Tag Archives: species

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

by The Revelation Painting on Monday, December 26, 2011 at 2:15am
Even though we are human and we have been alive for a long time as a species, we take that for granted.  Have you ever just sat and wondered exactly who you really are or where you came from?  I mean REALLY came from?  Like you, I never really thought about it until I began working on The Four Horsemen of The Revelation Painting.  It was the rider’s of those horses who showed me something I would have never seen otherwise.  As I read and tried desperately to “read between the lines” about the horses and their independent missions or meanings, I started to see that each horse represented an amount of time on this earth!  Evolution and change, social responsibility and unity were just a small part of it.

Then I found myself absorbed in the Locust of Scene IV which were described as first and foremost, “the face of a man”.  I became confused as I began to sketch this “face of a man”.  I thought: “What man, from what period of time, what race or all races?”  As you can see, it is not an easy task when you think about the simple sentence: “The face of a man.”  This is where Physical Anthropology becomes important.  This is where philosophy hits you on the head like being struck with a hammer!  You start to think: “Really, who am I and where DID I come from?”

I suppose this is were religion comes into our lives and we just accept the God made us.  We are supposed to believe in “blind faith” that it is a true and undisputable fact but I cannot.  I need to see and maybe that is what fuels an artist’s mind.  Artist are visual, imaginative, inquisitive and in my case, I have always had a “problem” seeing the big picture when it is made up from so many minute details…like our molecules and atoms.  We are not just people, we are more than that and if we all originated from Adam and Eve, why do we look so different?

Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids (“great apes”) and mammals. The study of human evolution uses many scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology,linguistics and genetics. The evidence for human evolution is overwhelming. This includes thousands of fossils that have been uncovered. These fossils show the progressive straightening of the spine, the increase in brain volume, and change in facial features. Humans have also inherited their tail bone (which is a remnant of what was once a human tail) from earlier primate ancestors.

All animals have a tail at one point in their development; in humans, it is present for a period of 4 weeks, during stages 14 to 22 of human embryogenesis. We also have a remnant (though non-functional third eyelid (the Plica Semilunaris), which is thought to have been inherited from Calabar angwantibo primate species, and extra external ear muscles.  These ear muscles are used by animals to swivel and manipulate their ears (independently of their head) in order to focus their hearing on particular sounds. Humans still have the muscles that we would once have used for the very same reason – but our muscles are now so feeble that all they can do is give our ears a little wiggle.

DNA comparisons also show that we share approximately 98.8-99% of our DNA with our closest cousin, the chimpanzee (i.e., we only differ in 1-1.2% of our DNA). Evidence also includes ancestral DNA evidence (“Junk DNA”) that humans share with earlier ancestors. For example, Humans have structures in their genetic make-up that were once used to produce enzymes to process vitamin C (it is called L-gulonolactone oxidase). Most other animals have this functioning DNA but at some point in our history, a mutation disabled the gene – whilst leaving behind its remnants as junk DNA. This particular junk DNA indicates a common ancestry with other species on earth.

The plantaris muscle also serves as evidence of evolution. The plantaris muscle is used by animals in gripping and manipulating objects with their feet – something you see with apes who seem to be able to use their feet as well as their hands. Humans have this muscle as well, but it is now so underdeveloped that it is often taken out by doctors when they need tissue for reconstruction in other parts of the body. The muscle is so unimportant to the human body that 9% of humans are now born without it. Other evidence includes Jacobsons’s organ. Jacobson’s organ is a part of animal anatomy and it tells us a lot about our own sexual history. The organ is in the nose and it is a special “smell” organ which detects pheromones (the chemical that triggers sexual desire, alarm, or information about food trails).

It is this organ that allows some animals to track others for sex and to know of potential dangers. Humans are born with the Jacobson’s organ, but in early development its abilities dwindle to a point that it is useless. In some cases, structures once identified as vestigal simply had an unrecognized function. Wisdom teeth are also derived of evolutionary origin. Early humans ate a lot of plants – and they needed to eat them quickly enough that they could eat a sufficient amount in one day to get all of the nutrients they needed. For this reason, we had an extra set of molars to make the larger mouth more productive. This was particularly essential as the body lacked the ability to sufficiently digest cellulose. As evolution made its selections, our diets changed, our jaws grew appropriately smaller, and our third molars became unnecessary.

The term “human” in the context of human evolution refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominids, such as the Australopithecines, from which the genus Homo diverged by about 2.3 to 2.4 million years ago in Africa.  Scientists have estimated that humans branched off from their common ancestor with chimpanzees about 5–7 million years ago. Several species and subspecies of Homoevolved and are now extinct, introgressed or extant. Examples include Homo erectus (which inhabited Asia, Africa, and Europe) and Neanderthals(either Homo neanderthalensis or Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) (which inhabited Europe and Asia). Archaic Homo sapiens, the forerunner ofanatomically modern humans, evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago.

One view among scientists concerning the origin of anatomically modern humans is the hypothesis known as “Out of Africa”, recent African origin of modern humans, or recent African origin hypothesis, which argues that Homo sapiens arose in Africa and migrated out of the continent around 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, replacing populations of Homo erectus in Asia and Neanderthals in Europe. An alternative multiregional hypothesis posits that Homo sapiens evolved as geographically separate but interbreeding populations stemming from the worldwide migration ofHomo erectus out of Africa nearly 2.5 million years ago. Evidence suggests that several haplotypes of Neanderthal origin are present among all non-African populations, and Neanderthals and other hominids, such as Denisova hominin may have contributed up to 6% of their genome to present-day humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

So now, ask yourself this:  “If science has developed a way to SEE the connections we have with other species, and are able to trace our origins back to a certain time, does that mean that Adam and Eve were “Great Apes” and if so and God created man in his own image, does that mean that the Great Apes that we humans are forcing to extinction are indeed ourselves killing the closest thing we know to God himself?  Are we killing ourselves, are we forcing ourselves into distinction?”  It seems as though if we wanted to believe these theories (which are substantiated by the proof of science and not writings in a book; the Bible), regardless of the argument, that we would hold LIFE itself very precious to our survival whether it be a man, an ape, or a plant because ultimately we don’t know for sure.

A fool destroys himself and you never bite the hand that feeds you.  Imagine…everyone has not always “looked” like Hollywood.  Everyone has not always looked as we look today.  There are ancient skulls which measure completely different measurements that do not match our measurements in today’s time in any way.  Ask yourself who were those people?  We were given the responsibility of this world from them, they believed that we would care for it yet we are destroying the very fibers of our beings.  It is important to think and understand “us” as humanity, “us” as the gatekeepers, “us” as the master’s of our and other species.  The decisions we make today affect the world today, not tomorrow, today.  We are in charge and we are failing our world.

I realize some people will not like to read this, some will argue the validity, some will call me a “nut” but the bottom line is this:  It is not about what you have in your hand when you leave this earth, it is about what you have in your heart and what you leave behind in the hearts of others.  We are not in this world for ourself, we are in this world for one another and simple common sense can and will tell you (if you can hear it beyond the tip of your own nose) that the diamonds on your fingers, the mansion on the hill, the gangsta pistol, Air Jordans, not even the BMW in the driveway means anything to anyone but YOU. Imagine a world where EVERYONE you meet says Hello and smiles.  Imagine a world where we don’t have to dream nightmares wondering if the New World Order is real or not or if we will wake up to World War III.  Imagine not having to work so desperately hard just to make ends meet.

If we as individuals, each one of us changed to the way we wanted the world to be, it would be that kind of world because believe it or not WE ARE IN CONTROL and we have been all along.  A new year is here, a new life is here starting today.  Imagine this:  Have you ever thought, “I wish I could go back in time and start over but know what I know now”?  TODAY YOU ARE ALIVE, TODAY YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, TODAY YOU ARE WAKING UP KNOWING NOW WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW THEN…TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE…LITERALLY.  WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD, MAKE IT THE WORLD YOU WANT IT TO BE.  EVERYDAY POST A GOAL ON YOUR PAGE AND EVERYDAY WRITE ABOUT HOW YOU ARE WORKING TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS FOR A BETTER WORLD A REALITY.

TODAY IS THE DAY YOU ANSWER THIS SIMPLE QUESTION:  “WHO AM I?”

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The Measure of a Man…or Woman

Humanity may refer to:

  • The human species

The total world population

  • Human nature, psychological characteristics that all normal humans have in common

Compassion, altruism, or similar positive aspects of human nature along with aggression, fear, or similar negative aspects

  • The human condition, the totality of experience of existing as a human
  • The humanities, academic disciplines which study the human condition using analytic, critical, or speculative methods
  • The Kingdom of Humanity, a micronation.
  • Humanity as one of the six core virtues in the Character Strengths and Virtueshandbook.

The Character Strengths and Virtues (CSV) handbook of human strengths and virtues, by the Values in Action Institute, represents the first attempt on the part of the research community to identify and classify the positive psychological traits of human beings. In the same way that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is used to assess and facilitate research on mental disorders, the CSV is intended to provide a theoretical framework to assist in developing practical applications for positive psychology. The CSV identifies six classes of virtue (i.e. “core virtues”), made up of twenty-four measurable character strengths.

 

List from the book

The organization of these virtues and strengths in the book is as follows.[1]

  • Wisdom and Knowledge (strengths that involve the acquisition and use of knowledge)
    • creativity (personified for example by Albert Einstein)
    • curiosity (personified for example by John C. Lilly)
    • open-mindedness (personified for example by William James)
    • love of learning (personified for example by Benjamin Franklin)
    • perspective and wisdom (personified for example by Ann Landers): the coordination of “knowledge and experience” and “its deliberate use to improve wellbeing.”[4] Many, but not all, studies find that adults’ self-ratings of perspective/wisdom do not depend on age.[5] This stands in contrast to the popular notion that wisdom increases with age.[5]
  • Courage (strengths that allow one to accomplish goals in the face of opposition)
    • bravery (personified for example by Ernest Shackleton)
    • persistence (personified for example by John D. Rockefeller)
    • integrity (personified for example by Sojourner Truth)
    • vitality (personified for example by the Dalai Lama)
  • Humanity (strengths of tending and befriending others)
    • love (personified for example by Romeo and Juliet)
    • kindness (personified for example by Cicely Saunders)
    • social intelligence (personified for example by Robert Kennedy)
  • Justice (strengths that build healthy community)
    • active citizenship / social responsibility / loyalty / teamwork (personified for example by Sam Nzima)
    • fairness (personified for example by Mohandas Gandhi)
    • leadership
  • Temperance (strengths that protect against excess)
    • forgiveness and mercy (personified for example by Pope John Paul II)
    • humility and modesty (personified for example by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous)
    • prudence (personified for example by Fred Soper)
    • self-regulation and self control (personified for example by Jerry Rice)
  • Transcendence (strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning)
    • appreciation of beauty and appreciation of excellence (personified for example by Walt Whitman)
    • gratitude (personified for example by G. K. Chesterton)
    • hope (personified for example by Martin Luther King, Jr.)
    • humor and playfulness (personified for example by Mark Twain)
    • spirituality (personified for example by Albert Schweitzer)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Character_Strengths_and_Virtues