Devo – lution.

Did we peak too early?  Are we on the downhill slide?  Will archaeologists look at our skulls in 10,000 years and say “Wow, what big brains they used to have, wonder what happened…”   Will there be a new sub species of homo sapiens – called something like “Homo Sapiens in caput Parvum”.  I wonder this in the wake of the terror in London.   It was going to come to this sooner or later.   I was probably going to end up having this conversation…with myself, and with you, reader.


  • the stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced.
  • the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organisation.
  • synonyms – advancement, progress, enlightenment, edification, culture.

It is widely believed that Sumer in Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq) was the cradle of civilization, in the MidEast where urban centres and organised culture first sprang up thousands of years BC.  Beautiful, beautiful places, rich in history, and steeped in culture.  Treasures beyond belief, not just golden ones, (though there’s plenty of those) but temples, cities, museums, antiquities, texts, inventions and treasures that would curl the toes of the most hardened modernists.  These are places that gave us numbers, law, and mathematics the way we know it, coffee, universities, surgery!!  These amazing civilizations – Palestine, Persia, Babylon, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Egypt….the pinnacle of knowledge, culture, art, music, for thousands and thousands of years.   So Why???  Why are some, SOME humans devolving in these areas?   This is not an archaeology lecture.  It’s a rant.

Before – the beautiful ruins of the Roman Building at Ancient Palmyra -The ancient city of Palmyra, located in war-torn Syria, flourished as a Roman trading outpost around A.D. 200. ISIS militants seized it in May, and are destroying some of its historic buildings. Courtesy of National Geographic. PHOTOGRAPH BY YOUSSEF BADAWI, EPA/COBIS

Visions of extremists destroying priceless antiquities in Museums like Mosel, and ancient city ruins being reduced to dust before their time such as Palmyra….it’s heartbreaking.  It’s in stark contrast to the gentle, proud and protective culture much of the world has toward their histories.
Why?  O Why? (Here is a great article by CNN’s Stuart Manning on the subject.)

I’m not going to ethno bash.  I’m not even going to poke pixel sticks.  I’m going to state it flat out that the cockroach-like devolution of a growing group of people into something sub-human has brought disrepute to some of the most respected, treasured, and revered societies on the planet.

Where is Darwin’s Theory of DeVolution?  I’m going to theorise now, since Chucka Darwin and Gregor Mendel clearly didn’t reckon on things going downhill from their Pea Pod’s and Snapdragon’s Natural Selection.  What a couple of little optimists!!    What a couple of little children of the earth!  Nature. Rules the world.   Mmmm.  I don’t think so.


Ah.  There you have it.  There’s the ‘E’ to your mc2.   The Ping to your Pong.  My eye for your tooth.
One poorly explained and misinterpreted medieval text, a few madly meglomaniacle leaders and a whole region full of isolated, war torn, impoverished people – who over hundreds……nay…..THOUSANDS of years, breeds a type of nurture that is the antithesis of the meaning of the word!

We, in our sterilized and cushioned 1st world, try to grow our future brains – we play Brahms to our pregnant bellies, ensure the fruit of our loins are not gender biased, take them on Play dates to get them socialised.  We praise and shower them with positive vibes, we support and nourish them, we don’t like them to be bored or uncomfortable.  And we Never Ever expose them to nasty, scary 3rd world problems.  It might injure their tiny growing brains.  It might damage them if they were to see death and destruction and fear and horror.   DUH DUN!!!  And there it is.
‘They’ surround their children (some through no fault of their own) with the sounds of deadly and absolutely real gunfire, few possessions, bone chilling fear, angry fathers and frantic mothers.  They are forbidden to live free lives, forbidden to wear what they want, go where they want, say what they want.  They’re forbidden almost everything we take for granted.  They’ve been like that for thousands of years.  Forbidden.
Is it really any wonder that they push back?

Have you heard of neural pathways?  I did, recently, find out that the microscopic electrical pathways in my brain are responsible for me being able to touch type at 100 words a minute.  When an action, emotion, or sense, is experience often enough, the pathway to the brain from ‘experience’ to ‘grey matter’ becomes well trodden, and the more often the path is trod, the more ingrained the pathway (behaviour) becomes.   A la Pavlov’s Dogs.

So if you salivate when someone says “Let’s order Chinese…how about Sweet and Sour Pork?” that’s your neural pathway telling you it’s going to be yummy.  Get out the chopsticks.

Or, if your father screams obscenities at your mother and bashes her when he’s had a few drinks, and it becomes part of your normal life to see this…chances are, in adulthood, your neural pathways are a bit screwed up, …. twisted shall we say.  Perhaps you choose the path well trodden and you possibly turn into a woman basher too…or a child basher…or something else equally as unpalatable.

So what if your life is surrounded by things that blow up?  What if your life is uncompromising.  If your first reaction on entering the street is bone chilling fear.  What if you don’t think about your children, only about survival.  Imagine you are not sure if you will reach teenagehood before your parents, or worse…YOU….are killed.  Imagine trying to get to sleep everynight with that knowledge.  What if you’ve never had anything worth fighting for, if you don’t know where your next meal is coming from, if you aren’t sure where the body of your murdered mother is?    What if your life had been contained within the solid, uncompromising boundaries of your religion and your society and your leaders, so that your actual neural pathways were not pliable, or plastic in any way at all…you could not fathom a world of freedom.  You didn’t really even understand the word freedom.  Your brain wasn’t ever exposed to anything remotely peaceful or free.

Anything.    Ever.

What if you thought your only chance of being ‘someone’ was to become a footnote in the history of terror.

What a shambles.  What a Herculean stuff up.   Our Societies have BOTH gone too far.  You know that right?    They, with their ‘ignorance’ and Us, with our ‘bliss’.

London.  Arguably the modern cradle of civilization.  A beautiful city that has for thousands of years been home to one ethnic group or another.  From mesolithic  people who roamed the estuary of the river Thames, through to the Romans who founded the city of Londinium, the Saxons, the Normans, the city of London demonstrates true civilization.  Patience, tolerance, equanimity.  It is a centre of finance, a place of art, history, learning.  It continues to guide and offer a shoulder to any nation in need.   It is one of the centres of the earth that has picked up the batons of civilization, dropped in anger and desperation and de-volution by former members of the Civilized Society Club.

I can see that it’s virtually impossible for the de-volved individual to understand that what they’re doing is wrong.   They have both nature and nurture to blame for it.  But it’s not impossible for us to see what we are doing is also wrong.   Political correctness and cotton woolling is preventing us from using the experiences of our forebears to prevent what we KNOW is going to happen.
Devolution.  We should be afraid.

We need to stop playing Brahms to the bellies, and toughen up a little.
Darwin got one thing right…..Survival of the Fittest.   We have to be the Fittest.  So far, we’re not.

With respect and prayers to the dead, their families and their friends of the victims of terror attacks in London, Kabul, Cameroon, Mosul, Marrawi/Philippines, Thailand, Manchester, Syria, Tampa/Florida, Pakistan, Cairo, Maldives, India, Paris, Mali, Nigeria, St. Petersburg/Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Queanbeyan/Australia, Somalia, Stockholm/Sweden, …..and more….
Oh.  And did I mention that is only in the last two months???

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