There is one specific reason why man kind is supposedly at the top of the food chain (Apart from the moot point that we made up the whole food-chain-pyramid-thing and put ourselves on the top). We are the only life form we know of that can dream. The amoeba might want to correct me on this but until it can establish meaningful two-way communication with us and then convince us that it does dream, I don't think we need to change our stand. I am discounting the various scientists who say that animals dream. Why? Because ... well because animals haven't told us that they dream (Duh!). Come on, are you saying you are going to believe it if some lab-coat says that your pet gold fish was dreaming about being a great white!?! Using their so-pis-ticated brain equipment and monitors, the lab-coats have only proved that the animals have a brain. While they are sleeping.
So we are better than all other life forms on earth because we can dream. What we still haven't figured out is the 'why we dream' part? We all know of the 'dreams' we have when wide awake. Those are the ones where we believe we are better than we actually are in life. And its obvious why we have them. We dream those dreams exactly because they provide an escape from reality and the mediocrity of it all. What we haven't figured out is why we dream while we are sleeping. (Going-off-on-a-Tangent-alert: Are we actually sleeping when we are dreaming?) Once we answer that question, I guess we can start working on the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. We could, potentially, also easily figure out the mysteries of the Higgs boson though it would mean that the guys running the LHC should stop running it and sleep in it. Anyway, all that is just a guess at this point. Coming back to dreams, once we have established the answer for 'why do we dream' we can move on to the more vexing 'why do we dream whatever it is that we dream'. I mean, if there is a formula for dreaming stuff up like a Kekule or an Einstein or a Mendeleyev or a Martin L. King did wouldn't you want to know it too? I definitely would pay top dollar for it (Actually I won’t. I am more likely to try and pirate it off the net or at least wait a few years for it to become more widely available at a fairly reduced price. I am cheap that way but that’s beside the point. It’s the thought that counts, right?). Especially if it helps me get rid of this recurring nightmare.
Like it says, it has been more than a decade since school and I still wake up with a cold sweat. I want to know why. I want closure.
PS: Just so there are no doubts, Chimps and Orangutans are not animals. They are just hairy man-kind. Extremely hairy.