Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Archaeology of Human Behavior Over Time

It seems to me there may be some peculiar characteristics that distinguish how humans extend themselves genetically and conjunctively in a cultural representation, based on an empirical record of human reproduction rather than the theoretically supposed record that so many scientific thinkers have presumed in their conception and modeling of the human reproduction schema.
                The genealogical conveyance of human DNA chains that link one generation to the next, are very likely not what human science has predicted over the long course of the human past. It appears from my lifetime of comprehension that human chains and their interwoveness are dynamic and adaptable in the history of their reproductive patters, with men and women only very recently reaching comparable statuses in the statistical gauges of how each sex fares over time. Human social patterns and adaptations also vary widely depending upon the precursory history of a population in mating, nursing, prenatal, birthing and parenting methodologies and technologies a culture may possess. It not only affects the survival success of offspring but also of the mother.
In particular, I am arguing that there is considerable difference between male and female reproductive outcomes and lifespans, and the architecture of its impact on the human social structure throughout human history in both the East and the West. Certainly, in any society that uses harems where a single male operates as the sperm donor for a cadre of female offspring producers, that genetic archaeology is very different in comparison with an egalitarian population where men and women operate monogamously. The same of course would be true for the Mormon populations of the U.S. West or other groups where a single male has exclusive access to a group of several or more females. Genghis Khan is an outstanding example in Mongolian cultural history as are some of his ancestors. The Arab World is notorious for similar behaviors such as with Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, the father of al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden who fathered seventy-seven children with twenty-two wives or various emperors in China or India.
Even Charlemagne of the Franks in the annals of Western European history fathered eighteen children with four wives and five known concubines, as so many Normans later inordinately contributed to the birthing expansion of their related populations in Normandy, England or Sicily. It is a different take than Thomas Malthus suggested in the science of propagation patterns he had proposed. It is also quite a departure from the scientifically presumptive history that most males will father offspring reasonably equally with that of females in given populations. It seems that the sperm pools of many populations are limited to small male groups that disproportionately seed the DNA chain.
Secondly, the lifespans of women are – because of the perils of childbirth – probably very different in pattern and contribution than the male patterns. In fact, in Early American history as an empirical demonstration, it seems that a visit to any New England or pre-Civil War eastern cemetery would demonstrate the patrilocal/patrilineal foundation for the constancy of the family and its continuation versus that of the female. Many males had two, three, four and sometimes five wives during the course of their lives, with men frequently marrying women ten to twenty or thirty years their junior. 

                           To be completed at a later time

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Energy requires various interventions to keep a signal constant and sustainable. So too, does economic activity as a recognized current of human activity, require intervention to keep it sustainable and evolving. The Twentieth Century had a tremendous human surge in expanding the physiological reach of the human being using technology as an extension of human anatomy. Human habitats became interdependent and many became connected for the first time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

History Is By Definition the Self-Recorded Account of Human Behavior

History is by definition the self-recorded account of human behavior and its evolution. It is part of both, the Origin of Consciousness and the Origin of Mind that are described by the scientific community as two of the three pivotal periods of demarcation for the evolution of organisms on this planet (the first of course being the Origin of Life).

History is nothing more than the physical record of human events as seen by human beings. It is the self-described archeological account of human evolution. And by all accounts is merely an incidental record of events and non-events that comprise that record. What the story of history tells us, in a chronological, multi-dimensional fashion, is the phylogeny of the human experience as it has changed over time. Particular to the study of history, is that it is documentation by humans of human events, in combination with other fixed or permanent records (archeological, etc.) that yields a sequential comprehension that is recorded as “history”. However, in order to expand our awareness of human “history” as an extension of primate evolution, it is necessary to integrate other methodologies of science and self-evaluation into an explanation that encompasses the labyrinth of the human organism’s experience within the various ecosystems and the earth’s biosphere. With the state of science being what it is, it is entirely within the realm of human grasp, to step away from the process of which we are part, to take a broader measurement of our existence.

Being that history consists of human documentation of our own evolution over time, provides a unique and unusual perspective to this archive of behavior that separates it from the other sciences, as we now know them to be. In doing so, the current state of the historical account also limits our analysis of what is concrete and what is opinion. In the hard sciences such as paleontology, biology, botany or biophysics, observed relationships between points of comparison are much more finite and correlative. They are tangible and can be explained in the context of mathematical relationships and imaginative measurement systems.

Certainly, there are mathematical corollaries between various events and stages in human evolution, or recorded events of the human organism, such as the transmission of information (and its evolvement) between societies or from one generation to the next. This corresponds to the phylogenies that encompass the human experience. When Goethe teaches Kant and Kant teaches Hegel and Hegel teaches Karl Marx and his other students, there is a chronological transmission that has taken place between generations over time. As an aspect of history, we record the output of specific individuals, such as the authoring of a particular text or work of art and on occasion, record their relationships and impact, directly and indirectly, with their students. Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle would be a simple example of a direct transmission. I use the term, phylogeny or phylogenesis here, to describe that relationship. Examples of indirect transmission, would be other people’s works that a creator of work, encountered. Some of these works are extant in the historical annals, while others are now extinct and we only know about them through secondhand accounts. But we do know of their impact on the author at that time, either through his own testimony or through other writers living at the time. Concurrently, another form of transmission takes place between societies or cultures when a work or written account is translated from one language to another. This process enables one society to pass on their thoughts or understanding to another society or culture. This is a key milestone in human evolution and represents a sidereal or latitudinal transmission from group A to group B.

Within the human account of “history”, as points of perspective, there is both the phylogeny of human behavior and the ontogeny of the human organism. Each perspective provides a relationship to fixed points in human behavior. Similarly, the behaviors of specific individuals in “history” are different and have mathematical corollaries depending on whether they are accounted for by a perspective of phylogeny or ontogeny. Both perspectives are useful and each provides a different vortex from which the historical analyst will view the historical phenomena. It is important for the “historian”, as an analyst, to understand their relationship to the events in question and from the point they are viewing the phenomena in question. These are the suppositions upon which any of their observations or conclusions will be derived. By this, I want to be clear, that history as an account of events is in motion and is relative to the consciousness of the historian and the account at a particular point in time.

To Be Continued…

© 2010 Steven P. Mitchell