This essay is on the premise: the earth is the only home destined for human habitation. From whence came influences, I mean intervention from a divine or higher agencies (as some books would claim of Alien visitation) that pulled human species into a group from his ape-cousins is beyond the scope. Rise of humans we might assume was determined as a whole by environment. Human migrations played their roles in so many waves and these can be dated and also their route by tracking genetic changes. (Recent news item: Most humans have a little bit of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes. Only those with recent African ancestry don’t.)
We have no record of any single ape ancestor having led the whole in the dawn of time as Patriarch Moses did with the Children of Israel in the Judaeo-Christian narrative.
Our Ape ancestors found it better option to separate from ape cousins than their arboreal existence in which they shared space with them.
Two clues we have on the possible reason why they parted ways.
Firstly they could walk on two feet. Other ape cousins also had similar ability but their larger brain space and its flexibility must have convinced it as an option.
(“Taung Child,” the fossil skull of a child of three or four was discovered in 1924 and dates back to about 2.5 million years ago. Scan of the skull show joints between the child’s skull plates (called the metopic suture) hadn’t fully fused, a uniquely human trait.
These brain joints close quickly after birth in monkeys and other apes, the researchers said, but in humans, this fusion happens much later. This flexibility in the skull may have existed only because the body first had to reconfigure hips of the mother to accommodate bipedalism. This in turn would have let prefrontal cortex, a brain area crucial for advanced cognitive capabilities, expand and grow over time. The researchers could see from the imprint of the brain on the inside of the skull that these brain areas had started expanding and changing. (the journal dated May7, 2012- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences/reprinted in LiveScience.com/2012) )
Secondly the tool making ability of the humans was of a different league than of ape cousins.
“The tool kits of most chimpanzee populations consist of about 20 types of tools, which are used for various functions in daily life, including subsistence, sociality, sex, and self-maintenance,” primatologist William C. McGrew wrote in an essay in the Apr. 30, 2010, issue of the journal Science.)
Our ape ancestors must have perceived many small positive gains supplied by their communal living was strong enough to separate themselves for the savannah.
Such similar shifts in perception of their environment led our ancestors to changes in an altogether different direction. Climate and availability of fruits and food was one. Another was the quality of soil.
In the plentiful supply of food hunter-gatherer only need gather daily quota of fruits or hunt their prey. No one was the head but each hand adding to the whole group. Chief of families, clans and tribes came much later at a time agriculture put an end to their nomadic existence.
Inclement weather made gathering of fruits daily irksome. With agriculture as a way of life diet became more predictable. Not much variety was possible. Crop failure and threat from other groups in search food led to social changes. Farmers needed to organize and look to those who ensured safety of their crops and fields. Thus came into being the Chief as the Head and hands that served the king and at lower level the hands that supplied their needs. All the hands serving the king were required to secure the property so the king and his nobles were in turn provided for by the farmers who tilled the land supplied men in times of war. Wealth became essential to keep the social structure from collapse and it was appropriated by the King and his knights.
Once primitive ancestors went on their own way there occurred several slight shifts. These social changes led to the creation of a triad: Head, Hand and Wealth. (to be concluded)