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The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond
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Tokreads cole mcdowell
the third chimpanzee is the book that i was reading over summer. this book i felt was a large collection of numerous topics that all in one way or another fell under humanity. i found it incredibly interesting to read, it posed certain questions on what were the key ingredients for our successes and our inevitable failure? jared diamond in this novel discusses how we homo sapiens (the third chimpanzee) although sharing 98% of our DNA with our chimp brothers we have reached unprecedented heights in such things as art, religion, philosophy etc. unlike other apes the third chimpanzee has managed to evolve to new heights. jared diamond in this book was able to take me on a step by step journey into the reasons for our successes and what he believes to be our failures. what i found to be incredibly interesting about this book was how it changed my perception on evolution and how i have originally thought of how evolution happens. for example such things like promiscuity and monogamy are indeed examples of natural selection in his words and shown to have positive benefits on us as a species when we are slightly promiscuous but maintain monogamous relationships. also aspects like menopause and old age all factors of natural selection. diamond states that the reasons for why we do not have exceptional traits in one aspect of our beings e.g. longer stamina, longer lifespans, continuous fertility. all have to do with how he puts it "we do not gain certain traits, instead natural selection chooses the best combination that would suit the species in the best possible way.
diamond also looks into the negative aspects of our humanity, such as with drugs and genocide. in the realm of genocide diamond explains that it has been a constant thing even in nature for the arriving group to eliminate the existing group in order to ensure no competition. he looks at this through goodalls observations of chimp behavior when faced by a rival group and the systematic killing of these chimps. in this way diamond is able to highlight that although we as humans have come to reach such heights we still retain a very carnal animalistic activity such in the way of genocide. therefore through diamonds analyses of humanity, i have been able to see how humans transformed from just another large animal to reach such pinnacles in history, and how also we have the potential now to reach total and utter failure in his view on wars and new weapons.
a great read for someone wishing to gain insight into a wide range of things we take for granted about humanity and also to understand the reasons of why we are what we are and how we can possibly change evolution in order to reach higher aspirations than our negatively animalistic tendencies.


message 2: by Tokreads (last edited Aug 16, 2011 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tokreads Housam Silim


The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal by Jared Diamond is a novel discussing the evolutionary pattern, and relevance of the human species. Part One in specific, details the genetic closeness and taxonomical disputes between humans, apes and other primates, investigating the relevance of this in an evolutionary lens.
The name “Third Chimpanzee” is explicit, in that Jared Diamond purposely tries to alter perceptions about our relations with other apes, noting that 99.9% of chimp genes are identical to With relation to pygmy chimpanzees, and common chimpanzees, such similar genetic material between humans and the latter would imply that humans are chimpanzees ourselves in effect. Consider that a lot the genetic material unique humans and chimps is already DNA junk, in that it is not expressed phenotypically. This further reaffirms Diamond’s perspective that mankind is infact closely linked to chimps. Immediately, questions on how mankind differed so greatly from our cousins chimpanzees, are raised as easily discernible characteristics such as walking upright, slightly protruding chin, increased brain size and minimal body hair are noticeable. What was extremely interesting was his comparison to dogs and how different breeds look as different as humans do with other apes, yet they still share enough in common to breed and communicate successfully. Jared Diamond further implies the minor differences irrelevance between species through a chronological evolutionary timeline from the first common ape ancestor. He mentions how orangutans and gibbons initially veered off from this common ancestor, then gorillas and then chimpanzees in relation to our evolutionary timeline.
One of the issues is how he asserts that mankind is in fact a “third chimpanzee” discussing how “DNA clocks” and DNA hybridization help assert his theory. DNA clocks use the time diverged between two unknown fossil records times the percentage DNA difference of two known species (same as unknown fossil record however time not known) to determine a date of divergence. Jared Diamond knows that not all evolutionary scientists, dichotomists, and taxonomists agree on this method and which would potentially show that human relations to chimps are even closer than initially thought. Two possible explanations are possible: either that there is a confirmation bias from Jared Diamond since there isn’t enough data to support his theory, however there is relatively scarce theoretical support.. The other one is that the theory may not correspond with the status quo on evolutionary anthropology, prompting Diamond to advocate further support and search for evidence.
Such genetic closeness is also expressed in Jared Diamonds choice of language, noting that there are three kinds of homos (a genus) being Homo sapiens (humans), Homo paniscus (pygmy chimpanzees) and Homo Troglodytes (The common chimpanzee). This use of language is an affirmation of a genetic bond between those animals, and its neglection is lamented when various unethical practices of the other to “homos” are considered. Such ethical misdeeds include the testing of chimps for human medicines, and the extraction of chimps from zoos for human viewing pleasure. If mankind does share some sort of kinship with these animals, than isn’t unethical treatment equivalent to slavery and Nazi experiments on Jews?
My personal response was mixed after reading this as my personal knowledge of chimpanzees and apes would cite as behavioural differences as a more prominent factor, and the lack of interaction between homo sapiens and the other chimp species. This does not justify animal abuse, but it does assert that cultural diversity and uniqueness as a vital component that defines man as opposed to animals. I did, however sympathize that chimps biology, and similarities would lead to similar behavioural similarites, deeming abuse of them unethical.
The second chapter discusses how modern human came to be. Tracing the first two australopithecines, as crucial in anatomical sense. However the “Great Leap” was preceded by a smaller leap, where Homo Habilis began utilizing crude simples tools, such as stones to help eat small food. As the fully upright Homo erectus appeared the tools were still crude, and only small game and plants were being consumed. He goes into the emergence and disappearance of the Neanderthals in Europe, whos behaviour and features were similar, but much more protruding and muscular. Finishing off with Cro-Magnon he notes how these ancestors of ours were similar to us and were equally intellectually capable however lacked the societal achievements that we have now. This is relevant now as many societies up until this century lived with similar and equal technology to the Cro-Magnon. This shows how cultural progression was the actual “Great Leap Forward” that wasn’t just the façade of the “noble savage” a.k.a. hunter - gatherer touted by many anthropologists.
My response to this was divided, one hand Jared Diamond lost me in what his exact point was as he may in fact contradict himself by asserting cultural development as more important than DNA. I agree with him that cultural development was the turning point for mankind, and I do maintain that has separated us from other similar species. Basic instruments he mentions such as language, are immensely important for the human species that helped us achieve our cultural identity, but not necessarily complexity. Humans are animals, in that they are adapting to their environment, however humans are unique in that they manipulate their environment through tool building, and agriculture, and even religion found in every culture, albeit at different degrees. This dynamic, or conflict, between our evolutionary reality and our cultural identity in this book is very interesting, but fails to acknowledge the more personal sense of the human condition that philosophers such as Hobbes and Rousseau labored over. I would say that these theories were to change perception, but were as subjective as the status quo Jared Diamond seems keen on rebelling against. This read, in that, light would be illuminating for anyone interested in sociological, and anthropological subjects.


Tokreads Henry Lynam
The Third Chimpanzee is an interesting perspective on the origins of modern man. Jared Diamond explores ideas and theories of human origin and to what extent humans are related to other apes. These not only include the chimpanzee and gorilla, but also extinct species such as Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Australopithecus africanus, and the Neanderthal.
Diamond questions our ethical stance concerning the treatment of other species. Generally speaking, humans would not classify other species as equal. People tend to justify the mistreatment of animals with the mindset that, “We are human and they are animals.” For example, we draw the line between murder and killing by saying a human death is murder, while it would be killing for an animal. The same goes for eating and cannibalism. I admire this stance because, in our society, animals are subjected to Diamond has a very good point: If the chimpanzee shares 98% of DNA with humans, why is it acceptable to put them in exhibits, to test drugs on them, and not with humans?
I was also very interested in the origins of our species. We occupied the Earth at the same time as Neanderthals. The Neanderthals went extinct, while we managed to survive, despite the fact that the Neanderthals had larger brains than us. In fact, the Neanderthals were also stronger than us. How were the Neanderthals wiped out?
According to Diamond, Cro-Magnons were a part of the cause for their extinction, while the majority of other sources seem to think that the Neanderthal died out because of environmental changes. Are there any people today who share the same genes as Neanderthals? Neanderthals were anatomically very similar to Cro-Magnons, so there may have been a chance that the two had offspring.
Finally, Diamond theorizes reasons that we survived rather than the Neanderthals. He states that it must have been due to spoken language and innovation. The ability to plan would have been crucial for the Cro-Magnons to hunt. Diamond believes that we might be a part of the destruction of all life on Earth. This fairly depressing view may not be far from the truth. No other species has the means to end all life on Earth like humans do now. Our innovation might ultimately lead to our destruction. In my personal opinion, I think there will be a lot to worry about in the future. Humans are extremely inefficient at being sustainable. In the end, what was initially our key to survival will lead to our destruction.


Tokreads Arno Tuts

The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond, is a very intriguing book about the evolution and future of the human animal. It introduces and tries to give explanations to many different aspects of human evolution and future that have troubled people over and over again. The book is very engaging towards the reader because of the manner in which the book challenges the reader to really think. The book presents various questions along with the author’s thoughts on the possible answers to these questions. This technique encourages the reader to analyze the author’s ideas and decide what his/her own conclusions are. This makes this book more than just a book to read, it makes it a book to really think about.
The prologue and the first part of this book introduce the first issues and questions about human evolution and specifically studies the origins of humans with regards to fossil bones, preserved tools, and molecular biology. The book directly introduces the real issue behind the mystery of the full evolution of the human race in the first few sentences. This issue is the contradiction between the immense differences between humans and animals and the fact that humans are surely a species of big mammal, down to the minutest details of a human’s anatomy and molecules. This expresses the false nature of the category called “animals” in which we separate humans from all other types of similar organisms. It is very interesting to realize that although there are many positive unique characteristics that make humans different from other organisms, there are also many unique darker human behaviors that could be hugely significant to the survival of life on earth. It is unpleasant to acknowledge that the very characteristics that make humans so unique might very well be the cause of the destruction of the human race as well as all other species on earth.
It was fascinating to learn that 98% of our genetic program is shared with the two chimps on earth today. Even more fascinating is that the overall genetic distance between chimps and us is even smaller than that of the red-eyed and white-eyed vireos. This brings up the question of why humans have developed so much and other animals haven’t. Diamond concludes that there must be key ingredients in the 2% difference in our genetic program that made us human. This is then followed by the intriguing question of what ingredients those are. Diamond is convinced that these ingredients, or at least their ‘precursors’, must be already present in animals today since “our unique properties appeared so recently and involved so few changes.” The reader is then left with the uncomfortable thought of what those animal precursors of art, language, genocide and drug abuse are? This questions seems like a warning to the human race that we might no longer be the only powerful creatures on earth in the future.
It is also interesting that Diamond narrowed down all of human’s evils into two unique qualities that could “now jeopardize our existence: our propensities to kill each other and to destroy our environment.” What’s worse is that these terrible qualities could not only jeopardize the existence of humans, but also of all other species and ultimately of earth itself. This is the frightening reality that humans need to realize, accept, and act on. It is also an enthralling idea that it is our powerful qualities that make us ‘fragile’. This paradox emphasizes the true fragility of power since power results in greed and carelessness. Our strongest qualities could in reality be our weakest. Humans continue to destroy other species and at the present rate most of the world’s species will become extinct or endangered within the next century. The question is why? We depend on many species for our own life support. And these species depend on other species for their own life support. So in the end, humans depend on all species in some way if they are willing to survive.
Another frustrating point that Diamond makes is “if we all became convinced today that [policies to provide solutions to the environmental problems on earth] were essential, we would already know enough to start carrying them out tomorrow.” “What is lacking is the necessary political will.” Again this is an issue of power and the misuse of it. Humans never seem to think about the future. If our unique properties had included a bit more selflessness and care, we would have already started to implement the necessary policies. We probably never would have had to face the problems of today if that would have been the case.
It is clear that our environment also has a crucial influence on our development and not just our genetic program. This is shown by the differences in living style of certain bush communities compared to the more civilized modern world. Diamond uses New Guinea as a great example to prove this. “All highland peoples in New Guinea’s mountainous interior were Stone Age farmers until very recently, while many lowland groups were nomadic hunter-gatherers and fishermen practicing somewhat casual agriculture.” Since their environment was more limiting, technological advances did not occur as they did in the outer world. This is shown all over the world with many other communities that depend purely on hunting, gathering and small-scale farming.
Another surprising aspect of the human evolution is the lack of connection between the physical changes and mental changes in humans. The human’s brain size increased, skeletal changes resulted in allowing humans to walk upright, and the skull thickness, tooth size, and jaw muscles decreased. However, the behavioral changes expected with such changes did not occur. The stone tools remained very crude for hundreds of thousands of years after our brain expanded. This leads to the conclusion that there is only a tiny genetic percentage “responsible for the distinctively human attributes of innovation, art, and complex tools.”
One of the most thought-provoking comments that Diamond makes is about the ethical issue of experimenting on animals, specifically apes. Since our genes are so similar to chimp’s genes, why do we put chimps in cages and perform experiments on them? Diamond then questions what the logic is that forbids medical experiments on people who have much less capacity to perform social activities than do apes, but not on apes? When one compares the genetic differences between chimps and humans and the genetic differences between the red-eyed and white-eyed vireos, the genetic distance between the species of vireos is greater than the genetic distance between chimps and us. Yet both species of vireos belong to the same genus while humans and chimps do not even belong in the same family. Humans and chimps should therefore belong under the same genus. Then why is it permitted to experiment on chimps and not humans?
The sad part is that if we “as a third chimpanzee” decide to save the other chimpanzees, we’ll have to rely on money. And since money is a problem in the countries that have chimps living in them, richer countries will have to bear most of the expense to save them. And it will be the same with all other species that humans damage. Humans have been responsible for messing up this earth, and we’ll also have to be responsible for cleaning up that mess, whether we like it or not.
A question that many people have is what made our abrupt rise to humanity possible and why was it so sudden. Diamond provides three changes that could provide answers to these questions. The first change is that humans started to walk upright; therefore they were able to use their forelimbs to make tools among other things. The second change was when our lineage split into two distinct species. One was a man-ape built to eat coarse plant food, and the other was a man-ape built to have a more omnivorous diet. The third change was the regular use of stone tools. This then allowed for the control of fire. Diamond also mentions the idea that big-game hunting was what “induced protohuman males to cooperate with each other, develop language and big brains, join into bands, and share food.” He quickly claims, however, that this explanation highly unlikely is because “for most of our history we were not mighty hunters but skilled chimps, using stone tools to acquire and prepare plant food and small animals.”
A further explanation to why past humans were unable to do the things we do today is that they simply didn’t have the opportunity to learn. Most things were not yet invented then. Even in the present time humans mostly simply improve on previous inventions. Thousands of years of technological advances are the only reason why technology is so advanced today. Complex things start with simple things that then develop. So without the first inventions, humans would be unable to develop.
The final change in humans that Diamond discusses is the anatomical basis for spoken complex language. He suggests that the structure of the larynx, tongue, and associated muscles probably was the greatest cause for the drastic change in human behavior. He provides this answer to explain why apes have not gone on to develop much more complex natural languages of their own. Diamond argues that modifications of the protohuman vocal tract could possibly have been the missing ingredient in the development of modern humans. “It was the spoken word that made us free,” then “the capacity for innovation would follow eventually.” Diamond convincingly argues that language for communication was crucial in our development since accurate communication would be very difficult without complex language. He supports this argument with the phrase “Turn sharp right at the fourth tree and drive the male antelope toward the reddish boulder, where I’ll hide to spear it.” This message can be communicated in a few seconds with language, but it would be impossible to do the same without.
In conclusion, The Third Chimpanzee is a very captivating and engaging book that compels the reader to think. Jared Diamond does this throughout the book to convince the reader that change is needed if we are to save the world as it is today. It is often said that people learn from their mistakes, therefore Diamond is explaining our evolution and history to help people understand more about themselves and our mistakes of the past. This is done in an attempt bring change to the world. Diamond ends the first part with an interesting question that makes the reader think about and analyze all that he has discussed. It also provides the reader with the curiosity to continue reading the book. His question is: “Would the visitor have foreseen the change that would soon make us the first species, in the history of life on Earth, capable of destroying all life?”


Tokreads The Third Chimpanzee, by Jared Diamond, dwells on the similarity between the genetic code of humans with the Cro-Magnon all the way down to the Homo Habilis. In the prologue the author introduces the issue with fossils and the use of tools to distinguish humans and our primate counterparts. The mere use of technology places humans far apart from another mammal and such facts are always used when trying to define why we humans do not consider ourselves close relations to mammals. This brings about the issue about categorization of species. Humans classify the red-eye and white-eye vireos into the same category of species because they share 97.1% of their DNA. If this is the case then why do certain scientists still consider humans and pygmy chimpanzees to be unrelated when we share 99.3% of our DNA? Such inconsistency in categorizing species brings about a knowledge issue and forces us to question the reasoning behind certain claims.
One might argue that, if primates and humans are so similar then how come species such as the Cro-Magnon and the Neanderthal were whipped off the face of the planet? Diamond argues that with a 0.7% difference in DNA structure there can be an immense amount of differences between the species. The use of language and our innovative nature are the reasons why we are so superior. We have the ability to recognize art, follow a philosophy and practice religion. As the resources got more and more scare, the Neanderthals were competed with for food and ultimately driven to extinction.
However if this is true then another question temps to challenge this theory. Why did some primates evolve into humans and the others remain as primates? The issue of natural selection features here where certain scientists say that only the fittest primates evolved into Homo sapiens. The ape’s ancestors did not have to evolve because they were fully capable of surviving in their respective environments. The human’s ancestors, however, continually had to evolve in order to stay alive.
Our higher level of thinking, as suggested by Diamond, will eventually lead to the extinction of mankind. Humans have abandoned the philosophy of the survival of the fittest and as a result our population consistently increases of the years. Statistics show that our population doubles every 41 years as the resources on the earth continue to depreciate. In my opinion, I am not as worried as other people may be. It is highly unlikely that the most sophisticated living organism on the entire planet will become extinct as a result of something as basic as the access to food. Only in times of desperation do we truly attempt to solve any problem we face. The recent drought in Kenya was predicted atleast 1 year ago, however, not until 2 weeks ago did this become an important talking point. Diamond has a valid point about our connection to primates and how our intelligence will lead to our downfall, but more people like Diamond will exist in the world to deal with any problems we may face.

Sahan Weliwita


Tokreads Alberto Rossi

Before starting reading this book, what really caught me was the title. The Third Chimpanzee, one interesting title for a book. First impression was, “it’s got to be something about biology or evolution,” and that is exactly what it was. This book takes evolution and the origins of how Homo sapiens came to existence from a different perspective than the one most people take. It really focuses on how we are very closely related to other animals with human like genes like the ones apes have.
Diamond really deals about our ethical position when we talk about other species. How do we treat them? Is it fair to treat them as we do when they are basically the same as us? Diamond says that people’s mindset of who we talk about this topic is that the difference is that we are humans and they are animals. But, aren’t we also animals? Don’t we share about 98% of our DNA we chimpanzees? So why do we tend to think this way? These are all valid points that Diamond brings up to mind with his novel.
Another point that Diamond brings up is size. We were brought to this earth just around the same time as the Neanderthals. If we say that he bigger the better, how is it that true? Not only were Neanderthals stronger, but they also had bigger brains. So how is it that they became extinct ages before we did? If taken from that point of view, we should have been extinct way before them and we should have never “ruled” the world like we do now. But Diamond then theorizes about why we became the superior species he talks that the most probable reason is that we had a spoken language and were better at innovating. Our tools became better over the years and therefore we were capable of surviving for longer. But he also says that what initially was our way or surviving is going to take us to our extinction.


Tokreads MANAN DHANTEJA

The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (how our animal heritage affects the way we live) by Jared Diamond is a fascinating book that revolves around the idea of evolutionary history and the manner in which it has shaped the very existence of modern-day humans. The author’s presentation of ideas, thoughts and statistics is acknowledgeable. However, one might argue that this book is far too enriched in unnecessary information, which over-explains and overemphasizes a point; the book really excels in areas such as introducing new concepts and containing reflective and intriguing questions that don’t leave the reader for days on end. The use of pictures and graphical representations of data aids the reader in creating a focused mental image of the idea. The title of the book delivers an aura of intrigue, curiosity, and discovery. It indirectly suggests a new profoundness about the existence of a third chimpanzee and it is that terminology that really communicates to the reader; especially after the reader has made note of the fact that the third chimpanzee is actually us. The words, “rise and fall” combine the preconceived notion of various readers’ minds about what the book is about. This includes approaches like predicting the future of our race, determining the origins of our race (of universe), an insight on the meaning and purpose of life, an inspiration to scientists on new discoveries and inventions, shedding light upon the fundamental questions of the common man on life and more. The amount of content, only the title delivers arranges the reader’s mind prior reading, to know where, when and how to make applications of the information that is being presented.

The profound ideologies and insights of the book left me pondering about the origin of the universe, the process of evolution, the existence of God, human comprehension of the laws of nature and the ability to manipulate them to our benefit and much more. I was interestingly shocked at how much difference one or two percent DNA can make. It was only after the constant emphasis that we are only 1.4% different in DNA than our chimp brothers that I really began to wonder at the different possibilities and enormity of life on earth. Diamond’s research at times, walked hand in hand with some of my prior knowledge and challenged some other beliefs I had. According to Diamond, the species go off along their own ways due to Darwinian methodologies of natural selection etc. I questioned this claim by inquiring, that if humans were in the process of evolution, and just how through evolution, we have developed millenniums farther than any other animal and have the power to challenge the very fundamental nature and life that brought us here; couldn’t then, through further evolving, we can reach a stage of evolution where we challenge the process as well? As through time, we have obviously differentiated ourselves from the rest of our brothers, primarily by the use of our brains in technology, understanding and playing with the physical and natural laws of life and the universe. Can’t there ever be an event in history of time, that humans evolve to a point where we have the intrinsic ability to challenge growth, time, and ultimately evolution. Be it, that we reach that stage through technology or evolution takes us to such a point in its process that it gives us the power to control it, rather than it controlling us?

People suggest that either evolution has slowed to a crawl, stopped, or that, we are at the brink of a new age of discovery, that the future holds, devolution. This is equally terrifying as intriguing however the root that I see responsible for our progress as compared to our brother chimps is our superior thinking abilities and ethical ways of reasoning. One of my foremost inquiries was that ethics is a creation of humankind; that there is no such thing as ethics. My belief in this ideology became stronger when evidence according to Diamond suggested those earlier forms of Homo sapien-sapien, one which was vegetarian and one which was predominantly a meat-eater, when interacted for the first time; it resulted in the vegetarian becoming extinct. I was awe-struck and equally appalled to understand that when the meat-eater killed the vegetarian “for meat,” it didn’t strike me that it was cannibalism happening here; I thought it was some other animal’s meat being talked about. Analyzing this particular event, I understood that the result of proper thinking including ethics is a developing thing in human history. There may be forms and ways of thinking we are presently oblivious to. I also understood why sitting at the top of the food chain gives such a great responsibility over all life on earth.

The subtleties of the seemingly intrinsic behaviors that are seen in a human being are complicated to comprehend. The behavior is relatable, comparable and distinguishable however the origin of the behavior is quite a question. The question of ethics also brings into question the morality of genocides and other presumptuously negative things that humans consider to be a shameful part of life today. The flow and laws of life and the world are oblivious to the way individuals, nations, or groups choose to live and affect each other. Just because the Nazis carried out the Holocaust, tomorrow, the laws of people live and die, won’t alter. This brings into the limelight, the question of decision-making and if that directs in anyway the wheel of evolution in the wagon of humankind. All sorts of questions rise about the lifestyles of human beings. The Big Question about religion and how it considers its principles and believes in its universalities. The wondering begins when the question of what makes it more true or what makes it less true because if the God existed, as per say, wouldn’t he be recognized and understood and seen universally as a God? To trace back our origins, and believe that we descended from one creature, who is to stop me from saying that I am capable of creating an entire world; the forthcoming generations and evolutionary animals, each so distinct and yet correlated. A perceptive insight on God tells us that we believe God to be creators of life. In a sense, each and every individual is a God himself or herself and theoretically, if placed on different planets, two opposite genders of any species could make an entire world. The infinite nature of evolution is so profound in its nature that it is beyond the grasp of mankind at present. The “fall” of the third chimpanzee is not enshrouded with emotional trauma, futuristic anxiety, or mourning passiveness; in the book, it is described as a mild in flow yet heavy in depth understanding that lets the reader explore and reflect at the point where we begin to understand that a rise and a fall is what we see happen everywhere. We don’t proactively and consciously think about it every time but it’s true! We are born, we grow (rise and fall) and we die. The argument sort of takes a psychological U-turn because now, we discuss the roll of time. Anything outside the domain of time is inexplicable to the hard human brain. Therefore, regarding the entire humankind as an organism, we may say that as an organism, humankind is around 10 years old and has 90 years more to go (supposedly)!

The structure of the DNA molecule and the arrangement of the double helix bond surprisingly have significant in relevance to evolution. I’m not quite sure about the awareness of the idea amongst students my age, however, evolution, being as perplexing as it is, the “ladder-like” nucleotides connecting the double-helix bond actually deicide the nature of the evolutionary process behind the specific event. The activation of more and more nucleotides is the progress of evolution. A simpler way to comprehend would be thinking the DNA molecule to be a ladder and the nucleotides to be steps and every time, evolution occurs, different pairs of steps light up, indicating that with the right combinations of nucleotides, we may have the power to generate life. A premature phase where we are able to alter and fiddle around with the DNA of bacteria indicates that in the near future, we could quite literally be the creators of destiny. Our fall, it seems is inevitable. However, despite my concurrence to Diamond’s teachings, I am slightly skeptical about the manner in which the world and life in it, is being introduced by him. The negative connotation revolves around the “harm” we are doing to the world. Our progress in the future is being looked at with a very strongly opinionated ideology by Diamond. Some of it seems as harsh as reality may get, and other claims seem out of this world.

The future of the third chimpanzee, as it’s regarded by Diamond, is solid and on it’s way to annihilation. Firm action must be taken by us, in order to preserve our existence on earth as long in the future as we can. Our brotherhood to our chimps is something to look at scientifically however, left to be understood applicably. This book ought to change some of the assumptions that humankind takes for granted about evolution, life, universe, other animals and especially itself. To better understand ourselves, we must regard ourselves in the form we view animals that we study (from an unbiased third point of view) and all the laws and believes that circulate about animals should be equally true about us, the third chimpanzee.

I recommend this book. It’s a fascinating insight into our world.


Tokreads Filip Mandys

This book, written by Jared Diamond shows us the details of evolution of the human being, why are we what we are, and also some new ideas and opinions on the topic. Most of the book presented interesting information and ideas that keep you reading the book forward. However, some parts of the book are just too long and even repeat themselves, making it a bit boring at times.
Some of the ideas of the book are quite interesting. For example, the chimpanzee differs only by about 3% from humans. The author suggests that it should perhaps have some privileges when it is the closest relative of humans. I think that this has two sides. It might be good to give privileges to chimpanzees, for example that there will be no experiments on them. However, if we want to test new experimental medicine that might be potentially beneficial for humans, we cannot test it on humans – the best possibility is to test it on chimpanzees, as their DNA is the closest to humans.
Another idea of the author is that the “Great Leap Forward” in the evolution of the mankind was caused by the development of the speech. The author states that the speech allowed the ancient humans to co-operate much more effectively with the speech and therefore get a strategic advantage over other species. I think that the author is mostly correct here as the fact that humans started to communicate with each other on an advanced level allowed them to develop (with co-operation) and advance to next levels of society – civilizations.
I also think that it is true that people would be much more polygamous, if the society and culture wasn’t against it – it is in the nature of human beings. However, the culture we live in and the society values monogamy and finds polygamy as something bad. Therefore, polygamy is not performed.
The author also states that every one person gets his ideas for what is sexually attractive as an infant, from his parents. However, I completely disagree about. The ideas for what is sexually attractive change with age, so it is not the same from infancy to death. Also, if a boy lives only with his mother, he does not get attracted to other boys and men (usually), but still to females, although that if the theory of the author is correct, he should be attracted to boys – as he got the taste from his mother. Therefore, I think that this theory is incorrect.
In conclusion, I think that the book is an interesting reading, for someone who wants to know more about the evolution of human beings and about other possible theories that are not mentioned that often and are not the ones that are widely accepted. However, some parts are perhaps boring to some extent. In addition, this is not a book with which you would like to relax, as it is impossible. It is a type of a study book, definitely not as amusing and adventurous as Digital Fortress.


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