Day By Day

Sunday, February 19, 2006

We're All Victims, And Always Have Been

The old "Killer Ape" hypothesis of human origins, so popular during the Cold War, has been under assault for a long time now. With the rise of feminism a competing image was offered -- "woman the gatherer" replaced "man the hunter." More recently as blatant sexual imagery has come to pervade our popular culture various primatologists have advanced theories based on the primacy of sexual bonding and cooperation -- sort of a "make love, not war" hypothesis. Now the theraputic society has its day.

BBC reports:

The popular view of our ancient ancestors as hunters who conquered all in their way is wrong, researchers have told a major US science conference.

Instead, they say, early humans were on the menu for predatory beasts.

This may have driven humans to evolve increased levels of co-operation, according to their theory.


"Our intelligence, co-operation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator," said Robert Sussman of Washington University in St Louis.

According to the theory espoused by Professor Sussman, early humans evolved not as hunters but as prey for animals such as wild dogs, cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.

Read it here.

So "man the hunter" has been Oprahfied into "man the hunted" and it was our common victimhood that shaped our evolution. Cooperation, not Darwinian competitiveness [a theory advanced in the age of bare-knuckle capitalist striving], has become the mechanism through which we survived and flourished.

Note how closely "scientific" hypotheses track with dominant themes in our popular culture.

And "scientists" still claim to be the bearers of objective truth and the purveyors of impartial judgment.


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