It’s very sad that missionary John Chau was killed by a tribe cut off from the world for 30,000 years.

But the American knew what he was getting into before he set off for the remote island of North Sentinel in the Bay of Bengal. Visitors are not welcomed by the small band of locals who call it their home.

Other curious visitors over the years have been seen off with poison arrows and machetes, or killed.

Direct descendants of the first humans in Asia and believed to be the world’s last pre-Neolithic tribe, the Sentinelese don’t want contact with the outside. Who can blame them?

Like the few surviving tribes across the world who keep to themselves, they may look odd to us. I daresay the photos of a band of near-naked men on a beach waving longbows raised many a guffaw in the developed world. But if these people were shown images of us, racing about, a tiny black rectangle glued to our hands, onto which we frequently tap our fingers, they’d laugh their heads off too.

If they saw us in our cars, bumper-to-bumper on ring roads, they’d weep with hilarity. And if they could see how we spend our spare time, looking at pictures of other people enjoying their spare time, they'd think us bonkers. They wouldn’t understand our world any more than we do theirs.

We call ourselves the ‘modern world’, the ‘developed world’, but they are in many ways more advanced than us. Incredibly, the whole population survived the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 in which 250,000 people died.

It is believed that, like the animals who ran for higher ground before it struck, they were able to detect the impending disaster and climbed trees.

They survived without outside help. We’d panic without the multitude of things we rely on to survive, ranging from 24-hour supermarkets to central heating and the internet.

In a global crisis, they would be likely to pull through. We wouldn’t.

At least they understand their world: a tiny, mangrove-swamped 20-square mile island, where they feed off the fruits of the land.

Do we understand ours? I certainly don’t. I don’t understand why our lives are dominated by phones and computers, I don’t know why we feel we have to own so much to feel good about ourselves and it baffles me as to why we are so obsessed with the lives of others. I don’t even understand adverts on TV.

As for the tribe being sex-crazed, as has been claimed: that assumption is based on anthropologists who visited the island and, as well as being showered with arrows, witnessed a ‘sort of community mating’. I’ll bet it was far less lewd than anything young holidaymakers get up to on Ayia Napa.

This tribe is bound to have contact with the modern world in some form or another. Their beautiful sandy beaches will be subjected to a continuous washing-up of our plastic waste.

There is an official exclusion zone around the island to protect the people, whose population is unknown. This can only be a good thing. If the world was allowed open access, the tribe would probably be wiped out and the island put to use as a location for I’m a Celebrity.

These people may jump up and down waving bows and arrows, but they are clearly sufficiently intelligent to know what is good and what is bad for them. And we, for all our advancements, ain’t good.