“What were archaic humans like?” is a question that dominates a number of my blog posts; both from simple curiosity and in line with my hypothesis that Asperger individuals are more similar to pre-agricultural humans than to contemporary hyper-social humans.
I continually point out a serious problem with modern descriptions of our ancestors’ thought and behavior: anthropologists, archaeologists, evolutionary psychologists and other researchers use Modern Social Humans as the “psycho-social” model for early human species. It should be obvious that in the Western world this rearview mirror projection suffers from a religious anthropocentric belief: Human Males are the pinnacle of creation, and that’s that. Females are incidental players who “drop” and infant now and then just to keep the population numbers viable and to provide labor and soldiers for the grand scheme of Male Conquest of the Earth. So, in order to trace the inevitable rise of modern humans, “human sciences people” and whomever else wants to weigh in, are on a mad search for “signs” in bones, tools, feces, DNA and in their own brains, for the “advent” of modern Homo sapiens.
Like Biblical scholars, contemporary scientists in the “human origins” field, want to create a trail of nativity for the supreme EuroAmerican male.
Whether or not one professes to be a scientist or a fundamental religious type, this view of humankind skews the picture of species that “led to us” as if there were a conscious force driving nature toward the perfection of Homo sapiens. It’s of little consequence if the “designer” is an angry male god or a “cosmic blueprint” that somehow guides nature’s special forces; attribution of forethought and intent twist the “journey to us” into an impossible scheme, which at the core, is only justified by anthropocentric fabrications.
In other words, Man may have conceded that the earth is not the center of the universe, but he has yet to admit that Man is not.
This is a case of misguided fabrication of human evolutionary thinking, common sense must be invoked!
The simple act of placing a typical modern social human into a wild environment immediately exposes the folly of believing that this highly socially-technologically dependent animal would have any chance at survival.
None of the tools, both physical and mental, that today’s Homo sapiens absolutely requires for survival, existed until the Industrial Revolution and exploitation of fossil fuels by a few – the average or typical human plays little to no creative role in technology.
Today’s humans, if cast into “the wilderness” (minus film crews, support crews, and emergency rescue by helicopter) would find ourselves to be naked, thirsty, hungry and as vulnerable as babies: a prey animal. Any slight injury could become infected and cause death; parasites, venomous insects and snakes are natural predators as well as large carnivores. Starvation and dehydration would be ever-present conditions. The challenges presented by natural environments vary from location to location, but all present extreme challenges in “the here and now” – Incidents that impinge on survival cannot be “scheduled” as “fun vacations” nor can rescue be called up by cell phone.
Cultural accumulation is ignored in “imagining” our ancestors: we characterize early Homo sapiens as having been “born like Athena” directly from the brain of Zeus in “His” image; equipped with “modern” mental and material tools – a catalogue of cultural achievements and adaptations that in reality have taken 200,000 or so years to invent, develop, manufacture, disseminate and build upon, and which humans today have inherited from our predecessors and to which “developed populations” have easy access: the grocery store and clean water-indoor plumbing solve 90% of barriers to survival. Huge portions of “victorious Homo sapiens” live precariously, day in – day out, without access to the natural environments that used to supply their needs; environments destroyed by EuroAmerican “social” progress.
Read about Salatin: Washington Post article, “How America’s most famous farmer can appeal to left, right and center”
What bothers me the most about “species arrogance” is the utterly unscientific stance it promotes and the lack of respect for other members of the genus Homo – tough and intelligent creatures whose survival was necessary to our existence; but this arrogance knows no bounds.
In the self-aggrandizing narrative of Western Civilization, “respect for life” is a long lost concept; eradication of natural systems for the delusional greed of 1% of the population is mass murder of a species.
Think not? How many species have we already driven to extinction?
The Industrial Revolution is in essence, a 2nd Agricultural Revolution, which has pushed population increases to unsustainable levels and produced mass nutritional degradation, leaving homo sapiens in an extremely Weak evolutionary state.
There is no “free lunch” in Nature: The Recent human population explosion is at the expense of the “rest of life”. Other species are dying out as a direct cost of human stupidity and greed.