Thursday, March 16, 2006

Scientists Prove Humans Aren't So Smart!

Your pseudo-science librarian here has uncovered a host of pseudo-science factoids that just go to show! All the time we thought humans were the apex of some godly plan or else evolution's goal, right? Well, it turns out that's just wrong-oh, sweet pea!

The reason humans have covered the face of the earth has nothing at all to do with opposable thumbs (chimps have those on their feet, doggone it!), and nothing to do with speech, tool-use, or better brains (I don't know about you, but you can't prove I'm any smarter than the cat -- I think he has it all rigged). It's just a matter that we taste so darned bad that predators will only eat humans if they run out of other, tastier prey, tofu and dirt. And so, like rabbits in Australia, we just out-reproduce everything else. (how humiliating)

Here are some facts to back up your pseudo-science librarian's bold pseudo-science pronouncements:

BBC Tiger facts
including this:

More than other big cats, tigers have a reputation as man-eaters. In truth, it is rare for a tiger to attack people. It is normally old or injured tigers who are the culprits, as they are less able to catch their usual prey.

BBC wildfacts

Your pseudoscience librarian then turned to the indubitable fact that in modern times, in developed countries, at least, people die far less often of bacterial diseases than ever before. People nowadays can hardly imagine the death toll with which our ancestors lived. Many people did not name children until the child reached 4 or 5 years of age -- it was not worth the heart-break. Walk through old graveyards -- burying grounds as we call them up here around Boston, and read the stones -- people were really fixated on death and mortality. And with good reason. They died pretty young, and their friends and family did, too. Take a look at a very enlightening talk given at Old Sturbridge Village, an historical reenactment site in western Massachusetts, explaining the demographics of the 1800's in America:


Your pseudoscience librarian put that together with this, from the famed primate researcher, Frans B. M. De Waal, Bonobo Sex and Society - The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution , Originally published in the March 1995 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, pp. 82-88,

Another [bonobo] similarity with humans is increased female sexual receptivity. ... a much longer part of estrus in bonobos than in chimpanzees. Instead of a few days out of her cycle, the female bonobo is almost continuously sexually attractive and active.

at Bonobos

So, you can see, the facts that:

* we taste too bad to be preyed upon regularly;

* have made medical advances getting rid of many bacterial killers that used to mow through our numbers, and;

* breed like, well, rabbits,

have more to do with our lordship over the earth than any plan of the Almighty or evolutionary advantages.

Nominate me for an Ignobel Prize, somebody, before they burn me at the stake.

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