If you have a problem with feedback
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
One Planet two Peoples?
It is notable that there have been a number of theories and mythologies which have suggested that there are two different groups of sentient people who inhabit or who have inhabited this planet. The Irish mythology of battles between monkey people and elephant people has been shown to have a basis in real history with the discovery of skeletal remains of both of those animals in peat bogs.
Biblically initially there are four people Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel. Cain slew Abel which left 3 by my calculations. However Cain was banished to the land of Nod. So it would appear we have another group of early humans.
When legends and ideas such as this persist for so long it is possible that there is an element of truth or fact in them and they therefore warrant investigation.
It is also interesting to note that a number of European cultures have mythological Ice Giants. We have to ask could these legends possibly refer to the Neanderthals.
I would contend that in the prehistory of humanity that it is convenient to distinguish between two major different types of environment in which our progenitors developed.
In the following presentation I shall refer to the Neanderthal as a clearly identifiable group and to those who became their competitors out of Africa as Erectus as there is lack of clarity as to the naming of the group which became identified as homo sapiens. I am uncomfortable with the term Cro Magnon which might have derived from Neanderthal as a warm climate adaptation.
It is my proposition that the environments in which the development of intelligent life and sentient beings have played a formative and in many cases a restrictive role. In regard to dolphins and whales we have a high order of intellectual ability including communication skills. Their watery environment and the vast distances which they must cover have given them abilities and skills in distance communication. Lack of appendages which could be used to manipulate objects would be a hindrance in developing what we recognize as a technology in the case of dolphins and whales.
Cephalopods have overcome this obstacle, their tentacles being highly mobile and adaptive and well able to manipulate objects. These beings seem to manage to cram a significant amount of learning into their usually very short lifespan which would restrict the amount of development which could take place. The problem for all the aquatic environment entities would of course be the inability to work with fire.
In keeping with the above I would suggest that the environment in which the early forerunners of humankind lived played an important role in shaping their development. That is to say their physical, social and mental development.
I would contend that there are two types of environment which are of interest in this regard, one is the Harsh environment the other the Hostile environment.
The Harsh Environment
The Harsh environment is where the greatest threat to the existence or survival of the species comes from the physical environment itself. Though there may be inter species competition for food and/or territory this may not be a prime threat. Such conditions are those provided by the hot dry deserts or by the ice ages.
Generally the focus has been on those of the hostile environment. The more lush environment with the greater proliferation of species therefore there were likely to have been the greater numbers of fossils in general, the ancestors of humans would have left more remains than elesewhere and they are easier to find. It may be that there is a tendency to look for the lost keys under the street lamp because the light is greater there rather then near to where the keys were actually lost.
Neanderthals were successful in surviving in what I will term a "harsh" environment
Their physical characteristics were suited to conservation of body heat. Short strong limbs, bodies with considerable mass and low surface area. They had large nasal areas to warm the air intake. Ideal for the prevailing Arctic type conditions
When seeking to confirm that one is on the right track a nexialist approach is useful and that is to look at the reverse situation for confirmation. Interestingly in central Africa where the problem is the reverse, too much heat we find corollary solutions to the reverse problem. The problem has its first solution in the survival of the Watutsi who are very tall and thin, their large body surface area to mass allows the body to loose heat and is good for survival in these conditions. On the other hand the survival of the Pygmy has been the opposite, their low mass means their bodies generate less heat which has similar survival value. Low mass means lower heat generation and storage therefore less to dissipate. These items would indicate that we are indeed on the right track.
In the Ice age environment the robust and big solid physique of the Neanderthals made them fitted to the cold, the rigours, and the hunt for food. It however raises one of the questions as to why they appeared to give way to the invasion of the lighter built Erectus out of Africa. However we will deal with that issue later.
Next we might consider the diet of Neanderthals. During the long winter very little vegetable would be available, some mosses and lichens. The experience of the WW2 specialist commando group which lead the raid on the German Heavy water plant at Telemark, in Norway gives some insight into the survival techniques and potentials in one such environment. What is interesting to note is the British BBC follow up group which tried to reenact the Telemark action, which they did with improved technology and baack up but with limited success. All this would give insights into survival in these types of circumstances. The neaderthal high protein meat diet provided high energy levels and possibly contributed to the development and maintenance of their large brain even compared to that of modern humans. The brain is of course a big consumer of energy. Another major question arises as to why there was an apparent giving way of large brain to a lesser brain within the species. Indeed it would I believe be the only example of large brain within a species giving way to lesser brain on this planet.
It is possible that meat would have been obtained initially by scavenging after the high power predators of the time. Co-operation would have been needed between individuals to drive off other competing scavenger species, and to guard against untimely return of the prime predators. The high meat diet would have contributed to the high energy needs of the large and developing brain. Indeed the brain capacity for adults appears to be approximately 1600cc compared to modern humans of 1300 cc. This is a massive difference, modern humans have an average brain capacity 20% less than Neanderthals.
The development of predatory skills would have necessitated a high degree of co-operation for initial hunting for the herding of prey, especially of larger prey into locations favourable for a kill. Further it is highly suggestive from the skeletal remains that the Neanderthals showed considerable courage in the hunt judging from the bone damage. There is evidence of healed fractures it would be therefore be unlikely that these individuals all dragged themselves back and healed themselves. Neanderthals must therefore be credited with caring for each other and despite extremely harsh conditions having cared for each other and shared their food with the injured and ill. Indeed sharing would have been an important part of the survival strategies. The life styles of Eskimo and Inuit people must give clues as to many of the survival strategies of these people.
In the harsh environment Neanderthals tended to live in relatively small extended family groups, rather than in tribes and large groups. This would have physically limited the extensive development of specialization. This in turn would explain why an intelligent group of individuals made limited technical progress. The lack of opportunity for specialization coupled with the demands of sheer survival would not have permitted them to reach what the economist Rostow termed the point of "take off". This would apply technically, economically and resource wise.
I would contend that there would have been large survival value in the development of both linear logic in their thinking and planning processes and Gestalten pattern thinking for the forward planning so necessary in the Arctic type environment of the Ice ages
Also of high survival value would have been a propensity for collecting and hoarding
I would also contend that there could have been a high survival value on Gestalen type thinking and place and object conceptualization. Also we are now aware that some birds hoard and store food in hundreds of locations in widely separated geographically, they can remember and accurately locate the items as needed.
In the harsh arctic type ice age environment there would have been an environment which would have been relatively low in visual stimulation. This may have had an effect on the development of visual discrimination. Distance vision being of considerable value. It is arguable that within the group there would be advantage if different members of the group had difference sensitivities in the senses, that is to some in hearing some in vision some in smell and so on.
In the harsh environment and with relatively small close knit family groups it is reasonable to suggest that there would have been a very low level of conflict between Neanderthals.
From the fossil evidence it would appear that Neanderthal however was used to fighting large animals at close quarters. This is clear from the damage to bones. The healed injuries indicate a good level of care and altruism in taking care of the injured and the feeble.
Is is arguable that there would have been a fairly high level of xenophilia or Pocohontus syndrome (attraction to foreigners) which would have reduced the likelihood of problems associated with inbreeding in small groups. It is reasonable to suggest that the social structure would not have required a high level of extroversion or of extended social skills.
It might be expected that in highly intelligent and logical hunting group that there would have developed a degree of skill in driving and herding grazing animals.
Some of this activity would have been taken in close association with the wolf/dog.
There is some evidence to support such contentions.
There is some evidence that seems to indicate that Neanderthals buried their dead and had ceremonies for them. Discovery of the bone flute from a Neanderthal site would also seem to indicate the development of a musical instrument, of a proper musical scale, and by inference of music itself. Though there have been those who have tried to suggest that Neanderthal could not speak, that is not supported by the evidence as to make the tools they used they had to have a reasonable communication system to teach the tool building skills. Though it is possible that the flute was played without singing is possible but it is not unbelievable that they sang with it also.
In summary we have a big strong, group of people, with demonstrated intellectual and possibly spiritual capabilities. With demonstrated long term skills which served them well under what we today would consider extreme circumstances.
In Africa were developing or continuing to develop a different group of Humans who had evolved under very different circumstances
Some Neanderthal physical adaptations to the cold.
In relation to dealing with the long cold winters. There are a number of possibilities.
!. They may have followed the herds. This is quite likely. If they followed the practices of the Inuit and eskimo peoples they would have built non permanent dwellings of skins or snow leaving little record of their passing and travels.
2. It may be that they had developed the ability to hibernate or at least to lower the metabolic rate.
The cold adaptation could include any combination or all of the above. I would suggest that these characteristics and abilities may have been transmitted to their descendents in the present day.
Human communications Aspergers & Non Aspergers
I would say to the psychological and Psychiatric community that it may do them some good to work in the real world of such areas as helpline call centres. There they would have experience of the very high percentage of those who cannot communicate their needs or problems. These are adult nonAspergers who have great difficulty in expressing themselves in logical terms. A common also is the syndrome where ther appears to be a firm belief that if one repeats the same information it will somehow make it valid. I firmly believe that the criticisms of Aspergers people and their communication skills would decrease if it were looked at in a more objective framework. It would be arguable that nonA’s especially when deprived of the visual signals experience communication difficulties. A further feature of nonA’ communication is the assumption that what is in the mind of the originator is that which is also in the mind of the person/s whith whom they are tring to communicate. This is of course frequently not the case. I guess the problem is somewhat lessened in that being less audially oriented they are not really listening to the other party.
For those who are interested in a condensed vut comprehensive model of Communications they should go towhistleblowerassist.com.au go to contents and click on Cmmncn model
Actually I would say with tongue slightly in cheek, when looking at communication skills amongst much of the nonA population perhaps the Psychs would find amore lucrative field there.
Vision and Hearing characteristics
One might speculate that the heavier reliance on audial rather than visual clueing may relate to the relative featurelessness in the snowscape. Another contributor could be the problems associated with snow blindness. This would account for some of the implicit brain configuration.This could explain in Aspergers the lower awareness of body language and facial movements..
Other less recognized senses
Besides those senses discussed inwhistleblowerassist.com.au (click on Total Knowledge button) we could add such sensory systems which might be expected to be sensitised in Aspergers if they are Neanderthal based.
All living things generate an electrical field. It is this field that sharks use to locate their food, which includes humans. I would suggest sensitivity to this field may well be greater with Aspergers. This field may be used to "sense" proximity to others as is the case with the various electric fish and eels. It may also exlplain the awareness that others are close even when they cannot be seen e.g. from behind. Different individuals display a different personal comfort zone. There are those whose zone of intrusion extends more behind them. One of the side effects of such a sensitivity is often a form of mild paranoia. I would suggest that part of the problem is that there is really a lack of a recognized way of translating training too interpret the information input. It is a similar to have a person who is blind "envisage" a colour. This particular sense may well explain the ability of some people to "know" that they are being looked at even from behind and even at distance. I would suggest and postulate that there may be an increased sensitivity amongst Aspergers people in this area and would welcome any feedback on the matter either for or against.
HUP Human Potential Development Centre
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.