I think we are in agreement that the human body is a unique system of systems. So why then is it encased in such a fragile shell?
In the physical realm, humans rank pretty low on the survival totem pole. We don’t have the luxury of natural body armor like the armadillo, or a defense system like the porcupine. Neither do we have the ferocity and strength of a grizzly bear, or the speed of an antelope. We can’t smell like a bloodhound, hear like an elephant, see like an eagle, or feel vibrations like a bat.
And yet we don’t just survive, we thrive. How?
Here are 5 reasons (not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination) that I believe sets mankind apart from the other animals.
- Man is aware of his own mortality. He is conscious of time passing, not like the seasons fade one into another, but of generations gone before and generations to come. We conceptualize.
- Man has an inherent spiritual nature, religious even. The vast majority of people believe and/or pursue some form of spiritual or religious faith. We wonder about what comes after we die.
- Man keeps records. We (sometimes) learn from what has gone before, make plans for the near and distant future, and are always searching for ways to improve or better his life.
- Man is a thinker. We reason, question, create, learn, anticipate, apply logic, and discern truth. We also harbor prejudices, vanity, pride, ego, and nurture grievances and seek revenge … unlike other animals.
- Man communicates at a far more superior level than the other animals. We use complex language forms, both verbal and written to connect with other humans. We use this language to satisfy a deeply rooted yearning for community, a need to communicate with others of our kind, to connect.
So, the human body is a (physical) complex machine run by a (mental) sophisticated intelligence. But what about motivation. What drives us? That’s the part I call the “Thou shalt and Thou shalt not” factor.
Next, we’ll look at what makes man tick.