Dedicated to my wife Diana:
For her continuous support
and for those times when she knew
that it would be best not to disturb my concentration;
Man in the Mist:
The Evolutionary Musings of a Blue-Collar Workerę
Man in the Mist borrows its title from the Dian Fossey book, Gorillas in the Mist, where she spent many years observing the gorillas of Rwanda. The premise of my book is somewhat similar: Instead of sending scientists into the fields to study bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas to gain a deeper understanding of human nature, would the knowledge not be of equal or greater weight if a poorly educated human ape, from far from the halls of academia, wrote a book about his own sub-species' origins and the evolutionary processes that influenced its behavior? What if the primates could talk? What would they tell us?
As Popeye the Sailor Man once chanted: "I am what I am." And in my case, I am a blue-collar worker that, for the past eight years, has an insatiable interest in the evolutionary, biological, and cultural influences that have led to our present human behavior. My interests in these evolutionary perspectives grew out of a complete lack of intellectual challenge in my blue-collar job where brawn, and not brain are required; initiative is stifled, and orders are given and not suggested. I punch a time clock, belong to a union, and yes, I wear a blue-collar. Perhaps, events should have evolved for me in the opposite direction: formal education, an advanced degree, teaching, and then publishing; but it was not to be the case. I won't bore you with specifics of my life, but rather, ask you to keep an open mind throughout the book by focusing on my position the in socioeconomic level where I dwell.
No, I am not really a big ape, but sometimes our culture attaches blue-collar workers in particular behavioral slots and stereotypes beyond our control. Have not blue-collar workers and others at my socioeconomic level been referred to as Joe Six-Packs, and low-brow morons? Has not our popular culture defined our subspecies as low in intellect and high in testosterone, focused only on sports and female body parts? Have we not been made fun of in the televised and print Honda car commercials, as being observed in the wild by "noted expert in animal behavior," Joann Walker, a young blonde Jane Goodall look-alike? The print ads attach the male "animals" with names like "Slack Jaw," Buggie," and "Li'l Opie," and "showing signs of surprising intelligence" (by selecting the Honda vehicle) while feeding on sardines, beef jerky, hard salami, pork rinds, and cheese balls. (Not to mention, while scratching their own).
This book also arose from my frustration that science had not yet answered the creationist question: "If man evolved from the monkeys, why are there still monkeys in the jungle?" Perhaps science, in its captive position of depending on many federal grants and contributions from alumni at their local levels, have been too polite to challenge the religious convictions of creationists. I have no such financial limitations on my thoughts, and feel that I have adequately answered this time-tested question.
The final reason that I have for writing this book is that I feel compelled to share the knowledge that I have accumulated with my fellow common person and leave my scent mark upon the world. After all, I am just an animal.
A Quick Tour
This book starts at the beginning. It starts with weighing in with the evolution theory of the origins of humans and patiently explains that evolution is not a theory anymore, but is a working framework to many scientists. I attempt to explain why man needs to dig up the bones of his ancestors and seek answers from a distant past. As for explaining our present day behaviors with a string attached to our past, it relies heavily on the perspectives gleamed from the new science of evolutionary psychology. In the first chapter alone, I feel that I have answered the creationist argument "if man evolved from the apes, why are their still apes in the jungle?" (They'll dislike the answer just as much as they dislike evolution).
From there, I take you on a trip of the interior of the brain and briefly refresh the general knowledge known about this incredible device. Once there, I will explain the principles of modular thinking and what I call the Cultural Longitudinal and Lateral behavior, and the cementing of behaviors. After that, I take you to my theories on the great division that occurred between our ancestral hominoids and our ape ancestors. I will also attempt to explain how I think that they survived the great split. From there, I will explain sexual dimorphism and how sexual roles developed. In particular, I will discuss hunter-gatherer group sizes, awareness by the chimpanzees, and a new theory about the human female and her lack of a fluid-filled genital sac found with the female primates. I will then discuss the principal of tolerated theft, and the emergence of the hunt by males for larger protein sources.
When we get to chapter five, I will express my opinion that our ancestors may have followed migrating herds of Springbok, Wildebeests, Zebras, and perhaps African and then Indian elephants. It is also at this time that I will present an interesting theory relating to sexual access via different cultures at different locals. When we get to chapter six I speculate on the various positioning that clans may have used while on the move and the possible connections to what I have referred to as "restrict and control" of male domination. I will then introduce my observations concerning gender differences in the DSM-IV. This chart is perhaps the best empirical evidence that we have concerning proof that sexual roles may have been set within the confines of, what I call the "Home and Roam" period that developed between our two genders.
In the final chapter, I will attempt to answer the questions regarding how we can get us out of the mess we are in. And because we are attached to our biological past, does it mean that we will never be able to avoid conflict? I will argue in the final chapter, that the salvation of our species will depend on the abilities of the female and view much speculation through the lens of a young female growing up in a local environment much different than our present one. In fact, I will argue, that it has always been the female that has shaped our world, only she is not aware of her power.
I am a simple man who views life from his perch in a socioeconomic level that some would call the middle class. I am no Tom Wolfe. The comments that you read within won't be ultra-sophisticated, but they will be the truth wrapped in plain wrapping. I hope that history judges me in that light, and that you find much information that you can use.
Copyright, Evolution's Voyage, 1995 - 2009