Desmond Morris is a zoologist and the author of The Naked Ape. It is his idea that many of the otherwise inexplicable quirks we see in ourselves are leftovers, the result of our evolutionary heritage. Take that business with the bugs, for instance. Any time our higher cognitive processes get shut down, by panic, fatigue, or simply boredom, we humans have a tendency to revert to earlier, prehuman behavior.
Our early ancestors in Africa were arboreal troop-monkeys, living on a diet of fruit (to quote Yogi Bear, “Nut and berries! Nuts and berries! Yech!”) and insects. When you wander around the house, not particularly hungry, but looking for something to munch on idly, what you are most likely seeking unconsciously are bugs. Most of our most popular snack foods (Fiddle-Faddle comes to mind, and small pretzels) resemble and have the same “mouth feel” as bugs. You can take the monkey out of the trees, but you can’t take the tree monkey out of humanity.
L. Neil Smith, “Back to the Trees!”, Libertarian Enterprise, 2010-04-11
April 13, 2010
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