Neil Degrasse Tyson, the American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and consummate educator of all things Sciencey… 🙂 – Stated that in regards to DNA, chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas share approximately 98% of our DNA.
OMG! Think about that 98% and that small difference he exclaimed!
Humans can do complex math, humans create and design great edifices, travel into space, perform surgeries, compose music, write books, and create wonderful works of art…etc.
Chimps can be taught sign language, to count, perhaps to ride a bike, or create rudimentary tools to accomplish a task. But that is where it ends for them. (does it? I ask) That has been the height of their evolution. (is it? I ask)
He then went on to speculate and ask, what is in that 2% of our DNA that bestows these great intellectual gifts upon us humans yet denies the Chimp access to it?
What is in that 2% ?
He goes on further and asks what if we were to meet aliens from another planet and our situation was reversed.
What if we were the chimps and we had only 98% of DNA in common with that alien race?
How SMART would they be compared to us? Our smartest Mathematicians on the planet would be drooling idiots next to their children coming out of 1st grade. Their pre-school children would probably intuitively just know Algebra like our children know 1 +1 .
(That possible fact, if it were to be one, would shout that we are not as special in this universe as we like to think we are but I digress..)
What discoveries have they already made while we are still banging rocks on the ground to open a nut. Wonders I imagine, he speculates ( I am paraphrasing).
YES, a interesting concept BUT Neil never goes the other way in his thinking.
True they might know wondrous things, mysteries may be revealed to them beyond our chimp like comprehension.
BUT at what cost?
How many wars have we waged on this planet? How much violence has been done against another in the years we have lived together? We are the least savage and the most “civilized” and the smartest animal on this planet?
So what of those aliens. Does their intellect exceed their civility and universal morals ? Or does it keep pace? Are they violent, bigoted, sexist, apathetic, a specist (yes that last one is an actual problem here on our planet).
My theory is that it’s a mixed bag by all probability. Meaning, one set of aliens out there are well adjusted and smart as hell and way above us intellectually but are very civilized and peaceful with very minimal violence towards themselves and their own planet.
While another alien race out there is smart as hell also but the most corrupt species and apathetic, greedy, power hunger seeking race you will ever not want to encounter in your entire lifetime no matter the curiosity you might feel of wanting to know if life exists outside of our blue ball a planet. Keep them distant please, thank you very much.
WILL we get better ourselves. WILL our intellect still exceed our morality like it has for millennia after millennia. Will we end up that alien race that goes out one day into the galaxy like Columbus sailing from the shore of Espana to the West Indies claiming lands in the name of Queen Isabella subjugating, raping , enslaving, and killing the locals?
I would like to think not….but meh..who knows…I am always surprised on a daily basis at what depravity exists in our world on Earth.
Time will tell if our DNA wins over our hearts and tells us if that 2% makes us better or worse.