It is said that we should learn from the past so as to avoid its mistakes or adopt its wisdom. If you can, by all means do both. But even if you are able to do neither, there are good reasons for the close examination of history and its archaic predecessors in undocumented human and still more distant biological time, for as you will quickly learn, the past is very far from dead.

Indeed, it is little more than commonsense to look over one's shoulder as frequently as may be, in case the old villain is silently approaching with a big stick, as he often is and with special attention to those who think him safely buried.