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July 24, 2013

Understanding Adam’s Curse, Part 1

Our species’ struggle to understand its place in the Universe has, until recently, been led by men. In other words, our species has been predominantly patrilineal throughout its history, which, as science also makes clear, is relatively recent. It's now estimated that our emergence as the dominant cognitive species on Earth came after a brief period of coexistence with Neanderthals (and possibly Denisovans. We are thought to have became the planet’s dominant cognitive species somewhere between two and three hundred thousand years ago.

Despite the opposition of traditional Religions, empirical science has been validated by its results. A continued preference for traditional myths is very understandable; they are far more comforting than a universe progressively revealed as both incomprehensibly vast and infinitely tiny by the measuring techniques of Science itself: galaxies too numerous to count and atomic nuclei so complex as to defy understanding are not at all reassuring.

That may explain why the concept of Daddy is now so important. Until recently, human males have been as dominant in human affairs as in other mammalian hierarchies. Ironically, that notion of male dominance is now being reinforced daily by the engrossing footage shown on wildlife TV shows.

Lessons Learned from "Nature"

Competition is contingent on nutrition: herbivores eat plants, carnivores eat plant eaters. The Omnivore advantage is an ability to eat both. We also know that before we could have spread across the whole planet save Antarctica, our prehistoric ancestors must have been omnivores just to have survived in cold latitudes. Also that unknown ancestors in several different parts of the world must have discovered how to grow crops, a skill that characterized their transition from “prehistoric" (aboriginal) societies to Civilizations.

To be continued.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at July 24, 2013 07:26 PM