Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Modern Man Made by (Moderate) Madmen

Here is an interesting article on the differences between modern humans and Neandertals. And here is the punchline:

what if the archetype of the visionary/mystical leader with charisma is responsible for the distinctiveness of modern human groups? This is not a common individual, but not exceptionally rare. Most humans are not particular visionary, nor are they prone to mysticism. Perhaps the difference between Neandertals and behaviorally modern humans was less about large between group differences in individual level traits, and more about the fact than Neandertals simply lacked the leadership cadre which behaviorally modern humans possessed. In this scenario most modern humans are just like Neandertals, lacking vision, drive, and proximate insanity.
Another way of saying this: shamans and artists created mankind. Nietzsche had a different name for the makers of mankind, of course.

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