For all you cat lovers, wouldn’t it be interesting to be able to listen to a dual-purring kitty? Or, imagine trying to hook a fish with two sets of lips or snare the head of a crocodile from either end of its body. Today I learned it can be done, albeit in exceptional circumstances.
Although rare, two headed animals are not unknown in the animal kingdom. Pigs, snakes, cows, crocodiles, pythons, geckos, kittens, fish – even grasshoppers – are among the creatures that have been born with two noggins. Found in places as diverse as Florida, China, Australia and Sri Lanka, these critters face a relatively short lifespan. According to what I’ve read this afternoon, having two heads doesn’t mean the animals use twice the reasoning ability, however. Rather it typically means that both heads end up competing for dominance and eventually destroy each other. Consider this: Each head works independently of the other, each head competes for food, neither head concedes power to the other and sooner rather than later, both heads (and their accompanying body) die.
“Too bad,” we reason, “if only the pair of brains could figure out how to work co-operatively things would be so different.” Instead, in the struggle to maintain dominance each head ends up controlling its own side of the body thereby creating disunity, confusion and frustration. The reality of the situation is that unless one head assumes the dominant role, the resulting indecision leads to death by starvation for both of them.
“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.”
Aristotle said it. Nehemiah, appointed to lead God’s people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, demonstrated it.
“So we built the wall, and all [of it] was joined together to half its height, for the people had a heart and mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6)