From apes we came …


IMAGE/Pasttime/Duck Duck Go

the Universe has always been a great enigma for humans

similarly, they have been mystified by birth, life, death

gradual evolution led hominins to separate from other apes

including bonobos and chimpanzees, who are closest to humans

both share 98.7% of their DNA with human beings

bonobos, humans, and chimpanzees

have amazing similarities yet are different too

much later, after millions of years,

invention of agriculture, tools, etc. provided humans a settled life

which led to the growth of civilizations in various parts of the world

religions, in primitive stage of development, received a boost

religious leaders became ambitious; rituals turned more complex

life and death was credited to God (or gods and goddesses)

Hebrew (Jewish) Bible on death:

“Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless.

“All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”

Old Testament. Ecclesiastes 3:19 & 3:20, New International Version

Muslim scripture Quran on death:

“Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”

Qur’an Al-Baqarah ( The Cow )2:156

Arabic verse in Roman script:

inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un(1)

hundreds of years ago, it was fine to believe such things

that Homo sapiens came from dust and returned to dust or Allah

because technology was not that advanced then

besides, countering such beliefs was difficult and also risky

due to fanatical mindsets and aversion to alternate ideas

religious zealotry is still part of our society and world

but scientific discoveries and being having an open mind

have enabled alternate theories …

now we can deduce from scientific knowledge:

that non-existent God, gods, and goddesses have no hand in creation

we should now change the concept of

belonging or returning to God and

from dust to dust to:

“From apes we came, and to insects we return.”

Wriggling maggots generate an enormous amount of heat within the body $PHOTO/Science Photo Library/BBC


(1) In some religions, the dead are cremated or are left for vultures as food. Zoroastrians/Parsis believe the human corpse defiles earth/fire/air/water. For them, all four elements are sacred and thus to be respected. They leave their dead at a Tower of Silence or Dakhma where vultures feed on them.

The Tibetan Buddhists and people in inner Mongolia, some regions of China, Bhutan, etc. practice Sky Burial i.e., leaving the dead on mountaintops as food for vultures.

The Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and many others cremate their deceased.

Then there are other forms of burial such as burial at sea and cryopreservation. Underground burial is only one form of disposing the dead.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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