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Homo habilis and language

by n+1 Sunday, Apr. 08, 2007 at 1:17 PM

Two recent discoveries represent a powerful experimental verification for all hypotheses that Marx and Engels brought forward about human evolution from the monkey stage to the productive, thus social one.

Once, thinking of the Bible rather than real life, we thought that human beings were specific animals and that all various relics were nothing but different stages of evolution of one stock only. The following discoveries showed a ramification along which some human beings became extinct, however conviction remained that the evolution trunk was only one.

Now, the DNA imprints analysis of a Neanderthal bone shows that our differences between us are such to have no ancestors in common. Nowadays' verifications repeat an experiment that was previously carried out on other bones and both results validate each other. Thus about fifteen types of hominids from the same classification could not well be related as much as the Neanderthal man is not our relative from an extinct branch but another type of man altogether.

The above discovery comes as a shock to the strong beliefs in a world where men turned up as a purpose for nature itself, which means that once creationism has gone out of door, we let it in through the window. A more accurate genealogy shows that today's men was going hand in hand with other similar species and, like the Neanderthal men, not at all "inferior" ones. So the great dominating species of the universe is not the result of a single robust plant with lots of branches from which the present "races" would have survived, but it is (at least) one of the fifteen species that could have become extinct like the other fourteen and leave the world to other animals and probably for their own benefit. Once again we briefly notice the non-existence of human races, being the external features non-influent compared to the uniqueness of their genetic stock.

The customary objection is that "we" are brainier, therefore we rightly survived as we are the fittest; however, another discovery shows that this hypothesis is guilty of a huge anthropocentric arrogance since the whole question needs to be completely overturned: man has become brainy because he has survived and not vice versa. Intelligence comes as last, many more different things come first as Engels suggested in a synthetic and clear passage of Dialectics of Nature. In China some handmade stone was found – and this is the second discovery – within a contest perfectly datable back to 803.000 years ago. Since while on his way to Asia the hominid from the Eastern branch had been previously thought of not emulating his African ancestor's skills, consequently it was believed that handmade skills were depending on the local circumstances even though in other territories a unity in styles and times was dismissing this logics.

The manufacture, i.e. an amygdale, is skilfully shaped like its long-time classified correspondent ones from the old African sites. This means that being an exchange at such distance unthinkable, far away men matured an independent ability to produce during similar times and, since that specific object is no utensil (it never shows wear and tear traces), despite being hard to make (you must pound the stone in an anti-intuitive way), like and more than a utensil, it is supposed to be used as means of interaction with something else, perhaps within some ritual contest we had better not daydream of.

What is certain is that the intense and complex activity necessary to build these objects through complex and refined techniques helped increase the sensitiveness of one's hands and, via the nervous system, helped stimulate the development of certain specific brain areas. As a matter of fact, some brain imprints correspondent to Broca's area that is language- related has been spotted inside the skull cavities. As regards to a hominid that is not anatomically capable of speaking, the concerned brain area can only show that the very same material production was indeed language and was an anticipation of today's, which was "making" man human.

The power of dialectical quest of phenomena is shown from the fact that Engels, though knowing the millionth part of what we know today about human evolution, foresaw what the sequence should have been, that is production-hand-brain-language and the interaction of these stages while official science just reached those conclusion today and only thanks to some discoveries in some sites, thus thanks to an empiric and inductive method. On the other hand it is obvious that if thinking is not of supernatural origin, living matter must be able, in its own structure, to register sequences of movements and physical actions on other matter, which are fixed in working organs such as the hands and later the brain, becoming little by little tidy architectures foreshadowing language.

These are probably those very forms that allowed Noam Chomsky to talk about an "innate grammar", Konrad Lorenz to study similar behaviours in animal instincts and pedagogic currents (such as the non-degenerated Montessori one) to behold in children phenomena that cannot owe to their mere learning. Therefore, they cannot be taken as spiritual and metaphysical innate forms, but as totally materialist and dialectical ones.

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