Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Challenging Darwin ?

Nicholas Wade's new book, "Before the Dawn : Rediscovering the Lost History of our Ancestors" has some really surprising discoveries...some of them challenge accepted notions in the scientific community...

Some excerpts...this one shook a lot of my beliefs...
Genetic analysis strongly suggests that all men are descended from a single male, and all women from a single female !
So there really were an Adam and an Eve ?

How about these...
his book advertises news of scientific discoveries that might not go down well with his liberal readers. For instance, it turns out that chimpanzees are not quite the peaceable souls that decades of National Geographic specials have represented to us. Your average adult male chimpanzee likes nothing better than an aggressive border raid into the territory of the neighboring troop. The usual order of battle is for three chimps to set off into enemy territory and find a solo chimp feeding away from the rest of the troop. When they have caught their prey, two of them hold the victim down while the third kills it.

That might explain why humans have been so warlike over the years.About 65 percent of primitive societies are at war constantly, Wade writes, and about 30 percent of males die from conflict. The dawn raid is a favorite human tactic. You enter an enemy village at dawn, set fire to the huts, and then kill people as they run out of the burning huts to safety.

Or how about this one...
race is clearly genetic in origin, and not a “social construct” as the American Sociological Association insists
So, could it be that all those myths are not really what they seem to be - mythical ? That there is a semblance of truth somewhere and Darwinism may not be the complete truth ?

Original Link via Econlog.

2 comments:

Raoul said...

Sibin,
You raise an interesting point there. There are some anthropologists who claim that all humans have descended from one male, often referred to as 'Adam'. They back the claim by apparently having traced the y-chromosome of men from all races to a single origin, some 40,000 years ago during the last ice age.

The theory is that during the ice age, the human population was reduced to about a few thousand, and of the few remaining clans, the gene pool of one dominated the others, which were over time, lost. However, Adam - the leader of this clan - was in all probability an alpha-male, who mated with a large number of females, ruling out the 'Eve' myth. Scientists do sometimes refer to Lucy, the oldest hominid ever found, as the 'real Eve'. Lucy however predated Adam by some 3 million years.

As far as chimps being peaceable is concerned, that myth has long since been shattered. There have been several well-documented instances (as seen on National Geographic) of chimps hunt, murder and on occasion even cannibalize. Most scientists now believe chimps to be the most aggressive of all primates (humans included). In any case, it doesn't challenge Darwin in any way. Maybe Jane Goodall, yes. But not Darwin. Not trying to pick on a point here; just defending good ol’ Darwin (and National Geographic).

Sib said...

Raoul...interesting points you make there...of course the questions I posed where not meant to challenge the scientific theory...I did know about the low human population in the ice age...in fact the low number of males in this era also explains other phenomenona like women being Blonde...apparently they had a better chance at being picked as a mate as they attracted more attention...

Of course, the last set of comments that I made were made in a lighter vein...:) By challenging Darwin, I was referring to the first part of the post - the one about descent from a single male (Adam) being closer to the creationism myth and didn't have much to do with the Chimps really...

Of course, points well made...