A new perspective on human evolution
A new, completely different story of human evolution is just revealed.
Man as the Prayer: The Origin and Nature of Humankind
by Yup Lee
A totally new picture of five million years of human evolution is discovered: seemingly irrelevant things like sexual swellings, a piece of broken branch, rain, hair, and horse decided the course of human evolution.
Male and female hominids lived separately in different areas for most of the last five million years--until the very recent past. They met together once a year and stayed together for a brief period. What they did for and during this annual mating season is the key to the proper and correct understanding of human evolution. In other words, sexual behavior is the key to the proper understanding of human evolution. It seems that one of the main reasons why anthropologists have trouble explaining human evolution neatly and properly is that they have not grasped the essence of the sexual customs and practices of our distant ancestors and their repercussions on human evolution.
Five million years ago, the last common ancestors of gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans lived in an extensive forest encompassing a river and a lake. There was a system of mountains, a lake, and a river, all of which were linked together. Ever since then, mountains, rivers, and lakes were intimately involved with humankind.
When the climate turned arid, the river-side forest broke into fragments of small forests. In desperate need of food, the last common ancestors were forced to visit the trees which dotted the river shore. They developed a unique mode of terrestrial locomotion to move between the main forest alongside the lake and the scattered patches of riverside forest.
The mode of terrestrial locomotion they had developed was to walk on the soles of the feet, with the back surfaces of the middle phalanges of their bent fingers holding a pair of broken branch tightly. This newly developed mode of locomotion was a variation of brachiation, tailored for terrestrial use. This mode, minus the pair of branch, is precisely the knuckle-walking practiced today by gorillas and chimpanzees. This means that human bipedalism and the knuckle-walking of African great apes--gorilla and chimpanzee--are like twins developed from a single fertilized ovum.
One day, during drought, a small group of apes--members of the last common ancestor stock--ventured to a faraway tract of forest beside the river. On the road, they were caught in heavy rain and in the resulting frenzy, they lost their way back home. They followed a river which meandered westward through hills and plains, and joined another river system that ended in a branching network of streams, all flowing westward to the Atlantic. During their wanderings, they evolved into gorillas. Almost at the same time, another small group of apes met the same fate, and evolved into chimpanzees. In other words, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans diverged almost at the same time with the result that the gorillas are as closely related to humans as the chimpanzees.
As the climate grew increasingly arid, the year divided itself into dry and wet seasons. During the dry season, males were forced to remain in the nearby mountain ranges because there wasn't enough food in the home forest to support both males and females. As a result, males and females parted ways during the annual dry season. These were the ancestral hominids, who evolved into Australopithecus or australopithecines.
Two and a half million years ago, as the climate became increasingly arid, the forest surrounding the lake began to break up and disappear. Finally, the female hominids, the inhabitants of the forest at the margin of the lake, were forced down to the ground. They became fully terrestrial, but they did not know where to find food and water.
Consequently, females began to follow herds of Hipparion horses which signaled the location of food and water. They established a symbiosis with herds of Hipparion. Later, they switched to one-toed horses, i.e., Equus. Following these migrating horses, some hominids ended up in East Asia from Africa about two million years ago. In the same fashion, some hominids later wound up in Europe.
During their wanderings, female hominids carried their babies on their long, matted head hair--the hair was the most important thing to our remote ancestors.
Our distant ancestors emigrated out of Africa because the females trudged blindly at the heels of migrating one-toed horses and because the males were forced to track down their elusive mates. It can be assumed that a series of networks of watercourses and pathways connecting Africa, Asia and North America, were rarely opened up in the past. The intercontinental route must have been studded with food sources for the migrating horses. Under such conditions, some herds of horses could have successfully emigrated out of Africa and to North America within a span of several hundred or 10,000 years. If any of the links and junctions were missing, the intercontinental route would have been interrupted or altered, obstructing further migration of the horses, or changing their courses.
Such being the case, some of the offspring of the emigrated hominids might have come back to Africa afterwards because the intercontinental route of migrating mammals was somewhat like a two-way street.
In the meantime, male hominids developed and acquired unique behavior. As rain began to fall, they went downstream to their courting ground. There, they beat the ground with sticks to attract and seduce mates. They beat pebbles, stones, sand, the bones of dead animals or anything else on the ground, leaving behind piles of fractured, dented, and broken stones. These stone debris are erroneously called Oldowan tools by archaeologists and anthropologists. The so-called Oldowan tool is simply a myth created in their minds. In fact, excavated, crude stone artifacts were not tools but the by-product of the courtship displays of male hominids toward their mates during their annual mating season.
Rain was so important to our remote ancestors including Australopithecus and Homo erectus because it signaled their brief annual mating season. They prayed for the coming of rain as the climate became arid. They prayed earnestly by beating the ground with sticks in their place of courtship. In due course, hominids became prayers. It was about 1.8 million years ago when they began to build a rain hut while praying for rain. Believing in, and praying to, an imaginary being was a mental rubicon for hominids to cross.
Our distant ancestors, male Homo erectus, began to chip carefully raindrops out of stone blocks about 1.4 million years ago while they were praying desperately for the coming of rain--a harbinger of their annual mating season. These sculptured raindrops are erroneously called Acheulian hand axes again by archaeologists and anthropologists. In truth, the misnamed Acheulean hand ax was not the extension of hominid hands but of their brains.
Later as rain began to fall irregularly, the rain lost its foremost importance. Instead, the horse ascended in importance. Now, males prayed for the coming of the horse, accompanied by their mates. About 32,000 years ago, Upper Palaeolithic Europeans began to pray for the coming of the horse by carving, engraving, and/or painting horses on the cave walls. Painting was simply another version of prayer. The same was true for language.
To reveal the origin of languages as well as the origins of words, we must discover how our remote ancestors lived and thought. Only then will we be able to grasp decisive clues to the origin of language. The earliest forms of human language--the Ur-language and proto-language--were developed out of verbal prayer.
An elaborate communication system like human language could not have developed out of the simple need for an animal species to exchange information among themselves. Neither were their representations of animals painted out of a need to express their sense of beauty. Rather, language and art could have been developed only through the need to invoke supernatural being(s) or supernatural power.
Don't be sold on the cut-and-dried answers to the mysteries of human evolution. Author Yup Lee puts forth a comprehensive theoretical framework which squarely challenges and demolishes many theories and hypotheses espoused and cherished by anthropologists, archaeologists, and linguists.
In Man as the Prayer: The Origin and Nature of Humankind, the common thread running through the entire history of human evolution is crisply and clearly explicated, revealing human origin as well as human nature. The author deciphers the meanings of red ochre, handprints, and Upper Paleolithic art objects in conjunction with human origins and human nature. He clarifies the origins of chimpanzees, gorillas and humans, and origins of human terrestrial bipedality, not to mention the origins of cosmetics and make-up. The origins of construction, music, sculpture, handicrafts, paintings, and languages are all clarified as being variations on the same theme--prayer.
For more information
There is only one story of human evolution.
This site created on January 29, 2001 Last updated on November 21, 2004