Around 45K-50K years ago, anatomically-modern humans had their Great Leap Forward. Maybe it had something to do with ingesting some Neanderthal DNA. If that was the case, that was the only part of the Neanderthals that survived. Neanderthals became extinct about 20K years after the Great Leap Forward began. The appearance of modern humans did only not mean the end of most of the world’s megafauna; there were also several human species alive when the Great Leap Forward happened, and they all went extinct as modern humans filled all niches. There were even some homo erecti around:
The Great Leap Forward had many aspects. Tools and weapons became far more sophisticated. Fancy grave goods became common. Long-distance trade developed. Art developed.
Cave paintings go back about 40K years:
and porn quickly appeared.
And recently, it is thought that a lot of that kind of art was drawn by the equivalent of horny teenage boys:
Our high culture has deep roots.
The earliest known ceramics are nearly 30K years old:
and art of the female body predominates:
While there has never been a truly matriarchal society that anthropologists can find, it is thought that those ancient Venus statuettes were religious artifacts, not pornographic. Women were seen as the source of life.
The hunter-gatherer societies of culturally modern humans eventually spread to all continents except Antarctica, and few islands were spared the human presence. The African and Asian megafauna did not all survive, either:
The fiercest debate on the megafaunal extinctions is regarding what happened near the ice sheets of the Northern Hemisphere:
It is true that Earth’s vegetation patterns changed dramatically during the last 2.5 million years, as the ice sheets advanced and retreated, but similar to how gorillas abandoned the land south of the Congo River, making way for bonobos to evolve:
all that megafauna that quickly went extinct when those super-predator humans arrived had survived literally dozens of glacial intervals, to all suddenly go extinct just when the irresistible predator arrived. I don’t buy the “the vegetation changed” theorizing and scientific papers that I see out there, or bolide impact theorizing, and so on. Humans are megafauna, and it takes a lot to feed them. The greatest windfall energy resource as those humans invaded the planet would have been those large animals. As humans invaded ecosystems that had not ever seen humanoids, not much of the plant life would have been edible, nor would those invading humans have immediately known what was edible. But all the large animals were. I see hints of the human ego, defending our rapacious ancestors, whenever I see scientists try to explain the megafaunal extinctions as some sort of environmental effect, no matter how scholarly and rigorous the efforts may seem. Human are super-killers, and have been that way since the beginning. That period when humans spread across the planet I call the Golden Age of the Hunter-Gatherer. Virgin fields beckoned, and our ancestors raped and plundered their way across the planet. How could it have been any other way? Leaving our ecological niche and invading other ecosystems necessarily meant that the other species that we either found edible or competed with us was going to be preyed upon. Nothing on Earth could withstand the onslaught, and nothing did. The elephants of the Western Hemisphere all went extinct, even in South America, where there were never any continental ice sheets:
Mammoths survived for several thousand years on islands that those early humans did not invade:
long after their continental brethren went extinct, at least until humans arrived, and then they quickly went extinct. Some ground sloths similarly survived the holocaust on the mainland, to only go extinct when humans arrived on the Caribbean islands:
Like it or not, this is our heritage. Not only were humans slaughtering anything that moved, but they slaughtered each other. Many of the recent finds in bogs and melting glaciers, of uncannily preserved humans, find that the people died violently:
The most proportionally-violent era in human history is its hunter-gatherer phase. Anthropologists can only find rare exceptions where pre-agricultural peoples did not regularly kill each other, especially as territories and the food supply shrank as humans multiplied and killed off all the easy meat. In fact, scientists today figure that those hunter-gatherer populations were kept in check by violence, not by disease or starvation. The only apocalyptic horseman back then was warfare. After studying modern-day hunter-gatherers, scientists have determined that about a third of all hunter-gatherer males die violently. The sophisticated tools, weapons, and group tactics that allowed humans to become Earth’s first super-predator that could conquer every ecological niche were turned on each other as the energy ran out from their too-successful energy-extraction efforts.
As the easy meat all died out, the more familiar hunter-gatherer culture developed. The bonobos are the only great ape culture where the females overcame the male penchant for violence. If humans are going to make it, women need to step up, and the freedom of industrialization is what is giving them the opportunity. That window of opportunity is also beginning to close, as we can see with the rapidly-disappearing American middle class, as energy-consumption per capita peaked forty years ago, and Peak Oil is becoming a reality. As Bucky Fuller said, it is a race between education and catastrophe.
The circus over Assange (who foolishly could not keep it in his pants – typical…):
is just one more sign of the times, and the West’s steep slide into barbarism that is becoming more evident every day.
Somewhere along the line, humans attained what we call sentience. At what stage did it happen? Did it really happen? The mystical stuff will say that we became ensouled. Ensouled or sentient, whatever term you prefer, humans became something different. Yes, sex and violence dominated, but there were other attributes. Emotions are also far from the sole province of humans. Many animals have easily-discerned emotional states. The leading theory on emotions is that they are states of feeling, not thinking, and all animals with emotions (which could well be all living things) seek positive emotional states (feel good), and they will do what they can to achieve them. It has been determined that many animals will find substances that make them high,
Animals will use their intelligence to achieve positive emotional states, and humans are no different, although the way that the Eastern masters do it is healthier, it seems.
My mystical material says that all emotions are aspects of love, and that humans are learning to attain that state, learning to become creators, as love is the power behind creation. Love and FE are joined at the hip in more than one way:
Just as there are no hungry philosophers, attaining the love state is not easy when people are on the brink of survival. The negative feedbacks of poverty and seeking temporary escape through drugs and other means, that spiral down into violence and other negative states, is obvious in the USA. Godzilla knows this well, which is a key reason why FE is kept under wraps the way that it is. Godzilla keeps FE under wraps for reasons of power, not economics. But economics is how he exerts control, by keeping the great herd on the edge of survival. In that nightmare world that Roads visited:
the Godzilla game was being played at the highest levels, keeping an entire planet immersed in misery. Of course, I am shooting for a different outcome:
and love and sentience are joined at the hip, and FE is how that world can manifest. When people say that we can have Heaven on Earth without tapping FE, it seems that they never ran the numbers. Low energy societies are never free, because energy is freedom:
And my upcoming posts are intended to begin to make that clear. The energy issue underlies everything else, and it has always been that way, clear back to when life first made its appearance on this planet, and even before that:
Gotta run to work now.