The Adaptable Ape

By Robert K. Stephen

(TORONTO, ON) – Not being an anthropologist like host Niobe Thompson, at moments I get a bit lost and overwhelmed by the facts being thrown my way. But, I can focus on what I see as the message.

The message is that Homo Sapiens were terrifically adaptable as a species, so much so that they flourish today in all environments.

Given their recent behaviour, may I say, rather like cockroaches?

Nature of Things Do you think you have no connection with some tribe in Papua New Guinea or in the Russian Arctic? Well, I hate to break it to you, but we all originated as Homo Sapiens in Africa and escaped that harsh and unforgiving environment to survive and thrive in all different climates.

We Homo Sapiens are remarkable and we are all interrelated.

Isn’t it so sad that the Boko Boys, and assorted fanatics, have rather ruined our commonality?

Niobe may lose most of us non-anthropologists in his dialogue, but his point certainly is not lost in this, his second instalment in the Great Human Odyssey series, running on CBC’s Nature of Things.

Niobe’s premise is that we modern day Homo Sapiens escaped from Africa to populate the globe, following a trail of food and water.

It would seem that Homo Sapiens being trapped in Africa managed to take advantage of climate change and made a run for Europe, where things were good. Then, within 10 years, a terrible ice age hit. But, Homo Sapiens survived and thrived.

Herders in the Russian arctic and natives in Papua New Guinea managed to endure in their respective diverse environments, and African-based Homo Sapiens managed to survive in tropical conditions.

Adaptability makes us the most successful species yet.

Imagine we are but a species and with our behaviour and religious and political fanaticism we still survive. Query though, with nut-balls in North Korea, heinous corrupt villains in Russia molesting  Ukraine, and fanatical be-headers and executioners by fire, how much longer we can survive?

It would seem, as Homo Sapiens, perhaps forever.

Sapiens means wise. Is this worthy of further commentary?

(The Adaptable Ape (Part Two of CBC’s The Nature of Things, The Great Human Odyssey) 19 February 2015 at 8:00 pm)

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."Email Robert Stephen
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