perception in the shadow of a legend
- NUM, AMCU, Marikana: ‘Tis the Season to be Bloody
- Thank you, Guptas
- Conflict of Interest, Inc: Mining unions' leaders were representing their members while in corporations' pay
- Chechnya, a story written in blood and tears
- Marikana Commission: Under oath, Phiyega’s bald-faced lie exposed
- A new week, a new town, a new police brutality video
- Marikana aftermath: As the Commission plays on, there's still no equality before the law
- Truth & lies: The saga of the Marikana massacre continues
- Bucket toilets: The lingering shame of Mangaung
- Sebokeng: The lessons of 1984
- Marikana: A cover-up for all to see
- Marikana: Police torturing their way to intimidation
- War: Cosatu vs Amplats strikers. Battlefield: Rustenburg.
- 25 October 2012: A day of reckoning at Marikana
- Alf Kumalo, Alfie, Bra Alf; an appreciation
- Marikana: After wave of arrests, miners to return to strike
- Friendship forged in the depths of the earth and strengthened by the horror of Marikana
- Marikana murders: The world now believes
- The murder fields of Marikana. The cold murder fields of Marikana.
- Marikana's Small Koppie: 14 dead, 300 metres away from Wonderkop. Why?
- Marikana: The investigation's integrity compromised as Small Koppie's crime scene defaced
- Marikana: Tide is turning against police as miners lay charge of torture
- Far away from murder fields of Marikana, a funeral
- Reporter's notebook: Wonderkop, Marikana, Friday 17th
- Beyond the chaos at Marikana: The search for the real issues
- Humanity on the march: Pity the Martian
- The slippery slope of the appliance militia
- Calligraffiti: eL Seed of an idea
- Love, sex and the fear of a small woman, Zanele Muholi
- TedxMogadishu and its spiritual predecessor, Elman the Electrician
- War photographer extraordinaire, departed
- Of family & the new iPad
- Joseph Kony, the world's Monster-in-Chief
- Journalists and conflict, a reflection
- My friend, Joao Silva, the best war photographer in the world