If you suspect you’re in a hole, stop digging.
As human beings, we enjoy a unique place in the modern animal kingdom. We are predators in the circle of life, certainly; perhaps the most ruthless and effective the world has ever known.
Improbably, though sharks swam the oceans for 400 million years before Homo Erectus first strode terra firma on two legs, it was us, we humans, who grabbed the evolutionary brass ring.
Somehow — no one is quite sure how or why — we humans developed our big claim to fame, our best defense, even better offense, and towering strength — which incidentally is also our greatest weakness.
Behold: The human brain.
Our quantum thinking machines are miracles of cosmic engineering. With this advanced equipment, we’ve been able to think our way out of one crisis after another.
And usually into the next.
With our vastly superior intelligence, human beings conquered the world. We are a class of predator way beyond apex; we prey on everything, and nothing preys on us.
Unfortunately for our fellows, we are extremely effective predators. Unfortunately for us, our fellows are equally adept.
So it isn’t exactly true to say that nothing preys on human beings. Only open a history book — any history book — to a random page — any page — and learn the terrible truth: We prey on each other — voraciously.
The worst part about man’s inhumanity to man — to the despair of sages and philosophers throughout the ages — is how much suffering we inflict on each other and ourselves as a result of misunderstandings, miscommunications, illogical actions, incorrect assumptions, and pure unadulterated stupidity.
No animal counts human beings among its prey. Polar bears and mountain lions may strike at the occasional solo ice fisherman or hiker respectively; hippopotami are notoriously territorial and kill more people in Africa every year than any other wild animal, but Homo Sapiens — the Thinking Man — is the undisputed King of the Animal Kingdom.
But a deadly predator hunts us just the same.