Human evolution 

Human evolution

There are many who consider Humans physically weak, defenceless, even pathetic. Such people have blindly ignored evolution and human history, and also they have ignored the Human animal as it is today. So, here and now, I will attempt to enlighten those of you who see Humans as a rather unimpressive species.

First, let's look at the supposed reasons some people point to as evidence of Human inferiority. Such people say Humans have no claws nor fangs of a length suitable for predators, nor have they the ability to jump like a flea or fly like a hawk, nor test chemical traces in the air and sea like wolves and sharks respectively, nor have Humans the armour of the turtle or cockroach. These things are all true. However, Humans have a natural protection far greater than all these things, and all others like them, combined???


Since first Humanity's distant ancestor, a low primate, picked up a rock or a stick and used it to hit another such primate (just a supposition based on other examples in nature, known primate behaviour patterns, and of course logical deduction), Humans have wielded the greatest claw in the universe. Those ancient primates came to rely more and more upon the tool, and thus with forelegs occupied they began to rely more and more on their hind legs alone for travelling. And, over more than six million years (the famous ancestor remains known as Lucy date that far back, and one more recent find in the line of descent dates back further), the primates leading to Humanity evolved with the tools of survival in hand. The body developed to work with those tools.

While most other creatures in competition with Humans (and natural selection is, after all, a competition, a trial of survival) would simply leap upon their food and maul it, or eat it off the vast prairies, Humans had to be more cunning, specifically because of their lack of armour, claws, and those other advantages seen in the competition. A great cat might hide on a high rock or tree, wait for some large slow herbivore to pass beneath, and jump onto it and kill it. A shark would simply detect food, and eat food. A family of early primates of the Human line might wait in high positions, in safety, and throw gathered stones at some beast below to kill it, working together from their defensive position to kill a predator which, until moments ago, had been intent on eating them. Later, while the competition was still simply leaping on prey and biting the neck, more recent ancestors of Humanity would dig pits, fill them with spikes, cover them with branches and leaves, and possibly lay on the ground pretending to be injured to lure the competition over the pit, all the while clutching a sharp stone or stick just in case the trap failed.

There are, of course, other creatures capable of using deceit and tools. Otters can be seen floating on their backs, shellfish or yabbies on their bellies as though on a table, while they crack open the shells with a stone clutched in the forward foot/hand. Eagles drop turtles from great heights onto rocks to crack the shells. There is even an octopus which uses stones to crack open crustacean shells. The tapping spider will tap the web of other spiders in patterns designed to mimic the vibrations of a trapped fly or other bug, and when the resident spider comes out to investigate, the tapping spider will attack an eat it. Ducks and many other birds will feign injury to lure predators away from their helpless offspring. As for communication, elephants can signal each other through low frequency vibrations over vast distances, more than fifty kilometres, by simply stamping their feet on the ground in certain patterns. Whales sing to each other, in a song which changes every year, and that change occurs all over the world at roughly the same time, so that all the whales will take up the new song.

So with all these remarkable abilities, what makes the Human so special? Well, the Human can do all those tricks, all those evolutionary survival tricks, far better than the creatures who first used them. For millions of years, unable to fly, unarmoured, without claws, Humanity has survived only through cunning, intelligence, and an ever-growing affinity with technology.

In every food chain on Earth, a highly-developed form of life rules. In most salt-water bodies it is sharks. In many fresh-water bodies it is crocodiles, alligators, or the hefty hippopotamus. On land it is the wolf, the tiger, the lion, or another such king of the wild. All great predators, powerful creatures with strong jaws or claws, acute senses, and more. In every food-chain on Earth it is the same. Yet Humans are Earth's dominant species.

Necessity and evolution gave Humanity the greatest claw of all, and Humans evolved (as you would expect, logically enough) to use that claw. Technology is as much a part of Humanity as blood and bone, the disproportionately large brain, or any other factor. Early evolution left Humans with a great gap in their arsenal, and technology filled that gap, and became a part of the Human animal.

In all of observed nature, such a thing has never before happened. Humans are a unique species, uniquely adept with technology, uniquely cunning and capable. Any attempt to reduce by words the Human animal to something weak and unimpressive is nothing but uninformed gibberish, and totally ignores all evolutionary, biological, and current physical evidence.


When observing reproductive cycles, we must first identify that there exist, in this context, three types of reproduction, or three types of life with specific cycles of reproduction. To understand the nature of Human reproduction, we must first identify these three types.

First we have those which constantly reproduce, or at least will continually reproduce while there is sufficient nourishment available. Such things as viruses, bacteria, fungi, certain rodents, and so on. Such forms of life reproduce as a matter of course, taking in nourishment, releasing certain waste products, and multiplying all the while.

Second there are those which reproduce in cycles governed by environmental conditions. Whether based on seasonal abundancies of nourishment, seasonal wet and dry cycles, annual high or low tides, or simple warmth from Spring and Summer, this type breeds by necessity during those periods. For them it is a function of life, an evolutionary urge to release spores at a certain time in certain conditions. Nearly every higher form of life so far observed reproduces in this way.

Third, there are (and these should probably be considered a sub-group of the second type) those creatures who breed by cycles as those in the second group, but will postpone conception and gestation until adequate environmental conditions are met. Such as kangaroos and lions, which will attempt procreation by their normal cycles but will not produce any offspring until the environment is capable of supporting them.

Then there are Humans and a very few others, in yet another group. The members of this group include only those creatures with disproportionately large brains, such as Humans and dolphins and such. The members of this group achieve an abnormally high level of physical pleasure from sexual intercourse. While it is true that laboratory experiments (involving firing electrical stimuli into animal brains through electrodes to produce an experience similar to sex) have shown that many higher creatures attain physical pleasure from sex (this measured by changing hormone levels, changing brainwave patterns, and simple observation of the subject), none attain such pleasure at the levels associated with Humans and the few others in this group.

Why is this the case among Humans? As stated in the section dealing with evolution, Humans have been at a disadvantage from the beginning when it comes to purely biological survival measures. Humans do not reproduce quickly, nor in litters. For the majority of Human evolution, there was no technology to protect the young and see them into adulthood, nor was there any armour or claws or thick fur. Reproducing in accordance with seasonal cycles or other environmental conditions would surely mean the extinction of Humanity, since such a slow-breeding species with so little biological defensive capability could simply not win such a war of attrition against the competition. It was necessary for Humans to breed at any opportune time, regardless of climate or competition. Thus evolution deigned that Humans should attain an abnormally high level of physical pleasure from reproduction, as an incentive to make up for other shortcomings. It was needed for survival of the species, so it became part of the Human animal.

The others in this group, such as dolphins and porpoises, seem to have a similar desire for sexual intercourse, as anyone who has worked with dolphins could tell you. They tend to see any vaguely communicative creature, regardless of species, as an opportunity to achieve some measure of physical pleasure. Possibly for the same reasons, too, as dolphins and porpoises breed slowly and have very little in the way of natural weaponry or armour (ramming with the snout is about as tough as they get).

And so we have Humans, a species in desperate need of constant reproduction simply to avoid extinction. Only very recently, since the last great ice age, have Humans developed sufficient technology to survive without such hectic breeding. So what does that leave? Millions of years of evolution telling Humans they must procreate for pleasure, in the end, many cases, without actually reproducing.


Every animal species which reproduces by the interaction of two participants will select for reproduction a partner which offers the best chance for survival of their particular DNA. This concept is common, a standard aspect of evolution, and of course was the primary motivation for selection for Human reproduction until that time (after the last great ice age) when Humans became technologically advanced enough to safeguard their own lives and the lives of their offspring from a hostile environment. But what, precisely, were the criteria for selection?

For a start, a prospective mate was best free of disease. Also, they must be free of such obvious physical disadvantages as weak hips, humped backs, blind eyes or weak ears, or any other physical limitation which would produce offspring with less chance for survival. Clear skin was a good indication of superior health. Sturdy, healthy teeth indicated the ability to maintain appropriate nourishment over a long life.

Males tended to aim for virgins because it guaranteed survival of his own genes, and not any genes which might some day be in competition with his own offspring for the available food and other resources. The female should be young, for several reasons: first, younger females were more likely to be virgins; second, it gave them a longer span of productivity; third, a young, healthy female was more likely to deliver live offspring. A British study in the late 1990s involved showing carefully drawn silhouettes of female bodies to hundreds of male test subjects, to see which they preferred; the undeniable conclusion was that the preferred body shape involved a waist which was seven-tenths as wide as the hips. Breast size was less important, as were the separate dimensions of waist and hip. It was that specific proportion of waist and hip which proved the most popular. Large breasts have always been seen as a sign of fertility, as a sign that the female can produce more milk for the offspring.

But what did the females want? For the most part, the exact same things. Clear skin and good teeth, no physical deformities, and the usual package of good genes to be passed down to her offspring. However, whereas males preferred young virgins, females tended to prefer older males with a history of siring many offspring. The reasons for this are simple. If a male was old, it was an irrefutable fact that the male was capable of survival. If the male had sired many offspring, and a large proportion of those offspring were still alive, it showed that the male was capable of producing offspring which could survive to carry on the female's genes.


Since the last great ice age, natural selection has played an increasingly insignificant role in human evolution. Gone are the pressures of competition with other animals, gone is the desperate search for wild grain and berries, gone is the need for the hunt. Technology has become Humanity's great claw, but it became so effective that even natural selection was no longer a threat. The weakest and least cunning can survive as easily as any other. There is no pressure which might produce the best Humanity has to offer. There is no impetus for excellence in the way of all nature. What that leaves us with is a society where the mediocre, the largest portion by far, can survive and reproduce as easily as the healthiest and most cunning.

Some would say that the best cure for such a society might be a large-scale war, to thin the ranks and provide, once again, a situation in which only the best survivors could survive. But what is the point of natural selection and evolution, for a race which has achieved some measure of self-awareness, if not to reach a state in which such a war is unnecessary? The entire point of survival, evolution, and natural selection is to produce a creature capable of surviving its environment without danger, totally intact throughout a long and healthy life. A bloodline, of any type of creature, evolves through its sturdiest members toward a state in which it can not be harmed by its environment.

This would seem to indicate, then, that through millions of years of cunningly outsmarting natural selection and using technology as the greatest claw of all, Humanity is finally heading toward that state which is, hopefully, the natural goal of evolution itself.

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