Chapter Beyond

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...and then there was man, the greatest of all creatures on the world Earth.

He was not an especially large creature by any means; of all of mammalia he was maybe a little larger than average, but much smaller than the great blue whale and not near the power of the grizzly bear or the speed of the cheetah. He was on his hind legs, like his close relative the ape, but he didn't use his arms to walk. In fact, his arms seldom touched the ground after the first few years of his life (in early years while strength and coordination were developing he "crawled" on all fours, but later he stood fully erect), decreasing his stability drastically.

But the remarkable characteristic of man was that though he lacked comparable speed, strength, agility, he had the ability to rule the world through his intelligence and precision.

No other being on Earth possessed man's ability to think and discover, and -- this is the unique part -- he alone could pass large quantities of knowledge from one generation to the next. It was a unique type of evolution; with each generation the natural balance of man's world was drastically changed through the accumulation of knowledge.

Apes, cheetahs, whales and bears relearned what their ancestors discovered in entirety, and then they died. They didn't just relearn; they most often rediscovered. And, to an extent, so must man. But with each generation, man learned faster and faster and was free to learn the previously unlearnable because knowledge was able to passed on without rediscovery. Through the aid of physical interpretations of ideas and reproduction of sound waves and light patterns, each generation could learn anything that had been learned by those before them -- after understanding the common symbols -- by simply spending the time to look and listen.

Of course, man did learn experientially like all Earth creatures. Some instinct and some trial-and-error contributed to the accumulation of knowledge. But the ability to think and wonder and physically pass on knowledge gave man something extraordinary. And his world evolved rapidly with the aid of precision.

Precision was man's tool of his intelligence. Without it, his intelligence was nearly worthless. For his precision -- his ability to apply his knowledge with exactness -- enabled man to create man's world. It was as though man was the Creator, or an appendage of Him, reinventing the world. He ruled the world by adding nature to his strength like no other creatures could. He harnessed heat energy. He covered his body and feet with plant life and animal skins, giving him more heat retention and protecting the soles of his tender feet, allowing him to run more quickly and surely.

He formed the solid Earth into vessels that could serve many purposes: travel, food storage, instruments of force and strength. He used dead creatures, along with harnessed heat energy, and put them in vessels that could travel at tremendous speeds. These vessels could break gravitational pulls, much like birds, travel beneath the oceans like the whales, and sometimes would travel even to other worlds.

Man gathered scraps of the Earth to build huge living spaces, much like anthills or bird nests but of sturdier construction. He discovered the atomic makeup of matter and constructed more powerful instruments of strength by physically disrupting that makeup. Man even constructed mechanisms that could gather knowledge faster than man could, and to manipulate matter with more precision than he.

Some have postulated that it was somehow "unnatural" -- as if anything could fall outside the bounds of nature -- for man to change the Earth so much. And because it was "unnatural," it must not be encouraged. But such greatness cannot be tossed out as folly because of an immature philosophical base. That in itself is folly in the purest form.

Before man came along the Earth was the Earth. No creatures changed the Earth. All was part of the Earth and belonged to it. All was nature. When man came along, observers believed that man was somehow not part of the world. That man's rapid evolution was not part of the Earth's natural processes. That man was a product of the Earth, living on the Earth, creating and being created by the Earth, and yet outside of its laws and orders.

Of course, this is ludicrous. Who is to say that a creature may be limited by what is preexistent in order for it to stay within the bounds of the "natural order?" When man uses his own natural abilities, harnesses nature, creates something totally new, and does what his natural instincts tell him, does he cease to be inside of nature? Where is the line, and how does something totally conceived and bred in nature escape nature's grasp?

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 28, 1997 12:00 PM.

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