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Probaway - Eden

Explores how and why fully modern humans came into existence.

© 2005 by Charles Scamahorn

Science Magazine 6 Jan 95 p. 35 states, "Before modern humans arose the [population] size fluctuated around the mean of about 100,000 individuals. About 400,000 to 800,000 years ago the size dropped to 10,000 individuals and remained around that mean until about 12,000 years ago." "By at least three different methods, we have come up with a similar estimate." If those findings are true—what inferences may be made, postulates derived from those inferences and experiments performed to test them?

Human beings, as they presently exist, are intelligent and resourceful and they have existed in their present form for more than 12,000 years. How is it possible for these creatures, with their powerful problem-solving abilities, to have been confined to some limited location for hundreds of thousands of years? They must have been trapped by something that they could not conquer! What was it? Was all humanity confined to—an oceanic island like Easter Island and unable to get off? Or a desert oasis like Timbuktu and unable to trek out? Or a mountain range and unable to contend with difficulties with the surrounding lowland? Or a sea shore with a unique access to shellfish and unable to live without them? Or were they confined by their ancestral species Homo erectus?

During more than a 400,000 year period they would have found solutions to all of those problems except direct competition with erectus or being trapped on an island. The problem with the erectus theory is—that everywhere our ancestral-erectus could have gone, the non-ancestral-erectus could have gone also. But then the two groups would have interbred and remained either a single large and geographically extensive group, or the other more numerous erectus would have diluted our ancestral line's genes and our unique combination of human qualities would have been lost. However, if erectus was dispersed throughout the old-world, including the Indonesian area when it was a peninsula and the sea level rose, the species would be separated into islands of isolated inbreeding groups. When separated for long periods each of these groups would develop unique characteristics. As we speak well, it follows that our ancestral group became selective for that quality. But, how could this have happened?

Human males chase females and mate with most who will accept them—but most females will only accept the best males they can get. Males who are cooperative and good at communicating get more of the good things of life because of the success of their group efforts and each of these winners becomes more attractive to females. The females choose the direction of the group's genetic drift by choosing the communicative winners. The women over thousands of generations created the highly cooperative speaking-man Homo vocalis out of a semi-cooperative object-valuing Homo erectus. Thus, the communicative males, (who have the potential to produce as many as 1,000 offspring) were consistently chosen as breeding partners by many selective females (each capable of a maximum of about twelve). The long term average, of course, is very near two surviving offspring. Even pre-vocalis females could see which males were the most successful and so their selection for the individual male's communicating ability improved the whole species.

Rudimentary single syllables developed into more complex calls and then developed into word pairs and then three word groups. Each of these abilities has a genetic underpinning and this has external manifestations which are identifiable to females. Because, it gives an advantage, thy valued it, talked about it and selected for it. When there is some language ability and a desirable trait was identified such as speaking itself, it would soon become included as part of the spoken group-myth. Women would choose to breed with those men who most possessed it and the trait would quickly spread throughout the local population both male and female. The daughters of these choosy women are recipients of the trait as are the sons. Humanity was the first subject of artificial selection. Humans were the first domesticated animals. There are many qualities which make us into humans but in the end all of them had to be derived from the list of qualities that the women were talking about and selecting for in their breeding partners. A hansom, healthy male animal is always high on the females list but the male with the social and speaking abilities is soon placed even higher in the community and thus he eats better and becomes even healthier and even more desirable. He breeds more and has more offspring. His social traits become more common in the whole group and its overall health improves. The ability to speak, even minimally in the beginning, speeds up this process enormously.

But, if superior qualities are chosen, why do modern humans have some curious traits such as the need to believe in things which are demonstrably untrue. For example, the belief in personal luck as in gambling with roulette wheels where the player can look at the wheel and see the odds clearly in favor of losing. There is an abundance of these kinds unprovable and almost certainly false beliefs which are held by a majority of people today. The belief in: ghosts, life after death, a personal spiritual guardian, that good will prevail, that inanimate objects possess consciousness and the ability to act on their own moral judgments and many more. Why do people believe these things? Obviously because there is a payoff for them somewhere but the reward isn't in the natural world which we see and can test, it is in the supernatural world which we cannot see and cannot test. For a woman living in a primitive situation without any science or tradition of testability those supernatural things were very real. If nothing else they could see them in their dreams and in their imagination. Women were selecting men for their power to perceive these abstract things and even if the power was no more than a claimed control of unseen forces, the women were selecting for this supposed trait and it became part of our genetic as well as social heritage. Thus, women created our need for God by selecting men who seemed to have a contact with the gods and breeding with these men. Even today in our practical, scientific, democratic society a politician must proclaim a belief in God or they have no hope of winning an election and leading the people.

People who were almost modern would be impossible to trap on a tiny portion of a continent as they would simply create ways to conquer their environment and spread out. However, they would be contained for a longer time and evolve further before spreading if they were trapped on an oceanic island. Occasionally, individuals would be swept off the island to the mainland and expand over the continent. Over the years, these occasional escapees would possess increasingly human traits and would have a partial technical success—such as Neanderthals. Later, when those on the home island reached the level of development where they could build boats, they intentionally paddled out and swarmed over the whole world, displacing the previous near-humans. The previous escapees may have looked similar but since they could not speak or think very well they were selected against and vanished. As the group spread over the entire world they would cease to be a single breeding population and would change to fit local conditions. That hasn't happened much yet because if the relatively short period of time since the breakout.

The breakout began about 50,000 years ago and soon the people whom I have termed vocalis ranged from Australia to Europe and South Africa. For a while, as they spread, they all looked similar and even spoke similar languages. Nevertheless, when the land was filled, migration slowed as people began defending their homelands against intruders. Different environments demanded special adaptations and some individuals succeeded better than others. Myths developed within the various groups based on how well their members were doing in the local situations. The heroes of the local myths became the idealized local breeding mates and thus verbally guided artificial-sexual-selection quickly adapted these vocalis groups to their local environments. This is not the usual natural selection based on non-conscious processes—it is driven by conscious fully human choice based on fully human observations.

A population of 10,000 individuals would fit nicely on an island about 40 miles across and it would only be a few days walk for any human to visit any other human. All humanity's language, culture and genetic code would be repeatedly homogenized. About 300 people would die per year and after 100,000 to 800,000 years a potential for 30 to 240 million skeletons would exist. Where are they? My first guess would be on one of the Spice Islands (the second is Zanzibar) because we humans have a peculiar inborn liking for the spices that are native there. We acquired that trait because eating them protects us from being bitten by insects and no one desires to mate with a sick, sore-covered invalid—infected by insect bites. Also, they have hot humid nights, even in winter, which permits the development of some other human qualities—sweating and hairlessness. Unfortunately, tropical jungles destroy skeletons but some might survive in mountain caves, So we should look there first. Later—continental people possessing vast cultural learning repeatedly returned and displaced their culturally limited Spice Island cousins.

Liability disclaimer statement: These Probaways contain new and unique information that has been created, tested and retested by me alone. You must approach these findings and materials very carefully as your results may differ greatly from my experience and I can offer no recompensation of any kind for any injuries.

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