Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Planning Primate's Primer

Man prides himself as being the only critter on the planet who plans, who sees ahead into the future and formulates a clever strategy, who knows how to predict and prepare for that which will be obvious to all in hindsight, but clear to only a rare few in the prologue period.

A hat tip to Kurt Cobb for aiming the scope at the issue of the planning animal. Is it true that man is the only critter who formulates stories in his head about how the world works and then acts on the basis of his modeled fantasies? Don't all mammals plan ahead? Do they not build nests for their hatchlings, dens for their little lemms? Do they not burrow their way towards prosperity?

And if indeed Man is the most clever of all creatures, why can't he see the inevitable? Why does he not realize that the planet is finite? There is only so much of that thin film we call our atmosphere into which man can pump his CO2. There is only so much of that thin pizza crust below us in which man has a chance of finding his precious oil.