The moment that made us human in that series of happenings was not the language, the gods, or even the ability to draw Rubenesque women in stone. It was when we decided that when a leopard stalked the cave, we ought to go after it and kill it. When we decided to kill a species not for food or in self-defense, but instead in order to control what lived and what did not live around us, when we did that we were then fully human. From The Wild Life of Our Bodies.
Listening to a recent Science Friday interview with Dr. Rob Dunn, I was enthralled by the discussion of who we share our homes and bodies with on a microscopic level. Yearning to find out more about the variety of relationships we have with other organisms, I got a copy of Dr. Dunn’s book The Wild Life of Our Bodies which is a fascinating collection of stories about the organisms that make us who we are and how they and we have changed each other over time.
While you may not agree with some of the perspectives and interpretations presented in the book, you should check this book out if you’d like to become better acquainted with who we are, we being us and the myriad organisms we depend upon. Weaving together scientific research and anecdotes, the stories told can be engrossing, striking me as almost mythical at times as they reveal the ancient origins of our modern-day lives.