Charles Chamberlain

humans are monkeys


Thanks to my friend Rodrigo, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be human. Specifically, how closely related we are to chimpanzees and other primates. I've found myself asking people "How often do you think about the fact that you're a monkey?" only to find an overwhelming response of "Almost never". (This was also the case for me prior to talking to Rodrigo.) People often then respond, "Why? you find it matters a lot to you?"

Holy hell yes! How could anything be more relevant! My entire life is dictated by the fact that I have a literal animal brain. Habits are built into my physical brain macro-structure. I chase dopamine nearly every moment of the day. After reading about primates on wikipedia I look up to myself in a mirror eating a goddamn banana. Should I have children, I'll love them not because they are more deserving than others but because I am an actual ape! Everything I care about and everything I am is because of this; how could it not be relevant?

And here we are spending our time thinking about tax liability and database performance. What is going on?

I have maintained for years that the first headline on every newspaper should forever read "Breaking! Existence is still a mystery! We have no idea what is going on!". Now I can add another continually important headline to the list: "Extra! Extra! You're still a monkey!"