“[Gene Johnson] sat in an easy chair and held up one hand and studied it. Four fingers and an apposed thumb. Exactly like a monkey’s hand. Except that it was wired to a human brain. And it could be enclosed and shielded by technology. The thing that separated the human hand from Nature was the space suit” (316).
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He is comparing the difference between a monkey and a human. Genetically/physically we are almost identical yet the small difference in the human brain allows humans to protect themselves from dangers like killer viruses. The monkeys do not have this.