It takes a long time for man to consider someone who does not resemble him as one of his fellow men
As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.
If, indeed, such men are separated from him by great differences in appearance or habits, experience unfortunately shews us how long it is, before we look at them as our fellow-creatures.
Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is, humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions. It is apparently unfelt by savages, except towards their pets. How little the old Romans knew of it is shewn by their abhorrent gladiatorial exhibitions. The very idea of humanity, as far as I could observe, was new to most of the Gauchos of the Pampas. This virtue, one of the noblest with which man is endowed, seems to arise incidentally from our sympathies becoming more tender and more widely diffused, until they are extended to all sentient beings.
As soon as this virtue is honoured and practised by some few men, it spreads through instruction and example to the young, and eventually becomes incorporated in public opinion.
As a kid, I read an article in the Scientific American. It measured the efficiency of locomotion of various species on the planet. Bears. Chimpanzees. Raccoons. Birds. Fish. How many kilo-calories per kilometer did they spend to move?
Humans were measured too.
And the condor won. It was the most efficient.
Humankind came in with an unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. But somebody there had the brilliance to test a human riding a bicycle. We blew away the condor. Off the charts.
This really had an impact on me. Humans are tool builders. We build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities. We ran an ad for this once that the personal computer is the bicycle of the mind. I believe that with every bone in my body.
Genealogical ancestry, therefore, is surprising. It works much differently than genetic ancestry. [...] None of these surprises in genealogies, however, contradict ...