Open links in new window


Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who Are Better?We Or They?

Over a hundred centuries ago in a dusty corner of Mother Africa, human evolution may have leaped instead of crawled. Do the remains of Boskop Man foreshadow the future of humanity? And if so, why aren't these ultimate humans here now, instead of us?
The path of human evolution has been anything but a straight line from past to present. Much like a growing tree or a flowing river, branches and tributaries appear off the main trunk and either thrive, or taper off and peter out. When the game is survival of the species, evolutionary adaptations are mercilessly judged by nature, red in tooth and claw.

Evolution is also punctual in character. Change is often sudden, provoked by a beneficial mutation or a rapid change in the environment. When we look at the human family tree, all of the aforementioned trends can be seen. Neanderthal Man appears, thrives for a time in the glaciated terrain of prehistoric Europe, then fades out just as modern man appears on the scene. Further back in time, a plant-eating hominid called Australopithecus Boisei branched out from the main Australopithecine line. Robust in frame with huge teeth and mighty jaws, A. Boisei was perfectly adapted for lush, tropical conditions with abundant flora... until the climate changed and the flora died off. The gentle giants did likewise.

Specialized adaptations like the Neanderthal's ruggedness and A.Boisei's plant-eating were exceptions to the general trend of human evolution - that being an increase in brain size and a corresponding reduction in jaw size. This trend is coded in our genes, but is still subject to the influences of environment and mutation. This brings us to a group of skulls and skeletal remains found in the early years of the 20th century, in a part of South Africa known as Boskop. Could it be that in this isolated African backwater, a genetic mutation appeared that jumped human evolution ahead... not just by a page or two, but by several chapters?

"A scientific analysis of the Boskop fossils, "Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence," was recently published by Gary Lynch and Richard Granger, neuroscientists from the Dartmouth Brain Engineering Laboratory. A more poetic reflection on Boskop Man entitled "Man of the Future" was written in 1958 by science writer Loren Eiseley as a chapter of his larger volume, "The Immense Journey". It makes for intriguing reading, as the following excerpt indicates:

"The man of the future came, and looked out among us once with wistful, if unsophisticated eyes. He left his bones in the rubble of an alien land. If we read evolution aright, he may come again in another million years."

Was Boskop Man, a man out of time... stranded in a rough, predatory world without the tools needed to master it. Or is there another possibility, one which demands you open your mind to things that fly in the face of what we've so far taken for granted.

What if the Boskopoids not only survived, but thrived? What if they used their advanced intelligence to "leave the cradle", as it were. Where would they go? Well, the universe is a big place. If they left Earth for bigger and better things, one might assume they would leave as little trace of themselves as possible out of respect for their more primitive yet upcoming cousins - us."

Continue reading..

Posted by Ajay :: 6:04 PM :: 0 comments

Post a Comment



http:// googlea0b0123eb86e02a9.html