So how does the Ancestor’s Trail work? Essentially you walk evolution – in reverse – starting at the present day and symbolically travelling back in time to our shared origins. Dawkins and Wong explain in their book ‘the conceit of hindsight’ where we have previously viewed human-kind placed at the top of the tree as a ‘pinnacle’ of evolution.
Biologically speaking, they rightly dispel this view, placing us with equal status to any other species. To avoid further conceit, in their book they rewind evolution such that our human journey becomes just one of millions of species heading towards our shared biogenesis. With this in mind, our event drapes the tree of life over the landscape such that its branches line up (broadly) with local footpaths to create a network of merging trails across Epping Forest and Lee Valley Park.