February 3, 2009 | Leave a Comment
Some of the least complex toys are the most powerful. In the 1950s, my parents seemed amused that Slinkys and Hula Hoops had captured my sisters’ and my attention. These toys were so simple. Nevertheless, they were compelling. Some of the simplest metaphors or processes can suggest or reproduce seemingly complex relationships.
Seeking to understand human evolution by focusing on individual adaptability to circumstance offers some unique and useful perspectives. Exploring human evolution by examining humans in society can in ways simplify the play of transformation. Raising the scale, shifting to society from individual, can simplify our understanding of the process.
Marian Annett’s explorations of the brain changes that compelled a shift to speech revealed a “balanced polymorphism,” or seamless arch of human features from those humans with little speech facility to others cerebrally lateralized so intensely for speech that they are handicapped in communication. Those in the middle, she suggested, had a heterozygote advantage by retaining some of the useful pre-speech strengths in combination with speech proclivities. Speech facility demands that the right hemisphere be pruned of some of its potential growth and subtlety in combination with a brain bridge reduced in size. Odd that a reduction in hemispheric…