Column #461     June 28, 2024Navigation Instruments

Ask virtually anyone and the answer will be the same. How have people changed over the years? Will the answer differ if you ask a teenager or the grandparent? In most cases, when in general conversations with whomever, everyone seems to look back a hundred years or more and assume that the old timers were almost backwards. They even looked different then we do (they were skinny) and for sure they had no idea what the future held.

If you ask most Americans about the Founding Fathers 250 years ago, many would say they were very naive or even ignorant with slavery and all. Now let’s step back a thousand years. Could those people even deal with us today? Or would they be almost clownish in comparison? Could we easily pick them out of a lineup because they looked weird? If we look back 10,000 years, what about those folks?

Over the years I’ve thought about these comparisons a lot. And for the most part, my answer is that except for the tools and toys of the times, the people were identical. All of the emotions you can think of today would have been present 10,000 years ago. Happiness, love and hate, anger, fear, craftiness, political savvy, trustworthy and untrustworthy, and on and on we could list emotional traits and they would have been the same 10,000 years ago as they are today.

This is why the Bible is so relevant today. The book of Job was written about 3,500 years ago. In the entirety of the Bible are numerous historical accounts of people and events in their lives. The stories are as relevant today as they were then. We can easily recognize the emotions which is why the Bible can teach us so much about how to live a good life today.

If we compare people today with those of any generation going back 10,000 years (and even much further) we can see that the only things that change are the tools and toys. The intellectual capabilities of all the many generations is the same. In most cases the ancient people knew far more about their history than we know about ours. As individuals they also knew more about how to actually make their tools and toys than we do today.

In all cases you could take any of the ancient people and give them a modern haircut, fancy clothes, and a quick briefing and they could sit down with any of us and we wouldn’t know if they were from 10,000 years ago or were born 40 years ago. Of course, they wouldn’t know how to work with many of our modern tools and toys. In the same light, how often have you been to a museum and wondered what people did with certain artifacts that were on exhibit? Were they tools? Were they toys? If tools, what did they do?

Tools and toys are the basic difference. Depending on their genealogy ancient people look like their descendants today. They would respond to other humans the same as we do today. They would go war for the same reasons wars are fought today. They would make the same mistakes in judgement of their fellow man just like we do. They would also backstab the same as well as support others the same. They were ruthless and loving, cunning and crafty. They were just as smart too. They just didn’t have modern tools and toys that took billions of innovators to develop. Yet they were innovators too.1 2 3

For this reason we can’t expect that people today will react differently than the way people did 10,000 or 100 years ago. Especially in war, the viciousness and brutality can easily descend into the total need for annihilation as it did in prior wars throughout time. Just as peace through strength worked in the past, it will work today. Just as punishment should fit the crime as in the past, it must today. Man is just a breath away from being as wild and ruthless as ever. Just like domestic animals can revert to the wild, so can man.

That’s why we must respect technology because the tools that build great things are the same that can create even greater destruction. The operators will see to it. It’s also why for survival, individuals and entire countries must be willing to sacrifice it all to keep what’s theirs. And they can’t expect total harmony and peace to prevail without constant vigilance.

People are people and they don’t change. We’re no better than those who came before us.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

For additional reading:

1. From Stone Tools to Guns: A Timeline of Ancient Weapons by Stephen C. George from Discover

2. 16th Century Timeline 1500–1599 by Mary Bellis from ThoughtCo

3. When Children Came out to Play: Ancient Toys and Games by Ashley Cowie from Ancient Origins