EVOLUTION: GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS?

By William Markiewicz

On this issue's Communication Page, a white separatist sustains that people evolve as groups, not as individuals. As in everything, the truth probably lies somewhere in between.

This is a highly speculative subject. Let's start from remote times where only speculation is possible though still based on some rudimentary data. What we know about Neanderthals is that they didn't have perfect use of fire and didn't have the faculty of speech but they had tools that, though extremely primitive, made them Hominians. The skull was as big or even bigger than today's humans and the part where the intelligence nests was small while the part devoted to the memory was huge. So, the Neanderthal must have possessed a capacity for uncanny memory, unthinkable for us, which could have been his tool for empirical knowledge. In his more than 100,000 years of existence, the Neanderthal could have stocked a fantastic amount of knowledge about the nature that surrounded him. He must have known everything about medicinal plants, etc. If your reasoning capacity isn't very developed but you can put two and two together thanks to memory, you are somewhere at the ante-chamber to intelligence.

We can suppose that some individual Neanderthal could have possessed intelligence superior to the Neanderthal average, comparable to Homo Sapiens. After all, we know that some domestic animals like dogs may be as smart or, I am afraid, sometimes smarter than their owners. So intelligence close to Homo Sapiens should not have been an impossibility for a Hominian like the Neanderthal. Scientists still debate whether Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens ever got in touch and perhaps even coexisted as neighbours. If those contacts were possible then a superior intelligent Neanderthal with his enormous baggage of empirical knowledge and his physical strength far exceeding Homo Sapiens would have been accepted, feared and revered by some Homo Sapiens tribe who could have taken advantage of his knowledge. How do we know if the ageless empirical Chinese medicine and other traditional medicines are not a legacy older than known human history? It may even be a Neanderthalian legacy. In the mythology of some very old nations there is a super monkey hero, a half god able to lift and carry mountains and win battles. For the Hindus it's Haruman and there is somebody equivalent in Chinese as well. I don't remember his name but he is a hero of many Chinese Operas. Of course Haruman looks nothing like a Neanderthal but if the hippocampus which looked more like a cross between the horse and a worm than anything else could be transformed by human mythology into the... mermaid (!), then some archaic memory of contact with Neanderthals could have given birth not only to Haruman but to all half-human half-animal mythological creatures -- centaurs, satyrs, etc.

In archaic patriarchal societies, women were the reward. Such an important Neanderthal could have gotten women -- could Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens breed? We can't exclude it. So we may have more Neanderthal blood than we can imagine. Another transfer could have occurred on the opposite level. Perhaps the particularly archaic Homo Sapiens found their way to the Neanderthal societies and were accepted.

Some may argue that one swallow doesn't make a spring. One Neanderthal accepted sporadically here and there would not have made a notable difference in the tribal fabric. But this influential, super intelligent, accepted Neanderthal could have pleaded for safety and peace for his less privileged brethren and may have been listened to. The blank pages of human archaic history will remain blank forever. The only thing we can conclude just by watching our less remote past and present is that some self-regulatory mechanisms exist in nature for humans et al and nothing bad happens if we let nature take its course. 


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