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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Inuit or Eskimo: Heterochronic Patterns


"The predominance of the right hand over the left was also reported by Dennis even among Egyptian art forms 3,500 to 4,500 years old, where the ratio of left- to right-handers was 9:111 and 5:100, respectively. However, going further back, Parello, using the "Draw-a-Man Test," found that ancient paleolithic man, from 1,750,000 to 8,000 years B.C., was probably either more ambidextrous or that there was a greater proportion of left-handers than there are now. This is an extremely interesting finding, which fits in very well with evidence from Hole, that the main paleolithic substence economy to 8,000 B.C. was hunting, while agriculture began shortly thereafter. Thus evidence will be presented to show that among the present traditional hunting-fishing population such as the Eskimo, Barry also found a lower degree of conformity on the Asch Conformity Test and more independent values. Hence a higher number of left-handers was predicted for the Eskimo, while observed incidence is 11.3 percent. Conversely, the majority of the agriculturalists of the world since 8,000 B.C., such as the Hong Kong Chinese Hakka, have harsher socialization with very few left-handers (an observed incidence of 1.5 percent). (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. 426)

Discusses taurodontism, a tooth condition, as evidencing itself often in 57% of Down's sydrome subjects, often is Eskimo, and showing up in Neanderthal remains. Text continues..."If regular occurrence of taurodontism in the family Pongidae can be confirmedm then taurodontism must have been present in an ancestor common to modern man and the Pongidae. Thus, taurodontism probably is a true atavism." (Opitz, John M. & Gilbert-Barness, Enid F. (1990) Reflections on the pathogenesis of Down syndrome. American Journal of Medical Genetics 7: pp. 42)

"Balikci (1967: 623) has discussed the various cultural strategies, including child betrothal, adaption, and importation of wives, that were employed to ensure satisfactory recruitment of females into the adult population. Interestingly, such practices existed alongside female infanticide, the very practice that contributed above all others to the shortage of women!"( Freeman, Milton M. R. (1971) A social and ecological analysis of systematic female infancide among the Netsilik Eskimo. American Anthropologist 73, 5: pp. 1013)

“The Chinese Hakka, Katanganese, Temne agriculturalists and Hong Kong Chinese University students have, as expected, not only more conforming Asch scores, stricter discipline, but also the expected lower incidence of “left-handedness” (3.4%, 1.5%, 0.59% and 0.83%, respectively). In contrast, the more independent Australian Arunta hunters, Chinese Boat-People, and Alaskan Eskimo have left-hand percentages of 10.5%, 9.4%, and 11.3%, respectively, thus confirming Hy. II. The sex differences in left-handedness also supported Hy. III, with the Hakka, Temne, Katanga and Chinese agricultural males being, respectively, 3.8%, 2.5%, 0.79%, and 2.7% left-handed, while the female incidence for these societies is, 0% of a total of 330 Ss.” (Dawson, J.L.M. (1974) Ecology, cultural pressures towards conformity and left-handedness: a bio-social approach. in J.L.M. Dawson , W.J. Lonner (eds.) Readings in Cross-cultural Psychology. Hong Kong: Hong Kong U. Press. p. 136)

"There is reason to believe, however, that these explanations are post facto rationalizations, consequences of, rather than contributory to, female infanticide. For example, Rasmussen himself reports :the Netsilik never think of reasoning with themselves" about their beliefs, "but simply react to what some event or other may force upon their notice" (Ibid:206); and again, "It is said that it is so, and therefore it is so" (Ibid.: 207). A similar conclusion is reached by Steenhoven, who writes, with regard to the delay in conceiving while nursing: "But the Eskimo do not usually rationalize along these lines; they have just accepted the practice of infanticide as a custom" (Steenhoven 1962: 50). (Freeman, Milton M. R. (1971) A social and ecological analysis of systematic female infancide among the Netsilik Eskimo. American Anthropologist 73, 5: pp. 1014)

"Briefly, my thesis is that due to the mutual dependence and complementarity of male and female work roles, there is a need for explicit demonstration of male dominance. The statements of Netsilik informants themselves richly illuminate the dominance of male over female. Moreover, the literature also suggests the potential threat to such dominance, through Netsilik female assertiveness, indispensibilty, and various spheres of domestic autonomy (Rasmussen 1931: 190ff). (Freeman, Milton M. R. (1971) A social and ecological analysis of systematic female infancide among the Netsilik Eskimo. American Anthropologist 73, 5: pp. 1015)

"Regarding the adaptive features of generalized infanticide, I suggest that an important consequence is an increase in the proportion of older individuals in the population." (Freeman, Milton M. R. (1971) A social and ecological analysis of systematic female infancide among the Netsilik Eskimo. American Anthropologist 73, 5: pp. 1016)

"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)

"A great many peoples used to think---and some think it to this day---that the moon, in the form of a man, or a serpent, copulates with their women. That is why, among Eskimo's for instance, unmarried girls will not look at the moon for fear of becoming pregnant. " (Eliade, Mircea (1958) Patterns in Comparative Religion: Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln p. 1650

"Amongst the various Amerindian populations (Figs 91 and 92) there is a wide variation in height means. North American Indians are taller and heavier than South American and Central American Indians. The Blackfeet means are well up in the European range, as are the means for British Columbian Indians (Birkbeck, Lee, Meyers & Alfred, 1971; Lee et al., 1971; not plotted). The Apache Indian and Alaskan Eskimo children are also considerably taller at all ages than the South and Central Americans. Even though they do have many traits in common, North American and South American Indians differ considerably in physique and craniofacial structure." (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 127)

"The height of the Eskimos is below that of Europeans, while their weight is equal. Thus, the Eskimo have a high weight-for-height (see Figs. 105-7, below); they are short and stocky as children as well as when they are adult (Fig.108, below). " (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 128-9)

"Studies of skinfold thickness in Eskimo adults have given means below those of Euro-Americans (Elsner, 1963; Shephard, Hatcher & Rose, 1973; Shephard, 1974) except in Wainwright (Jamison & Zegura, 1970). These latter results show that skinfolds of adult males are comparable to US males, but that those of females are considerably greater. The authors state that while the adult males in Wainwright remained lean and muscular, the women became quite fat. During childhood, however, the subcutaneous fat in famales was not great. In only increased around 12 years at about the time of adolescence (see Figs. 118-21). Reports of small skinfolds caused considerable surprise because it had been expected that Eskimos would have a high percentage of body fat as protection against the cold (Newman, 1956), and as a result of their extremely high fat diet (Ho et al., 1972). The possibility that body fat could have a different distribution in Eskimos than in Europeans and total fat not be closely related to subcutaneous fat as measured by skinfolds, has been examined in Igloolik Eskimos by determination of total body water. Higher percentages of body fat were indeed shown than would be predicted from using the European regression of body fat on skinfold (Shephard et al., 1973). Even so the levels were no higher than those of many American college students." (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 268-9)

"Recent recall data [Eskimos] indicate an earlier menarche (13.8 years; Milan, 1970) than was reported formerly (14.2 years; Levine, 1953). Skeletal development is similar to that of European children (Pawson, 1974a)." (Eveleth, P.B. & Tanner, J.M. (1976) Worldwide Variation in Human Growth: Cambridge Univ. Press, London p. 269)


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