The VigilanceVoice

July 11, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 302
Mankind Is A Million Years Older:
But Is It A Day Wiser?

Cliff McKenzie
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, July 11--An ancestor of the human family was found recently, pushing our birthday as a species back a million years.   But have we gotten wiser?   That's the big question.
        French scientists found the ancient skull (pictured above) in Central Africa.  It belonged to an individual about the size of a chimpanzee.  In the July issue of Nature, the discoverers call the skull "the oldest and most primitive known member of the hominid" family.
       Previously, the oldest fossil remains of a "human" was found in Kenya two years ago and dated back to six million years, about a million years older than the recent find.
       What scientists find exciting is that the entire skull was found.  The only other complete skull in the hominid family that exists today is three million years younger.

 Fossil hunting in Ethiopia

      The fossil represents the transition between ape and man.   It has both characteristics, appearing as a pivot point, a "missing link" between the evolution between beast and man.  Ironically, the common name for the oldest skull is Toumai, a name often given to children born close to the dry season.
       If this is the oldest proof of human evolution, then Toumai is one of the first Children of Vigilance.   The idea of evolution was to offer human beings "choice," something animals don't enjoy.   Acting out of instincts solely, all other living creatures do not have command of their destiny.   They can't pose the great Socratic questions:  "Who Am I?   Why Am I?"
       Theologically, those oppose evolution between man and beast, claim humans were given the power of choice for only one reason--to revere God.    The single reason for choice was to provide moral conflict, and when right overcame wrong, good won over bad, humans thanked the "powers above."    Choice offered an opportunity to believe, and to alter one's destiny, where a bee, or a bird, or a bug, or a bear, followed the history of instincts, never questioning, never doubting.
        Whichever camp one wants to squat in, the scientific or the theological, the fact that Toumai exists cannot be denied.    This "First Child of Vigilance" represents the demarcation line between amorality and morality, hallmarks the cleavage between "right" and "wrong," and embosses upon us that some force, evolutionary or theologically, caused us to evolve into beings who could think, and choose.
        I was especially gratified to find the common name given the skull was that of a child, a symbol of newness, a harkening of innocence in a garden of conflict.    The animal kingdom is full of Terrorism.  It's a bug-eat-bug world out there for creatures, some lower, some higher on the food chain.   Killing isn't frowned upon by one animal against another.  Only humans consider killing a crime.    Few bears have ever stood trial for murder, and few frogs have ever been indicted for eating a dragonfly.   Nature gives immunity to death and destruction by non-humans.
      But little Toumai--well, he or she is a different story.

       Seven million years ago the break between the "animal" and the "human" began, according to this find.    That day could be called the "Birth of Vigilance," and the "Death of Terrorism."
      Somewhere along the line of human evolution we chose to separate ourselves from the "animal kingdom."  We set up laws of "civilization," the foremost of these being that we should not "kill" each other.    We were given the gift of the "reverence of life."  
      Over the past seven million years we have tried to reduce the violence between ourselves, and struggled to bring peace and harmony to our own "jungles."   The truly "Evil Ones," such as Hitler, have been hoisted up the "killing flagpole" as vile and corrupt machinations of human evolution.   We hold war crime trials, prosecuting those who use unnecessary violence against others.   We form treaties and pacts and alliances with one another to limit or prohibit our destruction.
      Our courts have laws against "violence" of all kinds and shapes, ranging from assault and battery to sexual molestation and stalking.   We protect the rights of others to not live in Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   
      But how far have we come?
      The Osama bin Laden's of the world still exist.  There are still tens of thousands of nuclear missiles capable of blowing up the earth.   Nations are still developing lethal nuclear weapons, and wars still rage between the "beasts" and the "civilized."
      Little Toumai is more than a skull.   He or she is another signpost of the struggle humans have to put aside their need to conquer others by force or by threat.
      Our world today is being Terrorized.   Every civilized nation marshals its intelligence forces to try and stop Terrorism from striking the descendents of Toumai, the children, and their children's children.
       I'd like to think Toumai came at exactly the right time.   His or her presence in the dawn of the 21st Century, some seven million years after his or her birth and death, represents the beginning of choice.   It tells us that Terrorism--the way of the animal world--which is filled with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, is not a world we want for our children.
       Toumai represents the thirst for a world of Vigilance, one that is distinct from the world of Terrorism.   He or she stands for Vigilance, the ability to must Courage, Conviction and take the Right Action by choosing those actions that promote peace not violence.
       Long ago, the genes of mankind and womanhood yearned to escape the constant Fear and Intimidation of the animal world.   To break those bonds of the "feral," the chemistry of evolution kicked in.   It bore a child of Vigilance, who, some seven million years later, has been named Toumai.
      Religiously, Toumai may represent the Messiah.   He or she may be the sign many have been waiting for, the rally point for humans to make the final stand in behalf of their children, and their children's children to end violence, to quash Terrorism.
      But that won't happen until we all link hands and hold ourselves accountable to Toumai, just as we do our own children, and their children's children.
      Terrorism is nothing more than the dysgenics of human nature returning back to 7.1 million years ago when we were animals, without choice, without hope that one day our children wouldn't be eaten by a tiger, or step on a poisonous snake, or be considered desert for a hungry python.

       Toumai remind us also that to employ our choice we must recommit ourselves to the reason for evolution.   We must decide as a species to protect ourselves from our "animal natures," the kind of natures that make Terrorists fly into buildings, or set off chemicals in subways, or walk into a crowded market with a bomb strapped to his or her chest.
      This is accomplished not by wishing or hoping, but by choosing.  
      Toumai brought us the ability to choose, to think and then to act in opposition to our instincts.
       To salute Toumai, we might all consider the choice of commitment.   That choice includes taking the Pledge of Vigilance, listed below.   If we take the Pledge, and vow to the protection of our children, and the children's children's children, then what Toumai started seven million years ago becomes closer, more in reach, more visible than ever before.
      Only when we, the Citizens of Vigilance, stand up for Toumai's reason for existence will we recognize the power of his or presence in the 21st Century.   We will know, when we take the Pledge, we are evolving.  If we chose to do nothing, to sit back, to wait for others to act in our behalf, we are only feeding the alligator in hopes it will eat us last.
     Complacency is the great act of Terrorism.   Human genes were Vigilant.  They had the Courage, Conviction and took the Right Action to evolve into Toumai some seven million years ago.
     Now, your great, great, great grandson or granddaughter to the tenth power had come to remind you to stand up for the genes he or she gave you.    Part of his message is:  "Become A Citizen of Vigilance, a Parent of Vigilance, a Loved One of Vigilance.  Fight Terrorism within and without, today, not seven million years from now."


Go To July 10--The Price Is Right--For Vigilance!

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