There have been some great advances in understanding human evolution recently, and I have summarised this from several recent articles in New Scientist
- Domestication and the Bengalese Finch - although this article begins with a study of the Bengalese Finch, which is known to have been domesticated only 300 years ago - in captivity it has developed a very different and more beautiful song compared to its wild antecedents. The article then goes on to look at how domestication has affected other species (eg dogs) and concludes that humans ourselves have been domesticated at some point in the past
- Flints show the evolution of consciousness - by studying flints, an academic has drawn conclusions about the evolution of human consciousness - flints are one of the few artefacts that has survive from the earliest men. They develop greatly in style and usefulness from the earliest times – Bruce Bradley has studied this by learning to make the flints himself, and points out that early man must have had considerable communication skills to tell the flint makers what was required, and to have exchanged other goods and services for them.
Evolution will be a major theme of this site, and I hope to add more articles and deeper understanding as time goes on.
The flint and the finch stories both raise questions about the traditional history of mankind :-
- The history of man propagated by the ageless wisdom and theosophy speaks of man first appearing 30 million years ago – humanity could only “come forth” when suitable vehicles were available for the first time. There have been two earlier races with civilisations before ours, the Lemurian and the Atlantean, and man has been guided and helped throughout by teachers and messengers. Many people have strong senses about these epochs. However, the only evidence for Atlantis is in the multitude of books which mention it !!
- Compared to this, science tells the story of a very primitive humanity that only became human 3 million years ago, and had very limited abilities. However, as we have seen, science has relatively more physical evidence for its narrative.
Perhaps we must keep our minds open on this – either way, we get an idea of the broad sweep of evolution, and both the scientific narrative and spiritual view are mythical and speculative.
However, in a strange way these simple ideas of domestication and evolution of consciousness seem more useful than the grand theories ! They help us to understand ourselves better and move forward.