Sunday, May 11, 2014

Reaction Paper: Life of Mammals

Krisna Dianne A. Mabasa                                                                                         May 10, 2014
2012-29764                                                                                                               STS- X2
The Life of Mammals
The documentary was very informative and interesting. It gave me an overview of the species closest to the human race, like chimps. It made me realize, in more ways than one, we are alike. They are curious and inquisitive, and they could learn human-like things. An example would be the monkey that learned how to crack a nut by using a piece of wood. Another would be a orangutan that mimicked human things like sawing wood and using hammers and nails, although she fails at pushing the nails through the wood.
I was surprised when the host commented on how useful their colored vision is. This made me question, “Are there other animals with color vision too like apes? Are most of the animals only have grays, blacks, and whites for a vision?” I have always thought that the only animal that sees in grayscale was dogs. I have always thought that colored vision was a given in all animals.
The bigger the brain, the larger the capacity to socialize. And according to our brain size, we can only form strong bonds with one hundred and fifty people. Think made me think about how popular people have so many ‘friends’ on facebook. My high school class mate even boasted that he had almost two thousand friends on facebook, and I could bet that he doesn’t know all of them personally. Maybe, he knew his relatives, his classmates in high school and elementary, even, his childhood friends and the like, but that’s the end of it. Sometimes, people accept friend request just because of one mutual friend or sometimes, he looked good in his display picture. We don’t even know them. All we know is their facebook name, and maybe, not even that is real. The internet made many things easier, even communicating with others. Unfortunately, this also made communicating less personal. We are comforted that we could text them or email them, or chat them, but we can’t see their real emotions, their real feelings. What if they were faking it? Face to face communication would have prevented that problem. If you really think of it, one hundred and fifty is a lot of people to be really good friends with.
 The documentary briefly discussed the history of man. I was amazed at the fossilized footprint that was said to be the first footprint of a bipedal man. Many questions are asked and are still questioned, why did the apes need to walk on two feet? What urged them to do so? They found three footprints. It was like a family, with a father (the largest footprint), a mother (a footprint of medium size), and a child (which had the smallest footprint). This, in itself, was amazing. This might imply that family was already a concept in the first men.
We, humans, achieved so much in the span of our stay in the Earth. We made advancements and deteriorations (this all depends on which point of view you are seeing). We made bombs that could wipe out a country, we discovered a source of energy that produces so much energy, but is potentially dangerous. (But come to think of it, everything is potentially dangerous when handled wrong and when used for the wrong purposes.) We have discovered the planets, asteroids, galaxies, and stars beyond our own, explored the moon and even Mars. Lately, the scientists discovered a planet that is like Earth, a planet that revolves around a smaller star that also has the same distance. They say that inhabiting that planet is a possibility.
We, humans, achieved so much, and in turn, we have grown so much in terms of population. With everything easier, we hardly hunt and perspire and die because of nature’s harsh conditions. We have understood and at some point, tamed nature, therefore, our death rate went down while our birth rate became astronomically high. Some say that we have successfully conquered the Earth. We made it bend and sometimes, break. We adapted and created things for ourselves. This, while useful to mankind, was debilitating to Earth.  A fiction writer said that in 2020, the population of the world will reach 20 billion, and because of this, we have already reached the end of Earth’s ability to house our specie. And I agree with him. Man had undergone a lot of pains and ways so that we could survive at all cost. Even if it means sacrificing the needs of Earth just to make space for another generation of humans.
Unfortunately, as men became well adapted to nature, his priorities changed. From simply surviving, to making his own source of food, to money making and trade. This made many men insensitive to polluting nature just to gain money. This, added to the unconscious destruction of Earth by overpopulation (I think an appropriate metaphor would be overgrazing of land by domesticated animals) will surely drive Mother Earth’s hospitability to its end.

Signs of her anger could be seen all around us. Worsening intensities of storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and the like could be the warnings that we should really heed. We should be informed that population is not something inane. It has the power to help, and at the same time, wipe out mankind. We should make it known to all the 7 billion people that we should learn to lessen our population. Information is the first step, then maybe, make bills like one child policy or two child policy. Make the uninformed know about family planning. Hopefully, this, combined with the efforts to replant denuded forests and mountains, clean polluted rivers and seas, and reduce gas wastes, will be enough to save mankind. Moving and inhibiting another planet may be a good solution to this daunting problem, but are we really that callous towards this planet that lovingly nurtured us from apes to this complicated specie that we are now? Is that what we do? We leave the problem in another planet and move to another?

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