The model presented in this website relies heavily on the Phylogenic Tree of Life. Although this framework is relevant to all forms of life, it has the greatest utility for the species that has climbed out the farthest on a branch of the evolutionary tree – us. The best way I have found to get a snapshot view of our place in relation to this “tree” – what branch we are perched on – is by exploring the “Tree of Life Website”.
This link enables you to climb back down the tree of life is to click on this link for our species, “Homo Sapiens“, and then use the back button in the upper left-hand corner (or the “Containing Group” link):
You will eventually climb down to the trunk where you will find the common ancestor of all life on Earth.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Charles Darwin 1809 – 1882
The grey line is not an evolutionary progression of form, but rather a relationship of influences between our gut and mammalian brains based on observations. The downward pointing arrows are inhibitory mechanisms which have emerged to enable high-level cognition to override emotions, instincts, and reflexes.