Choosing Extinction

Ray Katz
2 min readAug 7, 2022

Neither dinosaurs, nor lemmings demonstrate the level of stupidity that the human species is currently exhibiting

Photo by Fausto García-Menéndez on Unsplash | After a successful run of 165 million years, the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid. Humans seem to be choosing extinction after a mere 300,000 years. Who’s stupider?

It is true that many dinosaurs did, in fact, have brains the size of a walnut. And yet, they ruled the planet for 165 million years. They were the dominant species for a long time. Our species, homo sapiens, have been around for only about 300,000 years and we seem to be willfully damaging the planet’s climate and destroying ourselves — already.

By contrast, dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid. They didn’t choose death — a cosmic event wiped them out. They may not have had large brains, but they weren’t stupid enough to choose extinction.

We humans, by all appearances, ARE stupid enough.

Lemmings are thought by many — incorrectly — to commit mass suicide. While they do die in large numbers during migrations, and their populations fluctuate dramatically and sometimes shrink to dangerously small groups, they do not commit mass suicide. The species that exhibits compulsive suicidal behavior is homo sapiens.

Dinosaurs were a wildly successful, adaptive and resilient bunch. They learned to live in their changing environment. They did not alter the climate and damage the Earth that sustained them. They weren’t smart enough, or stupid enough, to do such a thing.

Only one species is both clever enough and stupid enough to pull off such a feat: homo sapiens.

So let’s stop denigrating dinosaurs and lemmings. Instead, let’s look in the mirror and see clearly what we are doing to ourselves. It’s time to wake up and change. Or die.

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Ray Katz

Internet pioneer. But I’m most interested in stabilizing the Earth’s climate and promoting our common humanity.