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The Message of Lice--We're Here To Stay
Cliff McKenzie, Editor

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1120 DAYS,--New York, NY, Wednesday, October 6, 2004--Lice, like Terrorism, are here to stay. In fact, scientists are giving human body lice some long-deserved credit. Human lice is helping them pinpoint the time when human beings shifted from running around naked with clubs banging each other on the head, to when humans put on clothing and essentially started their role as "civilized."

Some might call the evolution of human beings from the apes a deportation between the "Beast" and the "Civilized," or from the "Terrorist" to the "Sentinel."

Body lice and humans go way back
Body lice and humans go way back

There is some part of the human brain different from all other creatures that allows humans to have free will, communicate, create space ships, bombs, vaccines, gods, towns, religions and a host of other things our DNA relatives, the chimps and gorillas, haven't yet mastered.

Sciences estimates the evolutionary branch between chimps and humans split about six million (6,000,000) years ago. In other words, the process of "becoming human" began then.

The process of "becoming human" began about six million years ago
The process of "becoming human" began about six million years ago

It took a long time for the first human to speak after that, but in terms of "civilization" the scientists have learned some definitive facts recently noted in the New York Times.

They found the estimated date when human beings started wearing "clothes." That was some 72,000 years ago.

A little tiny fearsome creature helped them pinpoint this time--the human body louse.

Body lice and humans go way back. It appears from the research that the nature of human body lice is distinctly different from that of our relative primates. The age of human body lice helps zero in on when humans started to cover their nakedness and don clothing.

But there are some disputes about the exact time. Did body hair fall from humans 1.8 million years ago or only 500,000? And what about the gap between body hair and clothes? Were humans running around naked?

There's a lot of information one can search and find regarding the transition of humans from furry beasts, to naked creatures, to losing body hair and finding clothing a replacement, but in the evaluation it is clear the body louse shares shares human evolution into civilization.

Humans have three kinds of lice: head, pubic and clothing. They are distinct from the primates, even though the gorilla pubic lice and human pubic lice are most similar.

Amazonian mother picking lice out of her child's head hair
Amazonian mother picking lice out of her child's head hair

Lice, commonly thought of as the result of dirty habits and unwashed clothing, can occur on the most healthy and clean. Head lice in schools, despite the cleanliness of a child, is not uncommon.

However, the less one washes both body and clothes, the more invitation there is for the lice. Lice are part of human legacy in their own way, a reminder that our link with the Beast is not that distant.

Humans have only worn clothing for 72,000 years
Humans have only worn clothing for 72,000 years

In the five billion years since the first cell of life began on earth, humans have only worn clothing for 72,000 of those years. And, we're talking about animal skins for starts. Fashion walkways haven't arrived.

What is compelling about the issue of lice and the study of human nakedness pre clothing, is the idea of exactly when the Beast became Civilized.

If one were to say that the Beast put on Clothes around 72,000 years ago, then one could promote that human Vigilance had its dawning day around that time.

The Pubic louse lays its eggs on the hairs and tend to remain attacked to hairs in the groin and nearby areas
The Pubic louse lays its eggs on the hairs and tends to remain attached to hairs in the groin and nearby areas

For lack of a better evolutionary debarkation, 70,000BC is about right, according to the body lice.

Head lice live and feed on people's scalps
Head lice live and feed on people's scalps

Interestingly, scientists today note that a major distinction between the clothing lice and head lice. Head lice put among clothing lice migrate back up to the head. They don't want anything to do with clothing lice. The same holds true with clothing lice, they migrate down from the head to the clothing. Of course, pubic lice like where they're at.

Originally, the Beast had one kind of lice. Now, the civilized Beast has three.

Body lice feed on skin but live only in clothing
Body lice feed on skin but live only in clothing

The point of this all is that human beings plus nature evolve. The idea that we are moving away from the Beast of Terror toward Sentinels of Vigilance is reinforced in a small but significant way by recognizing the telling evolution of body lice.

It was only an evolutionary eye blink ago that we put on clothing to cover our nakedness. Now, we have clothes and three different kinds of body lice.

It isn't coincidental that Terrorism has its three parts: Fear, Intimidation and Complacency and Vigilance has its counter elements: Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.

Human evolution from Beast to Civilized to Sentinel of Vigilance is symbolic of the lice.

We are symbiotic creatures who evolve through understanding, and when we understand that we are from the Beast, we can better control and manage that Beast with Vigilance.

Human lice is but a small reminder that only 72,000 years ago we donned clothes.

One day, we will evolve above our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, but until then, we must be wary.

The lice remind us we have work to do
The lice remind us we have work to do

Until then, we must be Sentinels of Vigilance, and look to the lice to remind us that we haven't come so far so fast without paying a dear price. That price today is Complacency.

The lice remind us we have work to do.

You can start today by taking the Pledge of Vigilance today.


Go To Yesterday's Story: "Why The Beast Of Terror Will Be Watching The Political Debates Rather Than The World Series Playoffs"



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