EASY READING CULTURE OF LIFE NEWS: A MILLION YEARS OF PELVIC THRUSTS « Culture of Life News 2
Nova has a TV show about the Hobbits of Flores Island. It is a very good show and so far, we can see it on You Tube unless it gets pulled. Watch it now! Also, an intact pelvis has finally been pieced together that clearly shows how big the homo erectus babies probably were and they were big, relatively speaking. And the mothers walked totally upright, too. And a news story about germ/human evolution is a good read in the New Scientist.
Sileshi Semaw, the leader of the Gona Project, said that the birth canal of this pelvis is 30% larger than earlier estimates based on the 1.5-million-year-old juvenile male pelvis of KNM-WT 15000 (Turkana Boy) found in Kenya. I don’t have an early copy of the paper, but if this is true, this find will make us reevaluate our estimations of Homo erectus growth and development. Current theories, based upon estimations of the existing male skeleton from Kenya, suggested Homo erectus produced babies with only a limited neonatal brain size, and experienced rapid brain growth while still developmentally immature. But as you may know, male and female primate pelvic girdles are extremely different. This new pelvis also tells us of some interesting differences in stature and gait.
Looking at the pelvis of this million+ year old primate, homo erectus, it is pretty certain, the babies were born by being dropped perhaps even from a squatting position. We know that human babies have a very large soft spot on the top of the head where the bones don’t quite come together at birth. Humans have very difficult births and we know that in the Great Apes, females give birth without assistance. While many humans need protection and help and labor can last for many hours, even.
I had one pregnancy where the labor lasted more than a day and was extremely hard due to the huge size of my son’s head. On the other hand, my own mother was in labor less than 3 hours with me. We know that domestic animals have increasing difficulties with labor, too. I suspect, this is due to human breeding interference. When I had many sheep, I had to sometimes hand deliver babies, especially when there were twins or triplets. Untangling the legs while the babies were still entering the birth canal, for example.
Indeed, humans have this collective interest in birthing. A female goes into labor and the other females take notice and move closer, not further away. Interest in birth is so tremendous, a huge body of magic spells, taboos and myths have grown around the process to an amazing degree. The human mind is obsessed with the whole business of birthing and the journey into the soul to discover the gods nearly always involves going into dark mazes and then suddenly seeing the light.
So it is a happy day for me to see that the very earliest humanoid mothers were already giving birth to large-brained children. I suspect our entire social structure, as far as how our brains are wired, are very much influenced by the mysteries and difficulties of giving birth due to our big heads causing so much pain and so many difficulties.
This is also part of the evolution of humans: unlike baby lambs, baby horses, or even baby apes, humanoid babies are very helpless. Perhaps the baby of the lady of this ancient pelvis could cling to the mother right away. But it is certain that our evolution moved rapidly away from this.
For humans have to be ‘premature’ births. We are born weak and quite helpless. Unable to turn over or even lift our heads. This is most unusual. The babies of predators are more helpless at birth than prey babies. But humans are singular in that we are weak and helpless for years, relatively speaking.
Anyone who sees a baby lamb leap away from the wolves the same week it is born can see the difference! Something for us to think about. Society is our greatest human tool of all.
Here is the 5 part series on You Tube of a very, very good NOVA show about the Hobbit. I highly recommend this series. It asks many intelligent questions.
Darwin’s original ‘Tree of Life’ sketch.
In other words, germs could take whole DNA sequences from other living things such as a snake and then transfer them, intact, to say, an elephant! Interesting information here! Since all living things have evolved while these swap meets from the single-celled creatures reshuffled genes, this increases the idea that we are all related, top to bottom. An idea I absolutely adore.
We didn’t spring from the mud! I am relieved. Nor from Adam’s rib. We evolved from and with and alongside and THANKS TO the germ community! HAHAHA. I love it! Germs are our gods, our creators! And well should it be: they are also the Elders. And they made our lives possible. They help us digest food. They created the very nature of the cells of all of our biomass. These cells are not complete things but a mishmash of all sorts of living creature that swam in the oozing watery mess of the early earth!
Far from feeling diminished, to know that the least is as powerful a force in our evolution and who are still forcing evolution along, deep inside of us, fills me with happiness! We are One with the Universe, We are the Biosphere!
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