The miraculous domination of a softy (translated from Dutch: Van der Meer, 2009)
Evolutionists have often wondered whatever characteristics it must have taken to make man the most dominant species in the world. As a primate he (she) must have had some advantageous when descending the trees and surviving hostile predators and well adapted competitors. Nowadays most people would say that humans did survive because they are smart, or, in other words, Homo sapiens has become the most dominant species in the world due to its cognitive powers. There is, however, no sign of any manifestation of these powers at the time our ancestors descended the trees.
In his futuristic view of the animal kingdom, Dixon (1981) created a picture of life on earth in about 50 million years from now. His vision was entirely based on the evolutionary and ecological concepts of his time, which are still much the same right now. If an intelligence from outer space had made such a script only a couple of million years ago, our species would not be present in the futuristic view of E.T.
Natural selection, the principle by which each slight variation of a trait, if useful, is preserved (Darwin, 1859), is still reckoned as the most prominent mechanism of evolution. Accordingly, Homo sapiens is an extraordinary improbable species. Vulnerable specimens with so many infirmities are rarely born only to die soon. Their survival and even becoming a true species is so unlikely that it is almost to the credit of the creationists, although their God Almighty has surely created a misfire.
There is no animal that depends on its congeners as long as our species. Human infants need at least a decennium before they become biologically independent in order to contribute to the preservation of mankind. Since prehistoric hominids that survived their infantry probably didn’t become much older than 25 years, their congeners were half a lifetime clogged with them. Nevertheless, as social animals are accustomed, the adults did anything to save their offspring from early death. Not infrequently at the cost of their own validity.
Juvenilization or neoteny, the phenomenon that an organism is still incomplete when born (Bolk, 1926), is rather common in nature (blind and hairless mammal infants; nidicolous birds) although it usually takes no more than a couple of weeks before the juveniles have become less dependent. In humans there is, however, still another biological necessity. The brain containing part of our skull is so enormous that after nine months of pregnancy, natural birth becomes impossible. The cranial bones are not yet grown together (fontanel) which enables a slight reduction of the skull during birth. Even still complications may occur, sometimes even fatal for the mother. The latter might explain the extinction of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis which was known to have a relatively larger skull than Homo sapiens sapiens (Larsen et al., 1991).
According to Maslow’s pyramid (1943), the most basic of human needs is shelter (next to food and drink). For there are a great deal of natural enemies in search of an easy prey and a primate that has left the sheltering forest, is not to be despised. Moving on two legs makes him less rapid than many a quadruped and he lacks the teeth and claws to effectively defend himself in case he is attacked.
Illustrations of prehistoric man usually suggest a lot of body-hair, which is entirely put down to the imagination of the artist. Even a million years ago he probably had to face a hostile environment without the fur coat of his own. This made Cro-Magnon also vulnerable for thorny bushes, solar radiation and, last but not least, cold. Especially when the exodus from Africa towards the northern regions coincided with making head against the less comfortable seasons, protection against the cold must have become a primary need. Only by enwrapping themselves with the fur coat of hunted animals, by hibernating in caves and by learning to control fire, our ancestors were able to survive. Even the lacking of one of these strategies would have caused the absence of modern man and the right view of E.T.
Organic innovations and symbiosis
So, if natural selection is not the main mechanism that has led to the origin of man, what is?
Since the beginning of life on earth, evolution is characterized by a number of drastic developments, in between which natural selection calls the tune. The drastic developments are the result of organic innovations and symbiosis. The famous experiments of Miller (1953) and Miller & Urey (1959) already showed how, under certain conditions, simple inorganic compounds can interact to form more complex organic components that are necessary to maintain any life form. Such junctions can be seen as a first level of symbiosis. Other levels of symbiosis that mark drastic evolutional developments are for instance the joining of prokaryotes to form the eukaryotic cell (endosymbiotic theory; Margulis, 1992) and the joining of singular cells into multicellular organisms. Cellular differentiation enabled the organisms to colonize environments that were inhabitable before. Another example of an event that itself had little to do with natural selection was the simultaneous development of a number of enzymes to enable the use of oxygen to generate energy.
The origin and development of muscular tissue together with the absence of cell-walls to allow all sorts of movement has possibly laid the foundation of zoological success. In the hominidae the differentiation concerned a morbidish growth of nervous tissue that, together with free moving forelimbs may have been so advantageous that it changed the abovementioned weaknesses for the better.
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