[Marxism] Re: human origins

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Tue Aug 9 06:58:11 MDT 2005

Nick Halliday wrote:
> I don't see how, if human evolution is real, that it has ceased.
> That's an interesting teleology you have going there.

All species are fairly stable for long periods of geological time. See
Gould, Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Minor variations occur, but
that is all. Name a species -- and you will find that no substantial
change has occurred in it since its early appearance: i.e., its fossil
record will pretty much duplicate its present. Nothing teleological
about it.

If you read texts on human revolution you will soon run into repeated
references to "biologically modern humans," and they/we became
established as a species about 100,000 b.p., give or take a few tens of
thousands. Something happened 40 to 50 thousand years ago, and change
became much more rapid. For example, neanderthals & h. sapiens had
shared the world for over 50,000 years or so -- but suddenly
neanderthals disappeared in a geological micro-second. Various
speculations. no certain knowledge. One thing is quite certain: that
change resulted from culture, not a biological change in the species.
(But see Ian Tattersall, _The Monkey in the Mirror: Essays on the
Science of What Makes Us Human_.) 

Repeat: Most species, very nearly all of multi-cellular species, remain
biologically stable, with no significant change, during their whole
existence. See the passages in Gould's work that argue "absence is

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