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Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

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Human Evolution

Evolution and the Structure
of Health and Disease

A Unifying Theory
of Biology and Culture with
Medical Implications


Charles Darwin made three proposals that he thought, together, could explain the process of species transformation, or evolution. They are the theories of natural selection (1859), sexual selection (1871) and pangenesis (more commonly called Lamarckian selection, 1868).

The relationship between neoteny and human evolution is explained in the following video.

The work that this website represents is a step back to Darwin's original thesis (the one he died with), that all three processes are integral to an understanding of evolution. This work, we believe, is also a step forward as it seeks to convince you, the visitor, that there is a single principle uniting all three theories, an umbrella concept not available to Darwin. Four features of this single principle are:

1) Natural selection is the first and most powerful of the selective processes. Sexual selection, Lamarckian selection (or the adopting of acquired characteristics) and additional selective processes outlined in this work were created by the branching evolution of the selective processes themselves. In other words, not only do species evolve, but so do the processes behind species creation–a meta evolution.

2) Recent discoveries in neuropsychology evocatively support a side branch of contemporary evolutionary theory, heterochronic theory, which covers the study of neoteny in human evolution. There is a powerful body of evidence that suggests that Darwin's third theory, pangenesis, makes way for an understanding of the etiology of neurological disorders in human beings as evidenced in recent discoveries of human hormonal structures and neurological anomalies. We believe that the origins of some forms of autism, dyslexia, disorders characterized by maturational delay and many other disorders and diseases are understandable and possibly treatable with this new Darwinian synthesis.

3) We have created a theory with a number of predictive elements. We invite you to explore our hypothesis that humans evolved as a result of a joint action between neoteny and female sexual selection, acting upon those early humans adept at proto-song and proto-dance. The implications of this hypothesis bind the varying elements of our theory together and suggest specific interventions for specific neurological conditions. It is our belief that art, not aggression, drove the evolution of our species.

4) In polygynous society engaging in female infanticide, there are far fewer females than males to mate. The males considered least desirable as husbands by the fathers of the females to be married go mateless. Female infanticide is an example of the patrifocal co-option of sexual selection from the female, or more specifically, from matrifocal cultures. We propose that human culture evolves similarly to how species evolve. Beginning with this hypothesis, we will guide you toward an understanding of how social structure drives evolution in humans, informing personality structure, physiological conditions and diseases, and even historical change. Integral to insights derived from this hypothesis is an understanding of left-handed individuals and brain lateralization differences at the individual and societal levels. We believe that lefties are our genetic forebears and that matrifocal culture is the social-structure (and neurological/hormonal) ancestor of our mostly patrifocal contemporary culture.

There is more. We believe that a) The sudden drop in the age of puberty onset over the last 100 years shows evidence of an evolutionary dynamic in contemporary times and emphasizes the speed with which evolution can unfold. b) The curtailing of the final stage of cerebral development by early puberty directly and negatively influences the ability of western individuals to have spiritual experiences, contributing to the social complications of artificially generated altered states. c) Human migration patterns influence cerebral development. Jewish and African diasporas have deeply affected the neurological make-up of these two cultures–both suffering the effects (over generations) of diurnal solar cycles on equatorial hormonal/neurological structures. d) When you cross two individuals of the same species that have diverging lines several thousand years old, there is often a reversion of the offspring to features characteristic of the last common progenitor. So, too, with humans. We believe that here may be a partial explanation of several developmental disorders and extraordinary talent clusters. It goes on. This website introduces you to an opportunity for connecting all these seemingly disparate postulates into a single theory, shift theory. At the very least, this site seeks to incite you to consider what you may not have considered up to now–that much of what you believe to be true may be only partially true, and that the alternative perspective we offer here creates an opportunity for healing.

For a detailed explanation to how this thesis unfolds as it explains the origins of autism, click here.

Thank You

Andrew Lehman
Marcia Bernsten

For a published article for citation purposes, click here.

Established 11/7/98
Last Updated: 02/02/04

Video link added 03/02/10

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