A Normal Human?

A Normal Human? 

Our human development is a Pleistocene one, when our species made its debut and developed.  We inherited from our primal ascestors a way of orienting ourselves to this world, and a way of perceiving around us.

There are certain experiences common to the human race that are a biological baseline for what it means to be human.

Goose pimples (when our hair was raised to protect from the cold).

Better eye sight, lowered olfactory sensors, heightened touch, increased emotions.

“Unlike most mammals with olfactory dominance, primates are visually dominant.  Primate brains are rewired to subordinate sensory inputs—haptic, auditory, and olfactory, to vision.  Seeing enabled us to move rapidly through the trees, dodging predators, and finding prey alike…

Additionally there was a decline in the olfactory bulb…allowing for a larger subcortical emotion center in the brain… Additionally an animal moving from the trees, must feel a heightened sense of touch, texture, weight and strength…” 

We find a picture of a sensitive creature in their earliest settings—

At last moving out from the forests into the open country. Gathering grass seed, finding big carcasses to scavange. It is likely we developed the ability to stand upright as a way of looking out in the tall grass as we quickly sifted through a carcass.

As CL Rawlins put it: “I’m a primate evolved for foraging the African Savannah. My basics—lets, eyes, hands—are suited to light scavenging. My eyes are good at picking up quick movements, the flop of vultures, from a lion kill or the scuttle of rabbits into brush. My hands are good for wrenching the joints of carcasses, prizing roots from the earth, plucking leaves and berries. Like my hands, my digestion is able to handle a wide variety of things.”

I would add to this list that with or without language (prior to 70,000) we are a social animal—utilizing signals and facial features to work together to corner a prey. Indeed foraging enabled us to develop the basic activities that would make possible to hunt together to kill large mammals and eventually even form larger tribes.

Night restlessness, typical of primates, is a precausion against predators.

Our craving of fat, salt, and sugars is a sign of absences of such nutrients across vast swathes of our species history.

We share, cooperate, carry, keep kinship ties, divide labors sexually, make tools, and have long memory. All of which served us across the long history of humanity.

But the core and essential element of this is what we call: Ontogeny, or the genesis of being. The regular and scheduled development of both physical and psychological elements. Human ontogeny, at each stage of development is the programmed movements through our evolution.

Modern psychology tends to portray us in self centric terms as individual lives, beliefs, affiliations, rather than defining the self as the relationship to others—lives, species, and planet.  Human ontogeny proceeds along these lines—the self is in relationship to the world that birthed it, and it longs for what it was made for: to breathe, run, and relate—here and now.

 

B.B.