The wild

May 31, 2020


What we call wilderness today, we called home before.  No matter the origin, the ancestors of each culture lived in the wilderness as a part of it.  Out of many different human species which evolved and died out, two remained when we evolved.  The older, earlier evolving Neanderthal and the younger, more recent evolution of Homo sapiens.  The last of the Neanderthals must have seen the end of their species coming.

Long before modern man, they had developed a civilization.  For 100 thousand years their civilization, philosophy and their technology, bound to nature through centuries of observation and ingenuity, developed into culture.  A culture which would simultaneously endure and be forgotten in modern humans.

The knowledge gained by Neanderthals molded their culture, and remnants of that culture survive in ours.  The family unit has changed very little and mirrors the wildest of animals, elephants and other species survive as a unit the same way that humans do.

Humans, even Neanderthal, don’t have a thick hide, sharp claws and teeth or the best vision. What sets us apart is our minds and our ancestors supplemented their shortcomings with tools and education.  Many animals are born into the world alone, with only their instincts to guide them.  Only a few have the benefit of learning from their elders.  With these tools and minds we built the world we live in and separated ourselves from our wild home.  We divided our world into the civilized and the wilderness, and many fear half of our world.

As we begin to take our first steps into space, we begin to create a future for all of life.  If all life, as we know it, is to continue into the indefinite future it needs to get off of the planet.  Only when there is a sustainable ecosystem on other worlds, or in outer space, can the indefinite future be a guarantee because this planet will not last into the indefinite future.

The future to us is as vague as it was to the last Neanderthals, who obviously passed on at least some of what they had learned to us.  Maybe they had the foresight to understand how important it is to maintain our connection to the wild and taught us of the stars and the earth to help us survive.  It is important for us, and all of life, to have the foresight now that sees all life bloom across the universe, we have to start down that path in order to survive someday and if we start now, we can come together as a species and stop killing one another.