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Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is backwards. Humans are not the evolutionary product of some primordial substance but the devolution of animal. In Mark Twain’s “The Damned Human Race,” Twain presents his support for humanity being “the bottom stage of development (Twain).” Due to history being plagued with stories of bullies, greed and indifference, I agree with this assertion.

A child’s parents have just been told their son requires glasses to see. Upon telling their young son, the child immediately pictures the other children calling him “four eyes.” Despite the fact that better eyesight is beneficial to the child’s survival, he is afraid of the consequences of his classmates bullying. Later on in life, there is the workplace bully. They are the “practical jokers” who encase their quiet co-workers office supplies in Jello and then points and laughs, to the embarrassment of the quiet coworker. Kings and dictators have used their position to force others to do as they please. King David, the ruler of the Israelites, ordered a man to the front of an attack so that he would die (II Samuel). All this so King David could take the man’s wife despite having many of his own.

Bullying is not the only behavior that shows the devolution of man. Twain mentions men that acquire more than they could possibly make use of in their lifetimes, but animals will not stockpile more than they need (Twain). During the housing boom, loans to purchase homes were easy to obtain. Banks loaned money to people who would never be able to afford the monthly payments once they had to begin making the full payments. Large companies will sell merchandise at a severe discount, or even take a loss for a period of time, so that the smaller competitors will be forced out of business. The owners of these banks and large companies were not satisfied with their millions and gave their money to Bernard Madoff, who promised to multiply the money many times over. What they never anticipated was that Madoff’s greed would be even larger than their own, and he stole every last penny they had given him. Greed benefits the few while giving no concern to those lacking the most basic of items.

Even worse than bullying or greed, however, is indifference. The classmates that sit back and watch their quiet peer get shoved or verbally harassed allow the behavior to continue. As long as it is not happening to them or someone they care deeply about, the bully’s behavior does not matter. There are commercials on TV and radio daily, discussing the needs of children in poverty stricken countries. For less than most cell phone bills a child can be fed, clothed and educated. Yet most of us will never pick up the phone to help these children. We have the ability and responsibility to help, but indifference keeps those children hungry and cold. Perhaps one of the greatest displays of indifference in American history was World War 2. American leaders were aware of the atrocities being committed by Adolf Hitler in Germany and yet turned a blind eye because it was not directly affecting America. This indifference allowed the war to continue, and Pearl Harbor to be attacked.

Humanity's displays of bullying, greed and indifference put us at “the bottom stage of development.” These are not acts derived of superiority but of inferiority. Although shocking to some, this analysis is intended to inspire, not rebuke. If we as humans can value every human life as sacred, to give freely to those in need and to help stop the injustices around us, maybe Twain would be willing to give humanity a more positive analysis in the next life.

Works Cited

“II Samuel.” Bible (NIV). n.d. 276.

Twain, Mark. Skeptically. 14 December 2009 <http://skeptically.org/logicalthreads/id14.html>.

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