Back end of Week Out. Nasty. Himicane rumbling through. High air speeds, at least for a Model T. And for trees. And dihydrogen oxide falling. So a good day to hunker down, be miserable and try to not dwell on the damage upcoming to domicile.
This has actually been a good week for some indication that Homo Sapiens may actually be smarter than he/she usually appears.
First, a couple of articles [Link][Link] indicating that by 34 KYA humans had figured out not to have bairns off their sisters.
This does raise a few questions. The obvious ones are: why so late?; and how did they come to this?
One would have thought, with humans, in various flavors, being around for about 2-3 MY, that we should have figured out early on that kinfolk kuddlin’ (as people in the old Confederacy put it,) would result in greater stupidity. But then, since it does that, the likelihood of each successive generation figuring it out would be decreased, so if you tried it for two generations it would be established. (As it sometimes appears to be in the old Confederacy just based on observing Bubbas.)
Of course, if this is the situation, the second question becomes even more relevant. Was the discovery something emergent like art or Pop Rocks, or was it an epiphany? And if the latter, from whom? Space Aliens or Neandertals?
This brings up another, related question, which is when did humans realize they were ugly? And is the ugly basic DNA or miscegenation originating? Did it take a genus level mutation for us to realize that daughter dinkin’ made kids that were not only stupid but ugly as well?
If the idea didn’t emerge until recently, a few KY in the past, then this could explain why humans have spent so much time futzin’ about and doing little more than rock knocking and drooling. Civilization makes a lot more sense if smarts started 50 KYA (approximately) than 2 MYA.
Second, another couple of articles [Link][Link] that relate a study that indicates religion is instinctual (and hence totally irrational.) This is even more uplifting. One quote is especially good:
“our brains are hardwired with cognitive biases that have evolved in order to help us to survive, but which have the side-effect of making it natural to develop religious belief.”
In other words, religion is a congenital disorder like impacted third molars or failure of blood to clot. And we have the possibility of disposing of it with gene therapy.
Short of that we can be aware of it and do exercises to diminish its debilitating effects. And we can find ways to help people who are particularly afflicted with this horrible genetic disorder. Perhaps we can even form a national charity, akin to the March of Dimes, to search for a cure?
And lastly, [Link] indications that a lot of our undesirable aspects were passed on to us by Neandertals, probably in the process of explaining to us about miscegenation.
The traits they identified included those that affect hair color, skin color, skin tanning and burning, sleeping patterns, mood, and tobacco use.
So we can blame everything from skin cancer to drug addiction on those beetle-browed precursors of ours.
Probably the price of getting smart and inventing civilization and such like.