The dawn of mankind was down to apes becoming curious. From this point on the evolutionary ladder has been climbed by those who sought to understand the universe that we live in.
Early humans gathered up each bit of new knowledge and made a record of it. Whether it was a cave painting or a printed book humanity has benefited from the passing on of acquired information on how and why things work. This process eventually became known as science.
Bert created a painting of a primate looking through a telescope at the cosmos as a way of communicating two related ideas. The first idea being that where humans currently stand in terms of the scale of ‘things to know’ – we are at the approximate half-way point. We certainly have come a long way, but we have an equally long way to go. That’s the cosmology reference.
The second idea being that on an evolutionary standpoint us humans are at the approximate half-way point as well. We unfortunately behave in primal ways – letting emotions, instincts and selfish needs drive our behaviour before reason and thought for the wider community. That’s the ape reference. An ape looking through a telescope at the cosmos.