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The Migrating Man

Posted by Dr. D , 05 October 2012 · 246 views

An one experiment, researchers took eggs from the nest of a wild goose.  The eggs were hatched and the young goslings cared for under conditions known to domesticated animals.  When they reached the right age, however, they suddenly flew away and started their migration southward.  They went directly to the same place as did all other geese raised in the wild.  But geese raised in the wild had the advantage of being part of a larger migratory group.  Even so, the young geese raised in near laboratory conditions knew the route to a place they had never been before.  No one knows how this migratory information is stored in the genes of birds; how geese without guides or instruction know their exact destination.

The migratory instinct is known to seals, antelope, caribou, deer, salmon, sea turtles, butterflies, whales, buffalo, ducks and swallows, the moose and bats and countless other species.  It is a phenomena little understood but we know it is there.  In many of these cases, animals migrate back to the place of their birth and there they die.  This is the case with the salmon, sea turtle, some butterflies and others.  Legends tell of elephants moving to the place of their birth when it is time for them to die.

Ancient petroglyphs of northern Mexico show men with wings.  Legends of Greece told of Icarus flying too near the sun on wings constructed of feathers and wax.  Lei Cong of Chinese lore had wings as did Tangata Manu of Easter Island tales.  Judaic lore tells of angels.  It has always been the dream of man to fly, to soar from the surface of his planet and explore the beyond.

In 1903, the Wright Brothers moved over the land at an altitude of ten feet and for a flight shorter than the wing span of a modern airliner.  What followed was a miracle never mentioned in the chronicles of history.  In the course of a single lifetime, only 66 years later, man was walking on the moon.  International flights connected the world and massive bombings had decided a war.  Never in human history had so much progress been made in less time.  And the progress had been made with what appeared to be a sense of panic, an innate need to move forward and upward.

With the creation of NASA, man sent crafts into the void to explore his nearest neighbors.  Photos returned from Mars and later Jupiter.  Soon after, a craft left the solar system to move forever.  The ultimate value of the massive investment in man’s dedication to explore the universe is yet debated.  Many have questioned if the rewards have justified the allocations.  Many agree that the answer would be no.  But still, man has roving cameras on Mars and exploratory craft beyond.  He continues to reach farther out and plans to journey and explore even though no destination is known or specific goal defined.  It is a need to go forth that has no definition.  He is driven and technology is adapted to serve the desperate need.

Does man have a migratory instinct just as do other species on our planet?  Has he dreamed since his beginning of having wings and flying to somewhere but he knows not where?  In his vast array of technological achievements, has he really expressed an obedience to secret genes telling him that somewhere out there is the place of human origin?  Does man have the instinctive need to simply go home?  If so, where is it?

Man will fly into the endlessness of space and seek the unknown.  Perhaps some code within him will direct his route to a place lost in mass memory.  He may call it home and stay there and know that his migration has ended.  Perhaps then we will turn the key in the vaults of religion, philosophy and myth and at last know who we are.