Children, behold the Chimpanzee:
He sits on the ancestral tree
From which we sprang in ages gone.
I’m glad we sprang: had we held on,
We might, for aught that I can say,
Be horrid Chimpanzees to-day.
By Oliver Herford
It was a bold decision indeed. Had we not jumped from those trees it would have been a costly miss for us. Blue or yellow or orange or red would have made no difference to us. Coffee or tea would have wasted their special flavor in the air. Gold and silver would have remained unpolished underneath the earth along with crude oil and coal. Cotton would not have known its worth. Thunder and lightening would not have had any impact on usâ€”we would not have known that light travels faster than sound. What would have been the fate of Darwin or Helen of Troy for that matter? Christopher Marlowâ€™s immortal lines â€œwas this the face that launched a thousand shipsâ€¦â€ would not have seen the light of day. Apple would not have acquired the prime of place among fruits. Remember this oft repeated prescription by the physiciansâ€”an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
What would have happened to family relationships? Unthinkableâ€¦oneâ€™s grandfather could be oneâ€™s motherâ€™s third or fourth husband as well. Thus far and no further, I leave it to your imagination.