Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

HomoErectus-300x220By A. B. Thomas

A caustic look at humankind’s possible future evolutionary state.

The future evolution of man is portrayed from two stereotypical viewpoints: the first of the human species locked in a life or death struggle in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The second is a Roddenberry-esque man as a peaceful race of knowledge seekers. The characteristic that both viewpoints share is that though often the conflict is individual in nature the result is for the betterment of the entire species of man. Psychologically the human species is seen as having a group or herding preference, using as proof, the fact that over the past several hundred centuries,  man has kept an oral and written record of its progression. However, what if it is erroneous to base the possibilities of man’s future on the benchmarks of the past?

There is a theory that at one point there were two races of man; homo-sapiens and homo-erectus. The evidence of this is found in a series of caves in France with one side containing the remains of a homo-sapient settlement while on the other side are the remains of a homo-erectus settlement. While there is no concrete evidence, the hypothesis is that the two sides were in conflict, resulting in the homo-sapiens wiping out the homo-erectus settlement, thereby securing the survival of this species while causing the extinction of the homo-erectus species of man.

There are several beliefs about the homo-erectus species. Firstly they are thought to have been nomadic, living in small groups. The second is that they are situated in the middle between Neanderthal man and modern man in terms of brain and brawn. It is also thought that they were spur of the moment hunters; not formulating complicated traps for their prey, but relying on using their surrounding and what was on hand as their advantage. This would lead to the belief that homo-erectus were opportunistic in nature, with little forethought into the future needs of that group. The skeletal remains show that homo-erectus had a lower center of gravity with a smaller cranial cavity that to scientists suggest that they would have had denser muscle mass with lesser capacity of creative thought than the homo-sapien species of man. If one leans towards temperament as being a genetic component then it could be extrapolated that the homo-erectus’s temperament would have been one of impatience and no regard to consequences as long as they did not have a direct affect on their survival.

There are a few assumptions about the early homo-sapient species. Firstly, they were thought to be semi-nomadic within larger groups.  They are thought to have had an organizational structure large enough to include hunting parties.  They liked  prey that followed the migration patterns on a annual basis. Another characteristic attributed to this group was that they relied much more on pre-planned traps before engaging their prey. It is also suggested that the early homo-sapiens, by keeping to the migration patterns, would be considering  long term situations and conditions, along with what was happening at that particular moment, season or annum. The homo-sapien species would have a more even temperament, genetically programmed to adjust the satisfaction of their immediate needs over the long term ones that were better suited for their survival.

The assumption of our physiological model is that of the homo-sapien physiological model. Evolution is successful adaptation to the environment that makes minute changes to the organism over a multitude of generations to suit the environmental factors. Mankind has relied less and less on environmental conditions as it alters the environment to suit its requirements. The benchmarks of evolutionary progression are primarily based on the physical alterations to the organisms yet one has to recognize that success in any environment, natural or artificially maintained, requires a change in the baseline behavioural patterns of that organism as well. Is it not reasonable to assume that in the conditions that man lives of adapting the environment over adapting our bodies, that our evolution would not be the physical characteristics but the psychological?

Would it not be logical to assume that the extinction of the homo-erectus would not have been immediate but over a lengthy time period? Though the homo-sapien species are thought to be superior in their thought processes, one cannot eliminate the brawn factor in overcoming the first attempts at genocide that the homo-sapiens would have tried. It could be thought as well that perhaps at first, there could have been an attempt to co-exist before food supplies on both sides would have been sufficiently depleted to the point where both sides would have to concede that ‘live and let live’ of the two competing species could no longer adequately provide for both settlements. Would it not be logical therefore to include a high probability that there were incidents of mating, whether forced or consensual, to have taken place? If forced it would be more on the part of the stronger male gender of the homo-erectus species to take  homo-sapient females and impregnate them with the homo-erectus chromosomes than the smaller homo-sapient male attempting to overpower the more resilient homo-erectus female.

The question that hasn’t been explored is the possibility that homo-erectus were not eradicated but absorbed into the homo-sapient species. Looking at the genetic model of ascension that our modern geneticists have presented, if true, indicates it would be more than likely that the genes that were not as suited for the environment or the genetic preposition to adopt more of the female’s genetic material to facilitate a stronger womb induced bond over the male’s genetic characteristics would become recessive in a coupling of two similar genus’s. An example of this would be the liger, a hybrid of the tigress and lion which the offspring exhibit the characteristics of both species yet the tigress’s are often more pronounced than the lion’s.

From this genetic standpoint, an offspring of a homo-erectus male and a homo-sapient female would be physically more representative of the mother over the father. If the evolutionary superiority that is claimed of the homo-sapient species over the homo-erectus species is true, then based on a survival of the fittest scenario, the offspring would be at a disadvantage to have any overt characteristics of the homo-erectus genetic material. Over several generations it would be reasonable to assume that the genetic components of the homo-erectus, while still  in the genetic material, would become a recessive gene even if breeding continued with homo-sapien couplings. What this theory would bring forth is that modern man are not homo-sapiens but another genus, homo-predicae.

The genus homo-predicae has the physical characteristics of the homo-sapient species, with the skeletal structure indistinguishable between the two. The difference would be in the temperament of the homo-predicae; the species would be more ego centric  and reactive to stimuli in the immediate situation rather than the long term consequences of the behavioral actions. These reactions would be interpreted as being brutal by others though rational to the person exhibiting those behaviours.

To support such a theory of the existence of the homo-predicae, one has to simply look at the beliefs of societal structure of homo-sapient in the oral and written records of modern man. Cave drawings often depict early man as battling with animals; celebrating the successes of their hunting parties; yet once permanent settlements were created and man no longer were as nomadic in nature, the behaviours of man were that of the conquest or destruction of neighbouring clans or settlements. When one looks in terms of cities or nations, one could hypothesize that these groupings are smaller in terms of the territory they cover with an accent on maintaining and expanding that territory whether the materials needed for survival were there or not. Written and oral records show that if something was depleted in an area, there was no movement from that area to another, but an acquisition of the need while maintaining a central focus point that was defended from other tribes or settlements.

When one looks at the history of those that stand out as conquerors or monsters, depending on the record keeper’s opinion, there is always a difference in the methodology of that person. Historically for example the early Romans: the orgies, the coliseum games, the expansion of territories far beyond their gates. The Hun empire: expansion, the slaying of whole settlements for nothing more than being there. Hitler, who looked at world domination to secure himself as a god; all these examples were for the good and immediate satisfaction of the few over the long term survival of the many. Could the expansion of the homo-predicae species be a factor in these civilizations and people? It takes two recessive genes to activate the gene; could the homo-erectus temperament be the genetic factor that allowed these to occur?

Through out history there have always been spattered examples of men, women or children exhibiting a temperament  counter to the temperament that their environments would have created. Today, there seems to be an explosion of what is termed as anti-social behaviours. Whether it is because of a more media based knowledge or societal breakdown can not be established. However, what if it is not because of the overpopulation of man or the pressures of a higher standard of living lifestyle that the majority of the Western World now expects for itself, but that the recessive homo-predicae component of our chromosomes is becoming more assertive because  the stressors of modern life have made the even temperament of the homo-sapien a disadvantage to the survival of the species?

It could be argued that the survival of the fittest, with the technological advances that mankind has made over the past few centuries, is no longer about man as a whole but more individualistic. Man does not need the numbers such as gazelles, zebras, lions or wolves need to ensure the survival of the species; the artificial environments of man are conducive to solitary hunters such as bears or coyotes where more means competition for the few resources that are available. The homo-erectus temperament in the electronic, instant communication and wheel powered society would seem to provide an advantage over the whole of the good concept.   Man’s focus is not necessarily on survival, but on the style of survival and the parameters that society has pronounced for itself on what makes a person successful. Homo-sapiens are an endangered species, possibly no longer exist. Perhaps they have not existed for hundreds of centuries. Perhaps the deviances in behaviour being reported at a higher frequency are not necessarily deviant, but  becoming the norm as homo-predicae begins the climb up the food chain to take the spot at the top .

Perhaps as the 22nd century begins, this evolution of the human species will be complete. Could now be the swan song of man as a herding animal? In a thousand years could the scions of our generation’s generations be hypothesizing, much as we do now about dinosaurs, what caused the extinction of the homo-sapiens? Is the violence that our society is experiencing on an individualistic level simply the egocentric expression of deviant behaviour or has the genetic disposition of the homo-predicae begun asserting itself?

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11 thoughts on “The Emergence of Homo Predicae”
  1. I won’t go so far as to say that our enhanced levels of aggression towards each other have anything to do with genetic material from erectus, but I see why the loner has the edge for survival in a society that is becoming increasingly atomized (disclosure: I have many of the traits the author of this article mentions – the egocentrism, disposition towards aggressive behavior, etc….)

  2. I have to admit that the characteristics are character traits of my own as well. A while back Grainne Rhaud brought up the idea of certain beliefs and tenets that people adhere were remnants of a ‘genetic memory’ as a part of holding fast to those beliefs and tenets in regards to spirituality. I started to think about genetic memory as a sub-system of the brain’s organization of thought processes. It led me to rationalize that a genetic memory would have to be imprinted into a chromosome. The flaw in my thinking, I felt, was that the variances of aggression levels and tendencies seemed to suggest that the commonality of ancestry could not be wholly be justified. I remembered an article that I had read in “Omni” magazine and an article similar in “Scientific American” eons ago about a series of caves in France where archaeologists surmised that Homo-sapiens and Homo-erectus lived across from each other for a period of time. I re-read some articles from the “American Psychological Association” on some tests that were done with MRI units on the brain activity of aggressive personalities versus “normal” personalities where the conclusion was reached that aggressive people have different ‘hot spots’, meaning brain activity, than the ‘normal’ people. The conclusion was that aggressive people were ‘wired’ differently. To take a nod from electronics companies, computers from different manufacturers, while they are almost identical, there are some differences in how those wirings are put together though from the outside they all look the same. Where would people get different wiring, discounting the individual character traits that will obviously make that person unique, if man had a common heritage? There had to be an infusion of genetic material that would have a slightly different blueprint for those brain connections. After I wrote the article Karla mentioned that she had read that some scientists speculate that Neanderthals were also around during the rise of the homo-sapien as the successful version of man, which could lead to further speculation on whether or not there could have been a secondary cross species breeding that could have occurred. It was at this point, unfortunately, that my own brain said to me, “listen bub, I never signed on for any of this kind of crap – now do yourself a favour – blast your “Brain Drain” cd by The Ramones, grab a beer and some Doritos then spend the next couple of hours enjoying a few “Far Side” anthologies”.

  3. So this explains a lot. Different wiring, now I can sit back and enjoy the show…I wonder what bastardized species will evolve from us and the machines…Pass the Doritoes will ya?

  4. A.B. Thomas,

    I’m familiar with the concept of genetic memory as well and understand how one could come up with such a hypothesis – however, as of now there’s no hard evidence of interbreeding between the various hominids (I am aware of one skeleton recovered that possesses traits similar to both homo sapien and neanderthalenses – but paleontologists still dispute whether it was a hybrid or a deformed member of either species). Unless there’s hard evidence of hominid interbreeding that portion of your hypothesis can always come under attack by the critics (personally, I suspend judgement but find the idea worth entertaining).

    However, the analysis of social conditions favoring what psychologists call the “Type A” personallity (aggressive, goal-oriented, often selfish, etc…) I still find very compelling in and of itself – furthermore, it only requires a casual observation of the environment around oneself to seek confirmation. Hence this portion of your argument is more than strong enough to stand up on its own merits (as an ancient genetic memory is not needed to explain trait selection within populations existent today).

  5. [QUOTE=grainnerhuad] I wonder what bastardized species will evolve from us and the machines[/QUOTE]

    Perhaps something akin to the Borg…?

  6. Christopher:
    Figures that the only part that makes sense is the part that was stated by someone else (genetic memory by Grainne)! I agree that personality types play a large role in how a person is likely to rationalize their options in any given situation (though I have to guiltily admit that I am a behaviourist, which according to my former peers in the e-duh-cation world makes me akin to Satan, so I also think environment and the leeway a person is given to be successful or a failure is a large factor in how the actions of a person are carried out). Quite frankly, even I feel that my theory has large holes in but I figured since palaeontologists can hypothesize the physical characteristics and patterns of a dinosaur based on a single bone fragment, I felt confident enough to write the theory down. As I said, I could be totally off my rocker. There could simply be a difference in how aggression/assertiveness is nurtured in the early developmental stages in combination with the expectations of the individual of the outcome of that behaviour. Even that leaves unaccounted the variances in the success or failure of the behaviour as perceived in society and the allowances of the consequences of that person. It would seem to me that the cultural differences in what is tolerated cannot be totally rationalized as environmental in terms of that culture but a biological component to it. As for evidence of interspecial breeding, the way I look at it is that if dogs will try to fornicate with a person’s leg and man is not that different in the behavioural reaction it gives over our canine submissives. Another rationality is given my own past sexual history, I would say that if I were either species and saw a nice booty bending over I most likely would have attempted to tap it; what can I say, over twenty years of being a gutter slut have established that I have little or no standards.

    I wouldn’t hope for a borg, I’d like to see it more the evolution more like Dr. Octopus – what would be more pinnacle in terms of human development than being able to scratch yourself, surf the channels with your remote, have a beer, eat Doritos and to put your arm around a chick to show her that you’re ‘there for her’?

  7. Well don’t give too much credit to me it was a conversation between Karla, Maya and I that brought up genetic memory and I belive Karla was the fist one to bring it up, to give credit where it’s due.

  8. I’m blushing a little. I never truly imagined that my hypothesis on genetic memory could incite a speculation on the future of the human species. It was a simple calculation; we are, individually the sum of our ancestors. If certain character traits; even to replicating practically the same hand-writing of a long ago relative could be inscribed in our D.N.A., than perhaps these characteristics are the re-enforcement of a genetic memory.

    The components of recessive genes usually does draw to the mind the genetically weakened human condition, such as hereditary diseases and brain dysfunctions, yet even blond hair and blue eyes are considered recessive. I’m not really sure if homo predicae would be the result of recessive genetics finally arriving at the forefront, or the product of adaptation.

    Unfortunately for Isaac Isomov, his rise as a household name had more to do with his books on I, Robot than it did any of his other works, but his prolific writing often did give us a glimpse into very possible future scenarios. One of his observations was that as humankind becomes more and more reliant on his technology for all aspects of life, it would become more and more isolationist. Long before we obtained the Internet and virtual games, he wrote that the day would come when people would rarely leave their homes at all. Shopping, business, discourse with others, would all be done electronically, with no need to ever leave the confines of a person’s domicile. The isolationist would become the norm and not the exception. Certainly this lack of true physical contact and emotional channeling would be a perfect breeding ground for homo predicae.

    Do i believe we could evolve into Borg like entities, each machine dependent composition reflecting a certain sameness and direction? Not really. No matter how mediocre the settling all these electronically wired, collective minds might have, there is always going to be someone who takes things to the next dimensional level. Like a virus lying dormant, when that happens, it will cause another type of mind set, a new directional flow to the currents of mainstream mental development.

  9. Couldnt be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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