Dawn of humanity: Flickr photo of the day

Michael Clemmer
CompassMarch 5, 2014

If you have ever seen the movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, you will remember the opening scene in which an ape (or proto-human), under the spell of a mysterious black tablet somewhere in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley, learns to use a leg bone as a club (as we heard an orchestra playing the “Sunrise” fanfare from Richard Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra”).  What the director, Stanley Kubrick, brought to life from Arthur C. Clark’s novel of the same name, was what sets mankind apart from animals: a cunning brain and weapons.

Of course that is horribly oversimplified. We humans are far more complex, and sophisticated, than an ape with a leg bone; we can clone a sheep, go to the Moon, cure diseases and annihilate our unfortunate enemies by using remote-controlled drones. That’s a long way from a leg bone, but perhaps not far from the tablet.

ukthunderace photographed the Bridge of God and Chamo Lake near Arba Minch, Ethiopia.

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