by Jon Biddle

There’re questions we as humans constantly ask?

One of which is where are we from? What drives us as humans? Why are we so different from our primate counterparts in the animal kingdom? Why is the infant in a troupe of chimpanzee’s shorter than the human?

In a pursuit for meaning and acceptance, we always want to know where we came from, why we do the things we do. How has the world evolved in the way that it has? How is technology reshaping our world? And what of the future.

How did inequalities between men and women originate when palaeontologist state that men and women lived an equitable existence with the equal division of labour? Woman becoming the property of men on an evolutionary standpoint is a recent phenomenon. It was interesting that the author identified the gender-based inequalities are entirely western by nature, based on monetary reasoning and faith based ideology. Thanks to the constant evolving of humanity, we’re moving to a place of equality again.

Socrates said writing, would erode young people’s ability to think, how wrong was he. Are we on the precipice with technology, are we as a species becoming more stupid because of this advancement of technology?

Today, even with COVID-19 rampaging through our world, we are still living in the best of times. It has never been better than being human right this very minute. Think about it. Imagine living in Norfolk around the 1500s where the first Black Death killed one in seven people. Entire towns and cities became veritable ghost towns as the virus spread through the population of the known world like chucking gasoline on an open fire.

We have an abundance of food, homes that require cheap energy to heat, clean water in which to drink and all the mod-cons technology allows. We could have been alive 50,000 years ago. Life expectancy was around 28 and if you were a woman, you can scrub a bit more off. The chances of surviving child birth back then were a miracle.  And yet here we are. The last 150 years has seen a huge spike in all aspects of our lives from agriculture, finance, medicine, education, industry and the technology that is on an insatiable quest to better our lives even further.

Global conflict is not possible. The understanding of global market, diplomacy, tolerance and instant interconnectedness makes us more communicative, understanding even. Yet we have seen in our democracies the rise and fall of fascism, authoritarian leadership try to erode this global evolution. It’s utterly fascinating how incredibly predictable we all are.

This book gives you the insight to where we came from, how we have evolved. The author takes you on a journey of discovery, a journey of acceptance as we take our place in this world. When you listen to the narrative of the book, racism, xenophobia and misogyny seem to be the most pointless pursuits as we are all interconnected on some level. The maths the author uses to show this is truly mind-boggling.

If you ponder over your origin like I do, if you work in healthcare or just inextricably drawn to understand the human condition, then you should read this book. I couldn’t put it down.

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