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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 Library of Excerpts

Aboriginal Australians: Heterochronic Patterns

"The groups with the earliest median age for menarche (first mentrual period) are the well-off in Istanbul (age 12.3), Singapore (12.4) and Hong Kong (12.5), and Afro-Americans (12.5). Those with the latest menarche are in New Guinea and East Africa (15.5 to 18.0)." (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 275)

"In one tale the totemic lizard, running west to east to escape a band of hunters..... That was only one episode, the last installment in a long series of episodes that occured during the lizard's journey, and each episode is manifested or commemorated as a distinct feature of the desert. Gould followed the entire lizard route in an airplane, flying low over a line of cliffs with an aborigine informant who pointed out waterholes, caves, hills, individual trees and rocks, and other features for a distance of some 200 miles. Later he visited many of these places on the ground. Wherever the dreamtime ancestors went in the course of shaping a world out of chaos, they left tracks, tracks everywhere crisscrossing one another, a dense and intricate network of tracks extending in all directions for hundreds and hundreds of miles. This culturally created desert is filled with interconnected places, links in narrative chains. .... Considering how much mythology is involved in the layout of one small area, think of the amount of lore accumulated over the millenniums for an entire desert --- and think of the problem of passing on all the information intact from generation to generation. This is an old problem, dating back at least to the Uper Paleolithic and perhaps thousands of years earlier. The aborigines, like many other groups, have solved it without a system of writing. They implant the information in memory by drilling, a strict discipline, and repetition, and art finds a central place in ceremonies performed from cradle to grave designed to impose remembered patterns on the desert." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York pp. 158-9)

"Gould was baffled when the artists, pointing out a particular design element and identifying it as a waterhole or a track, would add the word for "chest" of "back" or some other body part. The pattern looked nothing like the part mentioned. Did it have a double meaning,anatomical as well as topograhical? Only later did he realize what the men had been trying to tell him, namely, that the patterns were also used in body painting, and there were rules specifying position, what patterns should be reproduced on what parts of the body. As a matter of fact, body painting involves a whole complex of specifications, not only where the patterns should be placed, but the number and order of strokes." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York pp. 161-1)

“This primary or social interaction seems to derive directly from an older system and, like all animal systems of communication, is restricted to “betweem you and me, here and now.” The secondary communication interaction, speech, is subjects to no such limitations in space and time. ... Though sign languages are onomatopoetic, the signs represent quite arbitrary features of any referent; each Australian sign language, for example, uses quite different signs for familiar animals. Aborigines find signing faster than speaking and more effective at distances, and some groups consider it more elegant than speech. A deaf Aboriginal grows up with access to every aspect of his culture, and joins freely in any conversation. The human facility for mime and its appreciation and our ready grasp of the symbolism in dance, myth, dreams, and art require some explanation. A similar talent is seen in the emergence of natural sign language in every institution for the care of deaf children. These talents would be explicable if speech had evolved through long periods of mime and signing. Natural sign languages are found among the Plains Indians, among all Australian Aborigines, in India, and in many regions around the Mediterranean. They seem to have been studied seriously by only one man, La Mont West, whose conclusions have never been published. He is known to have believed that all of the sign languages had the same syntactic form. If this is so, then it becomes a reasonable evolutionary hypothesis that the deep structure of modern languages is closely related to that of natural sign languages. Perhaps this hypothesis could provide a test of speculations on the evolution of human language.” (McBride, G (1973) Comments on ... Primate communication and the gestural origins of language. Current Anthropology 14: 15)

"Body painting itself is simply a part of the preparation for further ceremony, for dances performed on carefully prepared dance grounds, and that in turn involves another world of rites and things to be remembered. Most of the time life proceeds as uneventfully for the aborigines as it does for the rest of us. Work must be done and they do it, routinely and effeciently, and in general with good humor. They come alive during their dances, however. Life is heightened, dramatized, and more exciting. In Gould's words, "the dreamtime past fuses with the present." The dancers become their ancestors, identifying completely with the spirit and journeys and adventures of totemic beings." "Like the works of rock and body painters, their performances are related directly to the land they live in. They reenact dreamtime episodes along dreamtime tracks, and they also have an extensive repertoire of "design elements," stylized movements derived from the movements of totemic desert species, accentuated and made more vivid by the figures painted on their bodies." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York pp. 162-3)

"The singers, like the dancers they accompany, perform with a control that can come only with frequent drilling. Two groups may sing back and forth to one another, picking up words and cadences in precise timing, or a hundred individuals may sing together in descending tones and is such close harmony that it sound like three or four voices. No one has ever made a complete inventory of how many songs veteran singers hold in memory. As an indication of part of what has been passed along over the years, however, one poetic cycle consists of 188 songs, which investigators have duly recorded in a manuscript of more than 90 printed pages." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York p. 163)

<110(166)> Maternal uncle usually mentor for young boys being introduced to man's world. (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York p. 166)

This authors ruminations on possible earliest song and dance in cave painting culture. (the heel prints of batons (drumsticks) ect.) (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York pp. 180)

Blond hair in children is a fairly common gene among Europeans (and, curiously, Austalian aborigines). " (Ridley 1993: 2894 The Red Queen)

Chart describes left-handedness percentages in different cultures including: Eskimo male 12.5, female 10.3; Australian Aborigines 10.7 male, 10.3 female. (Dawson, John L. (1977) An anthropological perspective on the evolution and lateralization of the brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 299: pp. 430)

"Driver and Humphries (1988, pp. 43-4) also report tht human hunters share this strategy: "Australian aborigines capture kangaroos in the open by performing a display which seems to be similar in many ways to these crazy-dances. One individual does a crazy-dance in full view of the kangaroo, the prey apparently being so bemused by the unusual movements that it can be captured by other, non-displaying individuals." To the extent that hunting became important in human evolution, we may have evolved special abilities for generating crazy-dances to confuse and entrance prey animals. Such abilities may have evolved from, or facilitated the evolution of, protean dance behaviors in courtship." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 332)

"Dawson (1972, 1974) has pointed out that hunting and fishing cultures, such as Eskimo and Australian Aborigine peoples, tend to show higher rates of left-handedness than agricultural communities, such as the Temne and the Chinese Hakka, and he suggested that this may be accounted for by the emphasis on independent values and the relatively low degree of conformity found in nomadic groups." (Bishop, D.V.M. (1990) Handedness and Developmental Disorder. MacKeith, Manchester pp. 13)

"Aborigines have much the longest legs for trunk length; their relative sitting height indices at every age are among the lowest in the world, being even less than those of most African groups (Appendix Table 49). The Nilotes of East Africa may be lower, but we do not have any sitting height data from them to use for comparison. As in Africans, the distinctive shape of the Aborigines is already present at an early age." (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 194)

"Today we know that this picture of aboriginal life is distorted. Women ethnographers have gone into the Australian outback and talked to women. From conversations during gathering expeditions, at swimming parties, across the firelight, these scholars have established that Australian aboriginal women politick avidly in the betrothal poker game and begin to choose their own new husbands by middle age. Women regularly engage lovers. Some tribes have a jilimi, or single women's camp, where widows, estranged wives, and visiting women live or visit, free of men. Far from being a battered wife, a woman sometimes hits a lazy husband with her "fighting stick." Women hold some rituals that are closed to men. And women's economic contributions are vital to daily life. In short, although women's and men's activities are often segregated, Australian aboriginal women appear to be every bit as powerful as men. Neither sex dominated--a concept that was apparently foreign to Western scholars." (Fisher, H. (1992) Anatomy of Love: The Mysteries of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992. pp. 212)



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