As you know in this course, we are here to discuss the most influential species in the Galaxy. Past. And present. But! It is only through the past we can understand the present. The past frames and gives context to the present and without the shattered and cooled remnants of what came before, there cannot be a what is and what will come.
The species that came before are often so different than our own. So many have risen, clawed their way out of the mediocrity of the planet bound and then explode with that first frenetic burst of energy into the galactic scene. Only to find they are average or less. Then to lapse into interstellar mediocrity, recede and go extinct.
That is not the case here.
There is no tougher species to discuss, to consider, to pass judgment on than Humanity.
Some call Humanity the Darkness, the epitome of evil. Some call them Saviors, the greatest good. Some even worship them as Gods. Others seek out their remnants and attempt to destroy them as a religious duty.
Whether gods or demons, angels or devils, there is no denying Humanity's impact upon the Galaxy.
There are a lot of myths about Humanity. There are a lot of lies about Humanity. There is an incredible amount of passion over the subject of Humanity. Some deny they even existed at all. That their triumph, their terrible sword, their righteous or daemonic power was anything other than overwhelming.
They did exist.
They did exist and they rose up to be the single species to have conquered the galaxy. No species had done so before. Nor has done so since.
We find their artifacts across the entire galaxy. Derelict fleets of ships. Massive astronomic projects we can barely comprehend. Species of Terran animals on worlds everywhere and unrelated to the local biology. Even intelligent races that arose from those transplanted species. Signs of biological intervention with local, non Terran biologies, even genocides...and some Uplifts.
A species so capable at war, yet loathed it. One whose fury could shatter stellar clusters. One whose compassion saved worlds. A species that strove for justice, yet failed time and again in its ideals, but would always strive again to try to live up to them...A race whose reign lasted for millions of years. Evolving from its base form and back and splintered into the various 'Children of Earth.'
And, yet, now, extinct. Even its children. And its grandchildren. None are left amongst us. They have passed and are no more.
If not for the attack on Earth, destroying one of the capitals, The Capitol, then Humanity would probably not have boiled out into the universe to change it forever. Humanity was not the First Ones, but they were the Greatest. At least so far.
I will be discussing the reality of Humanity from the scholarly point of view. Those of you who hold religious views, please, set them aside for this course or drop it. I cannot promise I will not offend you. The department head has already heard every last possible protest over this course and my conduct. If you are offended, angry, disgusted, whatever, Herm won't hear it. Its best to leave now or forever hold your peace.
That said, let us begin.