We’re One Species
With economic times the way they are and a demographically changing society, I feel the ethnic tension flowing and the faucet turning, with boiling water threatening to pour on us all. This seems to be an eternal curse of perpetually tribal humanity, and secular humanists seem to be the only ones to not fall on some side of it’s disastrous nature.
As he battles cancer, Christopher Hitchens seems able to battle past the disabling effects of disease and address once humanity once again with reason:
And all this contains the true ingredients of tragedy—and of irony. One of the great advantages possessed by Homo sapiens is the amazing lack of variation between its different “branches.” Since we left Africa, we have diverged as a species hardly at all. If we were dogs, we would all be the same breed. We do not suffer from the enormous differences that separate other primates, let alone other mammals. As if to spite this huge natural gift, and to disfigure what could be our overwhelming solidarity, we manage to find excuses for chauvinism and racism on the most minor of occasions and then to make the most of them. This is why condemnation of bigotry and superstition is not just a moral question but a matter of survival.
This is the tragic flaw. With knowledge of our genetic roots, the reality of our lack of difference becomes undeniable. It is organized religion, with its emphasis on “chosen people,” fate and personality assigned by birthdate that keeps us locked in this death spiral.
For those who seem intent on turning this faucet of hate, I beg you to please stop. What do you expect to gain?