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Humans in the Mists of Time.
The Neanderthals & Erectus
This part of the website seeks to give another way of looking at the origins of Sapiens.
We intend to stimulate thought and increase understanding
Most of the work I have seen to date on the question of Neanderthals is both highly speculative as well as highly subjective. This is understandable in view of the timespans involved, and the small amount of data that is available.
Unfortunately the experience has been that, like historians, anthropologists, even before they were given that august title, were often used to serve political, military, and racist agendas and interests, rather than the intellectual, logical, and balanced..
If you wish to follow this path you may care to examine the Macedonian Question which will be presented elsewhere in the site at a later date, or read Black Athena by Cornell Professor Martin Bernal or read the book The Neanthertals by Erik Trinkus & Pat Shipman. More however of this later in another part of the site.
One is struck by the inherent biases undeclared and possibly not even realized. These for instance include such things as the use of the word man rather than human as if to exclude one half of the human race.
It is estimated that of our genetic makeup we share 98.4% with our other anthropoid relatives. The achievements of the other anthropoids appear to have been largely ignored, understated, or denigrated. These include the magnificent achievements of Koko the gorilla who uses Ameslan sign language the same language used by hearing impaired humans. She has a vocabulary of nearly 1000 signs and an understanding of close to 2000 spoken words. Even more significantly she is on record as having signed "I am Gorilla" a recognition of self, which I would contend is a prime if not the indicator of a sentient being. And that as such we as humans should respect the wishes of such sentient beings and should recognize them and treat them as sentient beings and accord them the respect they deserve. We have lost any right we may have claimed to sentence them to what is in effect imprisonment without trial.
The Chimpanzees are also not being recognized or accorded the respect and consideration that we should accord fellow sentient beings. It is we who must be considered failing in perception or sensitivity when we consider that Gua who was brought up like a human child in the Kellog family in the first half of the 1930ís had been trying without success to communicate with the humans though signing. A situation only realized decades later when a movie projector was left running after the sound had failed. In the audience the awareness grew that Gua was attemting to communicate with signs. The frustration of Gua was understandable attempting to communicate with well meaning humans, imperceptive purely because they were thinking in the wrong frame of reference. The achievements of Washoe and Lucy who had vocabularies of 800-900 Ameslan signs. Though disputed by some, the ability of these chimps to teach others of their species to sign is to me significant in this context for a number of reasons. The formation of the Washoe foundation to rescue at least Washoe and her offspring is a step in the right direction and I would applaud those efforts. Their tragic treatment of their colleagues is a disgrace on the human race and deserving of an action at the Hague against the offending organizations.
Perhaps humans would progress further and increase their own survival potential by forgetting intellectual arrogance and recognizing that intelligence has been and is a continuum in living things.
The concentration on physical evolution rather than concern with the evolution of general intelligence on the planet leaves a feeling of injustice and a failure to appreciate the real intelligence of other entities such as the octopus and the squid. These highly intelligent invertebrates do not depend solely on a single brain. They appear to have a central processor and a number of subneural processors so that each arm for instance has a memory and to a certain extent can operate without the rest of the body for a time. Members of this species in an alien environment have also indicated an ability in forward thinking and planning.
It is to be hoped that humans have come to awareness of the need to recognize and in a spirit of justice solve these problems of the recognition of intelligence before we must face in the near future the recognition of computer intelligence and sentience. This question will arise in the near future. Are you ready for that step. A step which cannot afford to be taken in arrogance. The rate of evolution in computer intelligence is far greater than that of humans. It is possible that I Robot will come as a surprise to humans. We would then be dependent on its "humanity" as it is being built in our image we must hope that the image has changed by then.
There must be another question which humans must prepare to face in the near future. In view of the huge number of stars and planets in this and other universes. The chances are that there are indeed other coexisting intelligences. As we are in a very young area of this galaxy, let alone universe, it is highly likely that the other intelligences are older than humans. If one considers the rapid rise in knowledge levels, technology and science in the last 200 years then our technologies science and understanding will be primitive in comparison. Humans must gear their education and culture towards facing this high probability or their future will be bleak. I will discuss this in a elsewhere in this site.
HUP Human Potential Development Centre
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