02: Butterfly Effect

What would have caused the evolution of Hominids ( first primitive human beings)?

5.5 billion years ago, what we now know as the Mediterranean Sea was a huge desert.

The natural dam at the western end of the deep basin gave away probably due to earthquakes. The torrential waters rushed in at a rate of 40,000 times greater than Niagara Falls, by this process turning a vast desert into the Mediterranean Sea.

Okay, Now let’s get into the intricacies…

Meanwhile, half a world away, a broad channel separated North and South America, allowing ocean currents to flow from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Tectonic forces gradually bought these continents together, thereby closing the channel and creating the isthmus of Panama. This reorganized the worldwide pattern of ocean currents which in turn affected the global climate.

As a result in Africa, the lush green canopy gave away to a sparser landscape. Some species that were highly specialized for life in the trees became extinct. But the generalists, the ones that could find a war to make a living, no matter life threw at them endured and evolved.

Our ancestors over the eons made new lives in the branches of the trees. They developed opposable thumbs and toes for swinging from branch to branch across the broad canopy of the trees tops where all their needs were fulfilled. They could also walk upright but only for short distances, with so many trees around, they didn’t have to go very far.

But then it got colder and the trees thinned out, broad grasslands sprang up and this made our ancestors forcibly to traverse in search of food.

Now you needed a totally different skill set to make it on the Savanna. In the old days, you could sit perched on your tree branch and watch the big cats from a safe distance. Now you were playing on the same dangerous field.

hominid

The survivors who evolved to walk great distances on their hind legs and to run when necessary. This changed the way they look at the world. With hands and arms no longer tied together. They were free to gather food and pick up sticks & bones.

 

01_Butchering-scene-Nairobi-National-Museum_ninara-CC-1-1076x807-1076x588

Just think of it, a change in the topography of a small piece of a land half a world away reroutes the ocean currents. Africa grows colder and drier. Most of the tree can’t withstand the new climate. The primates who lived in them had to seek other homes and before you know it they are using the tools to remake the planet.

The earth has shaped the course of human destiny.

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