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Observations placeholder

Bryson, Bill - On man as a configuration



Type of Spiritual Experience


The introduction of homo sapiens was both a software and hardware increment marked by the implementation of major hardware change and major software change that had been undergoing some basic trialling in early versions that were deemed to be not quite right.  Many early versions of homo sapiens were used to trial various aspects of the final version.  Thus some versions tested little bits of the hardware change [bipedal, talking ability, particularly dexterous hands, changed reproduction organs, change of brain], and yet others then added function to this to test the added software [three dimensional vision and spacial processing, different birth sequence, hand software, reasoning power, logical reasoning , pattern matching, learning software, ability to balance on two feet and so on].

The mythological evidence tends to be borne out by the fossil record.  The precursors to homo sapiens have included [in no particular order] Homo Habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo Heidelbergensis, Homo erectus, Paranthropus [eaethropicus, boisei and robustus], Ardipithecus ramidus, and Australopithecus [anamensis, africanus and afarensis].  Fossils have been found worldwide from China and Java to Africa.  Where they have been found seems to be a bit dependent on where people have been looking, so I suspect many more are yet to turn up.

After an extensive period of trialling what appeared to be a number of prototypes, the final design of both software and hardware were finalised and the totality of homo sapiens, pretty much as we are today, appeared.

Quite a number of legends and myths speak of one failed first version of man that had to be abandoned before the one we are now, this was I suspect Neanderthal man.

Overall it appears that our version has remained unchanged since it was introduced.

Perhaps most important is that myth states that we were implemented worldwide.  We did not suddenly appear by magic in Africa and then travel the world changing [in some unexplained way] our height, colour, face shape, build, eye shape etc as we went along – all in 200,000 to 400,000 years.  We were implemented all over the world in one go as an increment. The Darwinian model states that a species is evolved using a chance mutation of its DNA.  The species then breeds and spreads, since chance mutation in multiple locations of the sort we are talking about here is statistically impossible.  In Darwinian theory a species can only increase by reproduction on a fairly prodigious scale and migration on an equally prodigious scale.  In myth and legend and thus accounts which take into account a spiritual influence, the design changes needed were effected worldwide [and there is nothing to exclude the possibility that DNA was the mechanism of change] .  A planned design change which incorporated both software and hardware change.  Existing suitable versions were taken and mutated at more or less the same time in select locations worldwide.

At one time the belief was that there was of a sort of linear progression of design.  Now, however, there is a greater recognition that numerous early forms of life – not just humans followed side trails that eventually led nowhere – to extinction.

In Tattershall and Schwatz’s ‘Extinct Humans’ numerous alternative designs are cited.  It is clear that humans were an extremely tricky thing to design and many experiments were needed.  For example:

  • kenyanthropus platyops
  • ardipithecus ramidus kadabba (5.2 – 5.8 million years old)
  • orrorin tugenensis (6 million years old)
  • sahelanthropus tchadensis (7 million years old)
  • austrolopithecus – afarensis,  praegens, ramidus, walkeri, anamensis, transvaalensis
  • paranthropus crassidensis
  • zinjanthropus boisei

and this may be the tip of the iceberg according to Bill

A description of the experience

Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything

At one point between 3 million and 2 million years ago, it appears there may have been as many as 6 hominid types co-existing in Africa.  Only one was fated to last; Homo, which emerged about 2 million years ago.

No one knows quite what the relationship was between australopithecines and Homo, but what is known is that they ‘co-existed’ for something over a million years before all the australopithecines, robust and gracile alike, vanished … over a million years ago..

The Homo line includes Homo microcranus; Homo Louisleakeyi; Homo aurignacensis; Homo habilis; Homo ergaster; Homo neanderthalensis; Homo rudolfensis; Homo heidelbergensis; Homo erectus and Homo antecessus, as well as the final outcome Homo sapiens...

........Bipedalism is a demanding and risky strategy.  It means refashioning the pelvis into a full load bearing instrument.  To preserve the required strength, the birth canal in the female must be comparatively narrow.  This has 2 very significant immediate consequences and one longer term one.  First, it means a lot of pain for any birthing mother and a greatly increased danger of fatality for mother and baby.  Moreover to get the baby’s head through such a tight space it must be born whilst its brain is still small – and while the baby, therefore is still helpless.  This means long term infant care................

[but once the design was in place..]

Homo erectus…. Spread across the globe with what seems to have been breathtaking rapidity.  The fossil evidence, suggests that some members of the species reached Java at about the same time as, or even slightly before they left Africa.............

They …. did so quite rapidly, increasing their range by as much as 40 kms a year on average, all while dealing with mountain ranges, rivers, deserts and other impediments and adapting to different climates and food sources.  A particular mystery is how they passed along the west side of the Red Sea, an area of famously punishing aridity now, but even drier in the past …. Yet somehow they managed to find their way around every barrier and to thrive in the lands beyond.........

Since the dawn of time, several billion human, or human like beings have lived, but out of this number only 5,000 or so individual remains have been found


The source of the experience

Bryson, Bill

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Science Items

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Being left handed