Prehistoric

What path is there like the path mankind has walked? The crippling plights he faces, the relentless riots he starts, the flaming feuds of blood-spilling rage he fuels, these are the products of the malicious species we call our own. Cognitive dissonance envelops him, the lust to dominate eats at him. He consumes but is never satisfied. Every patch of land he has ever stood upon is tainted with wholesale bloodshed and environmental unrest.

Even in many of the words we babbling ape descendants use can be found pointing at us the fingers of utter contempt. The word prehistoric is one such word. The very meaning places images in our minds of grimy scavengers, chisel-chinned, hairy Ergasters, with crudely made spears and handheld stone axes, as they charge up a hill to spook a wooly mammoth off a ravine.

Going beyond first-thought mental imagery, the word implies every bit as much. At first, we couldn’t gather knowledge because we didn’t exist during those long ages when only the lower animals roamed the earth. Ninety nine percent of life survived and thrived eons before manipulative mankind was around to take credit for its grace. Less than one percent of all life that has ever been is around today. With respect to the drama of our existence so far, we caught not even the last five minutes of the movie of life. In a way, we are watching the credits roll now.

When we finally did climb the evolutionary latter, we were still savage and uneducated, unable to keep records and chronicle history in an intelligent manner until very recently. Before then, it was all we could do just to paint stick figures of ourselves on cave walls, stabbing a large bull in the butt until it died. I suppose that was our favorite pastime back then—to kill a bull with crappy-ass weapons, brutally losing one of our own men in the process, then slaughter a boar, cut it up, stretch tight its skin over some wood, and beat on that skin while frantically dancing around in circles for hours on end until the spirit of that awesome bull we killed decided to send us some rain!

Thankfully, things have changed a lot since then. We now pin the bull up, mate it with the finest cows, seize the cow’s milk for drinking (a thing no other animal does with the milk of a different species!), and then sell the offspring to some fat, red-faced farmer with an oversized belt buckle. Still, there is no doubt that this is much better than it was a hundred thousand years ago and before. My hat goes off to the discoverers of agriculture, especially to that foolhardy, knuckleheaded bastard who first tamed the horse for riding! Perhaps he was the real Hercules. We now realize just how ridiculously short of a time we have been on this planet, and yet still our arrogance is unsurpassed; being the zygotes of life forms, we act as though we are the sagely seniors. When we have been around for as long as the dinosaurs were, only then will we have accrued some bragging rights!

What unflattering chime does this realization bring to our ears? It tells us that a deity had no part in creating animals for us to rule over like some self-absorbed, fried-chicken-eating churchgoers believe. They were here long before man, and the animals we behold today are a mere shadow of their former glorious robustness. If anything, man had to be created from the animals. Looks like god finally got tired of them and created us to kill them off as we are so apt to do, and as the gods are so fond of commanding us to do to appease his wrath.

What else does this awful sounding chime tell us? It tells us that if we are to entertain the flaccid idea of divine creation, humans were not god’s central purpose behind it. High profile cars (limited production, high dollar, and “muscle” cars) have a special value about them. They don’t depreciate as fast as most cars do and their body styles are virtually timeless. They are collector’s items from day one, always desirable and always an incredible site to see in any generation. Humankind was not God’s Ferrari. T-Rex was God’s Ferrari. Triceratops was his Porsche. He didn’t create us first if he created us at all, suggesting God cared more about having big, dumb animals around him with brains the size of walnuts for incredible epochs instead of humans to cajole him with vain and bloody oblations. Stegosaurus was around for millions of years, and he kicked ass too! Let’s call him the Lotus Esprit of his day.

Mankind is God’s Dodge Neon as it unreliably sputters along the road going nowhere important. You drive it when you need to make a quick trip to the supermarket or go to the beach and don’t want to worry about getting your priceless Ferrari “dinged up” by some careless asshole who drives a beat-up 1974 Buick with chipping paint and parks way too close to the driver’s side. It’s OK to track sand on the carpet of your Neon or have a stray Kmart shopping cart hit it in the parking lot. It’s just a Neon. They’re a dime-a-dozen! The Neon hasn’t been around long enough to know if it’ll be reliable or not, but it looks cute, and most importantly, is always cheap and easily replaceable! It’s kind of sad though: God got rid of his classic Corvettes, Ferraris, Porsches, and Lotuses and chose to keep his overstated little Neon—what a shame!

The animals certainly evolved, as did the rest of life on this world. Will theists accept that man evolved? If he did, we have the alarmingly comical position of a banana-eating, excrement-tossing ape being transformed by a fancy creator into a nice, sophisticated human who neatly folds his napkins at the dinner table and washes his hands with anti-bacterial Dial. He says nice things too, like “Pass the mustard please!” But God is still disgusted by our animal nature, and so is man. He uses things like Degree deodorant to cover up his animal smells, almost like some of the species use a black, leather-covered book to ward off animalistic sexual urges that the man upstairs finds offensive.

I wonder if God gives extra points every time we refuse to self-fornicate, or when we refrain from banging some voluptuous hottie we meet in a bar? Maybe we get some providential favor for refusing to crank one out after seeing a revealing picture of some naughty gal wearing nothing but black leather boots and handcuffs? Maybe instead of dying in a car crash or at the hands of a violent rapist, we die in a nice, clean hospital bed due to a brain aneurism we developed a day earlier from falling down a flight of stairs? Or if we’re really lucky, we can die in our sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning—all because we passed up those sinful occasions to date Mary Palm and her five sisters! It all may be in vain, however. We may find out that the big guy expected us to turn down lots of ass for absolutely nothing!

Everyone knows animals don’t have sin. If that is so, then neither did man when he was a bamboo-chewing, shit-throwing hominid. But suddenly, the ape becomes a man made in the image of the creator himself, and amazingly, contracts the disease of sin because of one little unfortunate case of food poisoning that came from a piece of produce in the Almighty’s garden. You would think a god would prefer not to kill his children just for eating the wrong fruit, but unpredictability has always been what makes the gods the gods. God abhors dung (Deut. 23:13-14), and therefore, dung-throwers we must assume, yet the dirty ape is sinless and the human sinful—from birth even!

Let us not assume that either man or ape deserves to be called a sinner. They are both selfish like all animals; they fight, hold long, grueling grudges, and just like his ape cousins, a human could conceivably get mad enough to sling a handful of warm feces at some passerby dufus if he feels the situation calls for it. Base and primal as the mighty ape may be, the human still edges him out in sheer atrociousness; man destroys his environment, ravages his neighboring countrymen, and gallivants across the world, inventing ever-more cruel ways to suppress his opposition. He is proud of his thumbscrews and barbed wire. He is pleased with the nerve gas he made. No territorial band of chimpanzees, ripping the nuts off some poor, unlucky, outsider monkey who strayed into the wrong territory could ever ruin the earth the way we have done.

Unflatteringly, man started out as an animal and never really became anything else, but even after he grew a brain big enough to give himself the title “human,” he is still a deplorably savage ignoramus, steeped in pride and groveling in egocentric delusion.

(JH)

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