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View Full Version : Sexual Culture of the Post Diaspora Upper Paleolithic



Frans_Jozef
Saturday, November 6th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Excerpts:



"In addition to extramarital sex, premarital promiscuity and trial marriage may also alter the paternity probability. Indeed, at least one cross-cultural study suggests that in matrilineal-matrilocal societies sanctions against premarital sex, when they exist, are quite mild, whereas such sanctions are severe in patrilineal-patrilocal societies. (Goethals 1971).

Although premarital sex is especially tolerated in matrilineal societies (e.g., Malinowski 1929), unwed mothers and illegitimacy leading to lower probabilities of paternity are not tolerated......I most matrilineal societies divorce is reported to be quite frequent, and can be initiated by either party without social stigma." (Kurland, J.A. (1979) Paternity, Mother's Brother, and Human Sociality. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 160-1)


"When encroaching and receding glaciers forced our ancestors to reorganize and change their social behavior, human mating patterns may have undergone a shift such that sperm competition, the wanton promiscuity of the tropics, was no longer the norm; unsanctioned sexuality may have then become stigmatized as a punishable crime." (Margulis, L & Sagan, D. (1991) Mystery Dance, On the Evolution of Human Sexuality: Summit Books, New York pp. 54)

See text for cogent description of Paleolithic hunter and agricultural village consciousness and religion. (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York pp. 240-242)


"It is, in fact, most remarkable how many primitive hunting races have the legend of a still more primitive age than their own, in which the women were the sole possessors of the magical art." (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York p. 315)

Description of possible reason for different evolutions of culture in east and west based on Mamouths dying out later in the east keeping female roles in ascendantcies. (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York p. 324)

Description of differences between pre goddess and goddess cultures, hunting and agricultural, and its aspects of male and female, immature and maturing. (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York p. 351)

Description of Neanderthal culture and the male and female division of labor and sacred theatres of operation. (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York p. 372)


"But since we know that a mythology of the goddess was already flourishing earlier than this---having shown itself in the Aurignacian figurines, practically with the first appearance of Homo sapiens on the prehistoric scene---we must recognize that the myth of the serpent and the maiden represents only a development from an earlier base. In the rickety child's grave at the Malta site, where some twenty female figurines were found, there was an ivory plaque bearing on one side a spiral design and on the other three cobralike snakes. Another spiral was stippled on the side of an ivory fish. The child was in the fetal position, facing east. And there were some ivory birds in the grave." (Campbell, Joseph (1959) The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology. Penquin Books: New York pp. 377-8)


"But the mystery of the woman is no less a mystery than death. Childbirth is no less a mystery; nor the flow of the mother's milk; nor the menstrual cycle---in its accord with the moon. The creative magic of the female body is a thing of wonder in itself. And so it is that, whereas the men in their rites (as initiates, tribal dignitaries, shamans, or what not) are invariably invested with magical costumes, the most potent magic of the womanly body inheres in itself.

In all her primary epiphanies, therefore, whether in the paleolithic figurines or in the neolithic, she is typically the naked goddess, with an iconographic accent on the symbolism of her own magical form." Campbell goes on to say that in the Great Hunt women's sacred elements are subsumed to the male achievements, "achievement of eternal life, magical power, the kingdom of God on earth, illumination, wealth, a good-natured woman..."


23,000 BC goddess sculpture (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 3)


"My archeological research does not confirm the hypothetical existence of the primordial parents and their division into the Great Father and Great Mother figures or the further division of the Great Mother figure into a Good and a Terrible Mother. There is no trace of a father figure in any of the Paleolithic periods. The life-creating power seems to have been of the Great Goddess alone. A complete division into a "good" and a "terrible" Mother never occurred: the Life Giver and the Death Wielder are one deity." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 316) )


"There is a suggestion of more elaborate sites, and the first assemblies of hunter-gatherer bands, probably on a seasonal basis. Some 27,000 years ago at a site known as Dolni Vestonice on the rolling glacial plains of south-central Czechoslovakia, people drove wooden posts into the ground near a stream (traces of the post holes are still visible as faint soil discolorations) as supports for the walls and roofs of a cluster of four huts, the largest measuring 50 by 20 feet.

Posts of mammoth long bones and tusks formed the framework for a brush-and-dirt wall surrounding the huts, the earliest known palisade, presumably to keep out animals and icy winds. Another streamside cluster of dwellings complete with palisade, located not far away and perhaps a millennium or two more recent, may have housed 100 to 125 persons. No Neanderthal sites of comparable complexity have been found. Everything from this time on adds up to a groundswell situation. The evidence, direct and circumstantial, indicates an increase of scale across the board, in every phase of human activity." (Pfeiffer JE (1982) The Creative Explosion. Harper & Row: New York p. 58)


""Hunter-gatherers are usually organized into tribal units of roughly 500 individuals (Birdsell 1968) .... Thus taking the tribe as the unit deme of the H. erectus population, there must have been in the region of 10 000 H. erectus tribes scattered throughout Africa and Southern Asia." Shahin Rouhani in Mellars P & Stringer C (1989) The Human Revolution. (eds. Mellars & Stringer) Princeton Univ. Press. Princeton p. 49)


"It has been shown several times that, although decision-making ability is improved by increasing the number of units involved up to sex, the quality of decision-making decreases rapidly beyond that point (Johnson 1978, 1982, 1983; Reynolds 1984). In larger groups there are increasing pressures for the introduction of a hierarchy - either 'vertical' of 'serial' in Johnson's terms - to facilitate or allow effective group organization and action..... the universally observed number of some 25-30 members (6 nuclear families) in recent hunter-gatherer minimal bands may be seen to have an organizational basis." (Robert Whallon in Mellars P & Stringer C (1989) The Human Revolution. (eds. Mellars & Stringer) Princeton Univ. Press. Princeton p. 445)


"In either case, the conclusion must be that a primate model for such early hominid societies implies an adaptive restriction to more resource-rich and predictable environments. the developments that would have led to a breaking of that restriction would have had to include, importantly, the replacement of ape-like systems of interpersonal dominance established through relatively constant display, combat, and trial and error, by systems of at least relatively egalitarian, stable, and reliable relations of rights and obligations among individuals both within and between local groups." (Robert Whallon in Mellars P & Stringer C (1989) The Human Revolution. (eds. Mellars & Stringer) Princeton Univ. Press. Princeton p. 449)


"The latter [Diamond, M., The cross-generational sexual behavior in traditional Hawaii: A sexological ethnography. Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions, ed. J. R. Feierman 378-93. New York: Springer 1990] cites accounts of how the Hawaiians worshiped the genitals in song and dance and pampered these body parts in their children. Breast milk was squirted into an infant's vagina and the labia molded together so that they would not separate. A little girl's clitoris was stretched and lengthened through oral stimulation. The penises of little boys received similar treatment so as to enhance their beauty and prepare them for sexual enjoyment later in life." (De Wall & Lanting 1997: 191, Bonobo)


"It is thus seen that each male in the selection of a wife, is limited to one-fourth part of all the Kamilaroi females. This, however, is not the remarkable part of the system. Theoretically every Kapota is the wife of every Ippai; every Mata is the wife of every Kumbo; every Buta is the wife of every Murri; and every Ippata of every Kubbi. Upon this material point the information is specific. Mr. Fison, before mentioned, after observing that Mr. Lance had "had much intercourse with the natives, having lived among them many years on frontier cattle-stations on the Darling River, and in the trans-Darling country," quotes form his letter as follows: "If a Kubbi meets a stranger Ippata, they address each other as Goleer = Spouse... A Kubbi thus meeting an Ippata, even though she were of another tribe, would treat her as his wife, and his right to do so would be recognized by her tribe."

Every Ippata within the immediate circle of his acquaintance would consequently be his wife as well. Here we find, in a direct and definite form, punaluan marriage in a group of unusual extent; but broken up into lesser groups, each a miniature representation of the whole, united for habitation and subsistence. Under the conjugal system thus brought to light, one-quarter of all males are united in marriage with one-quarter of all females of the Kamilaroi tribes.

This picture of savage life need not revolt the mind, because to them it was a form of the marriage relation, and therefore devoid of impropriety. It is but an extended form of polygyny and polyandry, which, within narrower limits, have prevailed universally among savage tribes. The evidence of the fact still exists, in unmistakable form, in their systems of consanguinity and affinity, which have outlived the customs and usages in which they originated.

It will be noticed that this scheme of intermarriage is but a step form promiscuity, because it is tantamount to that with the addition of a method. Still, as it is made a subject of organic regulation, it is far removed from general promiscuity. Moreover, it reveals an existing state of marriage and of the family of which no adequate conception could have been formed apart from the facts. It affords the first direct evidence of a state of society which had previously been deduced, as extremely probable, from systems of consanguinity and affinity." (Morgan 1877: 54-5, Ancient Society.)


"The gens, though a very ancient social organization founded upon kin, does not include all the descendants of a common ancestor. It was for the reason that when the gens came in, marriage between single pairs was unknown, and descent through males could not be traced with certainty. Kindred were linked together chiefly through the bond of their maternity. In the ancient gens descent was limited to the female line. It embraced all such persons as traced their descent from a supposed common female ancestor, through females, the evidence of the fact being the possession of a common gentile name.

It would include this ancestor and her children, the children of her daughters, and the children of her female descendants, through females, in perpetuity; whilst the children of her sons, and the children of her male descendants, through males, would belong to other gentes; namely, those of their respective mothers. Such was the gens in its archaic form, when the paternity of children was not certainly ascertainable, and when their maternity afforded the only certain criterion of descents." (Morgan 1877: 68, Ancient Society.)

"It will not be supposed that a system so elaborate as the Turanian could be maintained in different nations and families of mankind in absolute identicalness. Divergence in minor particulars is found, but the radical features are, in the main, constant. The system of consanguinity of the Tamil people, of South India, and that of the Seneca-Iraquois, of New York, are still identical through two hundred relationships; an application of natural logic to the facts of the social condition without parallel in the history of the human mind." (Morgan 1877: 398, Ancient Society.)

"That system is the Malayan. It defines the relationships that would exist in a consanguine family; and it demands the existence of such a family to account for its own existence. Moreover, it proves with moral certainty the existence of a consanguine family when the system was formed. This system, which is the most archaic yet discovered, will now be taken up for the purpose of showing, from its relationships, the principal facts stated.

This family, also, is the most archaic form of the institution of which any knowledge remains. Such a remarkable record of the condition of ancient society would not have been preserved to the present time but for the singular permanence of systems of consanguinity. ......The inhabitants of Polynesia are included in the Malayan family. Their system of consanguinity has been called the Malayan, although the Malays proper have modified their own in some particulars. Among the Hawaiians and other Polynesian tribes there still exists in daily use a system of consanguinity which is given in the Table, and may be pronounced the oldest known among mankind." (Morgan 1877: 402-3, Ancient Society.)


"Particular attention is invited to the five grades of relations in the Malayan system, because the same classification appears in the "Nine Grade of Relations" of the Chinese, which are extended so as to include two additional ancestors and two additional descendants, as will elsewhere be shown. A fundamental connection between the two systems is thus discovered." (Morgan 1877: 404, Ancient Society.) [detail of Chinese quote of these relations on page 416]


"In the consanguine family, thus constituted, the husbands lived in polygyny, and the wives in polyandry, which are seen to be as ancient as human society. Such a family was neither unnatural nor remarkable. It would be difficult to show any other possible beginning of the family in the primitive period. Its long continuance in a partial form among the tribes of mankind is the greater cause for surprise; for all traces of it had not disappeared among the Hawaiians at the epoch of their discovery." (Morgan 1877: 409, Ancient Society.)


"It must be remembered that the consanguine group united in the marriage relation was not restricted to own brothers and sisters; but it included collateral brothers and sisters as well. The larger the group recognizing the marriage relation, the less the evil of close interbreeding......There are reasons for concluding that the remote ancestors of the Aryan, Semitic, and Uralian families possessed a system identical with the Malayan when in the savage state, which was finally modified into the Turanian after the establishment of the gentile organization, and then overthrown when the monogamian family appeared, introducing the Aryan system of consanguinity." (Morgan 1877: 414-15, Ancient Society.)


"Finally, it will be perceived that the state of society indicated by the consanguine family points with logical directness to an anterior condition of promiscuous intercourse. There seems to be no escape form this conclusion, although questioned by so eminent a writer as Mr. Darwin." (Morgan 1877: 418, Ancient Society.)


"Several brothers among the Britons, according to Caesar, possessed their wives in common." (Morgan 1877: 430, Ancient Society.)


"There were tribes of savages and even of barbarians known to the Greeks and Romans who are represented as living in promiscuity. Among them were the Auseans of North Africa, mentioned by Herodotus, the Garamantes of Aethiopia, mentioned by Pliny, and the Celts of Ireland, mentioned by Strabo." (Morgan 1877: 501-2, Ancient Society.)

"The analysis of sibling relationships demonstrates that the brother-sister relationship, which generates the avunculate, is of singular importance to human social behavior. The kin relationship will be of particular salience for a male whenever circumstances lead to a reduction in the probability of paternity. Thus, where promiscuity is more prevalent, more tolerated, or more easily achieved, where long-term marriage is nonexistent or highly unstable---that is, where divorce and serial monogamy or serial polygamy predominate---there will be lower levels of paternity certainty.

There will be a concommitant emphasis on the avunculate and other matrilateral relationships as evidenced by investment patterns, residence, and other forms of social behavior. To the extent that a man can or will invest beyond his own children, he is expected to invest in his sister's certain children in preference to his brother's putative children. A women may similarly bias any additional investment toward her sister's children.

Thus, the higher relatedness between matrilateral kin, (e.g., matrilateral parallel cousins), and the subsequent lowered threshold for cooperation and altruism between kin, will bias social interactions by creating conditions conducive to the emergence of the avunculate, matrilineal inheritance of property and status, matrilocality, and matrilineages." (Kurland, J.A. (1979) Paternity, Mother's Brother, and Human Sociality. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 157)


"Reports on several other societies suggest that a strong avunculate relationship and a matrilateral kinship bias correlate with high levels of premarital and extramarital promiscuity, and serial marriages. Among the Navaho (Aberle 1961), virginity is not at all valued, and in many instances fatherhood is a question hotly disputed. Adultery is most often cited as the grounds for divorce, and divorce most frequently ends the characteristically short-term Navaho marriages---although desertion and death also play their part. Indeed, only a third of the women and a fourth of the men remain married to the same spouse into old age." (Kurland, J.A. (1979) Paternity, Mother's Brother, and Human Sociality. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 162)


"Because in most "primitive" societies a woman begins her reproductive life at an age significantly younger than a man's, he may have more nephews and nieces through sisters than through brothers (Irons, chapter 7). (Kurland, J.A. (1979) Paternity, Mother's Brother, and Human Sociality. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 165)


"It might seem at first glance that women would always be interested in securing male investment for their children and that a husband who is convinced he is related to her children by 1/2 would always be a more reliable investor than a brother who can be related by no more than 1/4. However, this would not be the case if a cooperative group of related females is more effective at rearing children than a husband and several unrelated females. This is apparently the situation faced by Tiwi women.

Given this condition, women may not be willing to do anything for a husband which could easily mean a women would be unwilling to move at marriage or to tolerate a husband who interferes in the relations between herself and her co-resident female kin. This condition may underlie uxorilocality and frequent divorce in many societies." (Irons, W. (1979) Investment and Primary Social Dyads. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 210)


"Considerable evidence already indicates that humans have essentially always believed in bands of close kin, probably containing more than a single adult male (e.g. Lee and DeVore 1968). (Alexander, R.D. & Noonan, K.M. (1979) Concealment of Ovulation, Parental Care, and Human Social Evolution In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 436)


"Emphasis on the so-called continuous responsiveness of the human female, in trying to model its history, has focused attention on the proximate effect that the male is able to enjoy copulation more or less whenever he desire it. Thus, it has been argued that sexual competition is reduced among human males, allowing larger group sizes and more extensive cooperation (Etkin 1963; Washburn and Lancaster 1968; Pfeiffer 1969), or, that females keep their males at home by supplying constant sex (Washburn and DeVore 1961b; Campbell 1966; Morris 1967; Crook 1972)." (Alexander, R.D. & Noonan, K.M. (1979) Concealment of Ovulation, Parental Care, and Human Social Evolution In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 443)


"Humans apparently evolved in polygynous multi-male bands (Lee and DeVore 1968; Bigelow 1969; Alexander 1971; Flannery 1972) which in most parts of the world have tended toward increasing size (Flannery 1972; Carneiro 1970). Unlike other group-living primates, humans have also evolved extensive male parental care (Alexander and Noonan, chapter 16). Since a crucial correlate of male paternal care is male confidence of paternity (i.e., males will be favored who give parental care to their own offspring), females in such groups would be under strong selective pressure to (1) retain a male's attention on a relatively constant basis, because only then is he available for parental care, and (2) behave in ways which will tend to increase the male's confidence of paternity. At an extreme, female-female competition to gain and monopolize a male's attentions might yield continuous receptivity and concealed ovulation (Alexander and Noonon, chapter 16). (Low, B.S. (1979) Sexual Selection and Human Ornamentation In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 464)


"In genetic systems, the direction of selection is unlikely to reverse frequently; once a correlation exists between fitness and some signal like antler size, sexual selection will continue to favor increased antler size. In cultural systems, the correlation is not with any particular hairstyle or skirt lengthy, but with any conspicuous display which signals ability to read fashion trends. Because of this shift in correlation, novelty in either direction may become an effective signal." (Low, B.S. (1979) Sexual Selection and Human Ornamentation In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 467)

[prediction by this author] "In societies in which male confidence of paternity is low, and males spend their parental effort nepotistically (as in societies in which "mother's brother" is the important male (see Alexander 1974, 1977a), female ornamentation should be low, since females in such situations are unlikely to gain parental effort from other males because confidence of paternity is low." (Low, B.S. (1979) Sexual Selection and Human Ornamentation In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 470)


"The findings of significantly lower incidence of left-handedness among agricultural peoples, as contrasted with the hunting and fishing societies, provide considerable support for the hypothesis that argued that due to higher cultural pressures towards conformity in agricultural societies the incidence of left-handedness would be much lower than that among the more independent hunting peoples." (Dawson, John L. (1977) An anthropological perspective on the evolution and lateralization of the brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 299: pp. 440)

"Mating strategies can be classified in terms of the number and sex of the individuals concerned: we can have uni-female, multi-female, uni-male, and multi-male units combined in four possible ways. In a multi-female system, a number of females are mated to one or to a number of males. If it is the former, a number of females mated to one male, we have polygyny; if the latter, a number of females mated to a number of males, polygamy (or what, if there is little in the way of systematic contact among mating partners, me might call promiscuity). As far as uni-female systems are concerned, there are again two possibilities; one female may be mated to one male, what we know as monogamy, or one female may be mated to many males, what is termed polyandry." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 131)


"...the vast majority of human societies, approximately 84 percent of the total, are either generally polygynous or allow polygyny to those men wealthy or powerful enough to be able to practice it. Indeed, looked at from this point of view, one could argue persuasively that polygyny is the mating strategy characteristic of our species and that the remaining human societies which are mostly monogamous (with less 1 percent polyandrous), represent a subordinate, minority trend in human mating systems." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 132)


"...whereas women have about one quarter of their body weight in the form of fat, men on average have only about half that amount. In other words, although women on average have about twice as much fat as men, they nevertheless weigh on average almost a quarter less than men.....When we observe that in women the degree of fat deposits is critical to reproductive success in primal conditions, but that in men muscle, bone, and height are critical in aggressive encounters with other men..." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 144)


"But such paedomorphic trend could be explained if we could some how show that it was part and parcel of the overall process of female choice for hunting skills. In fact, this is easier than it seems, because there are good reasons for believing that it would have been young, rather than mature, male hominids who first began to hunt. Experiments in which a colony of monkeys living near a beach were fed first with potatoes and then with rice left on the sand showed that it was a young member of the group who first discovered how to wash the food (as it happens, a female) and that the readiness to adopt this practice varied directly with age, younger individuals being more ready to take it up than older one. In the second place, it seems likely that younger, unmated males, probably associating in loose "all-male groups." would have been much better placed to undertake what must have been cooperative hunts than were older males encumbered with females and young who could not be left unguarded while their "owner" ran off chasing game. If hominid females with a taste for meat were prepared to reward younger, meat-giving hunters with matings, the reproductive success of such younger males would rise relative to that of older ones. This in itself could favor paedomorphosis by way of selection for youth, but it would also have set the scene for the other inevitable consequence of a meat-eating economy, in which greatly increased male parental investment could enable the gradual evolution of more retarded, paedomorphic infants." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell.pp. 186)


"The consequence of all this is that if a man's certainty that his wife's offspring are indeed his own drops below a certain, critical value, his ultimate reproductive success may be promoted by some degree of investment on his part, not in his wife's offspring - who may or may not be his - but in his sister's. This is because maternity, as opposed to paternity, is always certain in the same sense that a child is physically part of its mother and issues from her in an unmistakable way." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell.pp. 212)


"...because common observation of our own societies shows that where divorce and remarriage are common, it is links with maternal kin which tend to be preserved, and it is often the child-mother and brother-sister ties in particular which are most important." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell.pp. 213)


"Where interactions between a man's own children are concerned, he and his wife's brother will be in agreement if they are indeed his own; both will favor sacrifice wherever benefit exceeds cost. However, if his paternity is uncertain, his degree of agreement with his wife's brother will decline in direct proportion to the degree of uncertainty involved, and will fall towards that which the offspring themselves will favor when uncertainty of paternity reaches the critical, approximately one-quarter level at which mother's brothers should begin to become significant figures." (Badcock, C. (1991) Evolution and Individual Behavior: An Introduction to Human Sociobiology Oxford: Blackwell.pp. 214)


"Homo erectus did occupy a broad habitat range, almost as broad as that occupied by the lion and the elephant. But it did not undergo a major population explosion, did not result in a wave of extinctions due to over-hunting (as happened later with Neolithic technology), and id not drive the other Australopithecenes extinct with much efficiency. Thus, we see a major increase in brain size without significant technological progress or any substantial increase in ecological dominance." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 12)


"Thus, we have the paradox of Neanderthals using huge amounts of energy and food to power brains even larger than ours, but showing no signs of the ecological success or technological sophistication that we tend to expect form big-brained humans. This pattern of both Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons being highly encephalized, whether or not they showed the high technical skill and ecological dominance of modern humans, suggests that both sub-species encephalized for some reason unrelated to technical or ecological selection pressures." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 14)


"Thus, the evolution of the human brain from 450 cc to 1300 cc occurred about as smoothly and gradually as evolution ever does; it was not a single 'punctuation' associated with a single speciation event (as in the punctuated equilibrium model of Eldredge & Gould, 1972), but was rather a long, uneven trend across at least four chronospecies (separately identifiable species directly related by descent), and spanning at least 1.6 million years, from about 1.8 mya to about 200,000 years ago.

During this period, there was no identifiable periods of evolutionary 'stasis' during which brain size stabilized for a significant period of time (e.g. longer than 100,000 years or so); the evolutionary trend towards larger brain size appears to have had some 'momentum all its own, apart from climatic or ecological changes, which tend to result is sudden change followed by stasis (Eldredge & Gould, 1972; Vrb, 1989, 1992). These facts suggest that encephalization was driven by some evolutionary process occurring within our lineage, rather than by some selective force being imposed from the outside (e.g. from the physical habitat or biological econiche). (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 17)


"Nevertheless, because relative brain size has been so often used as the index of brain evolution, its application must be reviewed here. Stahl's (1981) 'Encephalization Quotient' (EQ) measures how large a brain is in proportion to the size expected based on allometric regression with respect to body size. By this measure, the prosimians have average mammalian EQ's of around 1. The other great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans) have EQ's around 2.5; the Autralopithecenes had EQ's around 3.5.

Homo habilis developed an EQ around 4.0, early Homo erectus started at around 4.5, and progressed to around 6.0, and archaic homo sapiens reached 7, the same as modern humans (Passingham, 1982). Thus, "from prosimians to apes to humans, there was a sevenfold increase in relative brain size" (Donald, 191). There is some controversy over how to calculate relative brain size.

Estimates by Passingham & Ettlinger (1974) suggest that our brains are only about three times larger than the size expected for a primate to our build and size. Other estimates of our EQ range from 2.87 (Holloway & Post, 1982) to 6.93 (Jerison, 1973). In any case, the absolute tripling of brain size was accompanied by at least a relative tripling." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 19)


"Shepard (1975, 1981, 1982) has suggested that the evolution of human language may have been facilitated by the evolution of hemispheric specialization, such that the capacities for grammatical and conceptual transformation underlying language in one hemisphere may represent modifications of more ancient capacities for the mental transformation of spatial representations that were originally carried out in both hemispheres. Similar ideas have been advanced by Bradshaw (1988, 1993) and Corballis (1983, 1991a,b). (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 22)


"Adults aside, the fetal brain required about 60% of total fetal energy before birth, imposing a heavy burden on maternal metabolism. The fetus' brain is so large that humans must be born relatively prematurely (about 7 months earlier than they should be, compared to other primate life-history and obstetric norms) through a substantially widened pelvic structure. This 'obstetric dilemma' is so severe that human females suffer a far higher rate of death in childbirth than any other mammal. The reduction in sexual dimorphism form Homo habilis to Homo erectus was actually an increase in females size, this size increase may have been driven primarily by selection for a wider pelvic outlet to allow the birth of larger-brained babies." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 25)


"Another kind of turnover-pulse hypothesis has been articulated by Calvin (1991), who emphasizes the possible role of glaciation cycles in facilitating human evolution. Until recently, Pleistocene glaciation was assumed to affect primarily upper latitudes, but recent paleoclimatology studies have suggested that glaciation had substantial effects on the temperature, rainfall, seasonality, and patchiness of resources in the equatorial zones of Africa (Foley, 1987). So there is a coincidence between the onset of glaciation cycles and the onset of encephalization in our lineage." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 28)


"Given the evidence of brain evolution and the archaeological evidence of technological evolution, I think it fair to eliminate from consideration the simple scenario in which ability to make better and better tools selected for human intelligence. At almost no point in hominid evolution was there even a provocative correlation. The earliest known hominids, Australopithecus afarensis, had a brain larger than an ape's of equivalent size, but as far as we know, no greater reliance on tools. Early Homo at 2 mya had a much more 'encephalized' brain, but the tools and even the context to use were not beyond the capacity of modern apes. Homo erectus did possess technology that was outside the range of ape behavior, but by this time, 1.5 mya, much of the encephalization of the Homo line had already occurred. In sum, most of the evolution of the human brain, the presumed anatomy of intelligence, had occurred prior to any evidence for technological sophistication and, as a consequence, it appears unlikely that technology itself played a central role in the evolution of this impressive human ability.' (Wynn, 1988, p. 283)." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 37)


"Forest-dwelling apes efficiently conserve their water reserves, which they obtain primarily from fruit and vegetation, such that they need only rarely to visit predator-frequented watering holes. By contrast, humans active in hot desert can loose up to 28 liters of water and up to 10% of bodily salt reserves per day (Morgan, 1982).

This incredible profligacy with water a salt suggests that early hominids must have enjoyed no shortage of either: they probably dwelled fairly close to fresh and salt water when not foraging. Rivers and lakes would have provided not only drinking water, but also allowed body-washing and food-washing, offered fish, aquatic crustaceans, and shellfish for eating, and, because the thermal conductivity of water is much higher than that of air, quick swims would have allowed for efficient cooling-off after a long, hot days of foraging. Note that these conditions would make the aquatic ape hypothesis (Hardy, 1960; Morgan, 1982) a bit more plausible..." Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 164)

"Many people assume that the opportunities for selective mate choice, particularly female choice, would have been severely limited under ancestral conditions, due to the supposed prevalence of arranged marriages, the exchange of women as chattel between families and tribes, the influence of cultural rules concerning incest, outbreeding, marriage, monogamy and adultery, the prevalence of within-class marriages in complex hierarchical societies, and the generally low status of women under 'patriarchy'.

But there is strong archaelogical and anthropological evidence that many of these factors arose within the last 10,000 years (Fisher, 1992), and would not have restricted individual mate choice opportunities before that time. The economic and geographic demands of agriculture distorted human mate choice patterns, because agriculture requires long-term investment in preparing and maintaining a plot of land, and thereby reduces the physical and social mobility that underlay the free choice of sexual mates in hunter-gatherer tribes.

Even a century ago, Westermark (1894) recognized that in pre-agricultural tribal societies, females exercised considerable powers of mate choice. With the rise of post-agricultural and post-industrial society, we are seeing a return to more 'natural' ancestral patterns, including more sexual experimentation in adolescence, higher rates of adolescent pregnancy, divorce, and 'infidelity', more serial monogamy, more single mothers, higher rates of bisexuality, and do forth.

These new patterns probably represent the Pleistocene norm, not 'social problems' due to modern atheistic decadence. And under these new conditions, we see a dizzying variety of relationships emerging and of mate choice criteria being exerted. Thus, the sexual freedom and social complexity enjoyed by young people in contemporary urban North America and Europe is probably much more representative of ancestral tribal conditions than the cloistered, oppressive patriarchy of medieval Europe or the lifelong monogamy of the mid-20th century industrial United States." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 237-8)


"Our lineage can be visualized as an enormous parallel computer program for generating and processing behavioral courtship innovations: a genetic algorithm that cycles through an effective population size somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000,000, over 100,000 generations.

At the beginning of the metaphorical computer run 1.8 mya, our ancestors had small brains, slow tongues, dull minds, and plain bodies; at the end of the run, 200,000 years ago, they had huge brains, quick tongues, creative minds, and ornamentally shaped bodies. But the computer analogy breaks down at the data/program dichotomy, because our ancestors were as once the program selecting among alternatives, and the data being selected among. The preferences and the traits co-evolved and self-organized." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 251)

"Studies of contemporary human hunter-gathers and other anthropoid apes suggest that females are generally capable of feeding and taking care of themselves and their children (Linton, 1971). Indeed, among many hunter-gatherer tribes, the men need the women more than vise-versa. It may be more accurate to think of male provisioning as a helpful if unreliable supplement on top of an already self-sufficient women-and-children foraging system, rather than as a desparately-needed stopgap that makes up for a pre-existing deficit of food or protection (Tanner, 1981).

However, the nature of evolutionary fitness tends to make helpful supplements into relative necessities through the inexorable mechanism of Darwinian competition: if women who could elicit long-term male provisioning stayed healthier and had healthier children than women who couldn't, then there will be a strong selection in favor of traits that elicit traits such provisioning (Fisher, 1982, 1992; Lovejoy, 1980)." (Miller, Geoffrey F. (1994) Evolution of the human brain through runaway sexual selection: the mind as a protean courtship device. unpublished thesis. pp. 405)


"Graphically, a pubic triangle is most directly rendered as a V. This expression and its recognition are universal and immediate. It is, nevertheless, amazing how early this bit of "shorthand" crystallized to become for countless ages the designating mark of the Bird Goddess." See figurines page 5 dated 15,000 - 18,000 B. C. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 3)


"The zig-zag is the earliest symbolic motif recorded: Neanderthals used this sign around 40,000 B.C., or earlier." (p. 19)
pictures and dates: 15M-13M B.C. (p. 15)
pictures and dates: 30M B.C. (p. 19)
12,000 B.C. snake pictured (p. 122)
25,000 B.C. goddess sculptures. (p. 142(
30,000 B.P. vulvas pictured. (p. 101)
18,000 B.C. figurines of vulva and waterbird. (p. 100)
venuses 25,000 B.P. (p.102)
venus from 21,000 B.C. (p. 163)
500,000 B.C. sculpture of women. (p. 237)


"The caves, crevices, and caverns of the earth are natural manifestations of the primordial womb of the Mother. This idea is not Neolithic in origin; it goes back to the Paleolithic, when the narrow passages, oval-shaped areas, clefts, and small cavities of caves are marked or painted entirely in red." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 151))

Marshak like 14-17 turned serpentine forms pictured. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. pp. 286-7)