FORCED ADAPTABILITY seems to be the secret of life's continuation on Earth. Because of the distance of the Earth from the Sun and the globe's protection by its newly created atmosphere, an abundant variety of life-forms began to exist and multiply. Since then, many other accidents have impacted our planet, and probably at least four times, life on Earth was affected so strongly that it practically started all over again. We, the humans, are the effect many major accidents, which forced our species to adapt to our present shape and intellect in order to survive.
Any plant or creature we see today is undeniably a winner of a complicated and dangerous game of survival. Life feeds on anything, even ice and discharges of pollution. In the distant past, tremendous and catastrophic volcano eruptions of soot, ash, and fumes covered the Earth with impenetrable clouds that destroyed many forms of life. Somehow, the same global accidents generated far superior, diverse forms of life, including in humans.
Some extremely well adapted animals, such as sharks and horseshoe crabs, predated dinosaurs and never changed. Seals and otters are the only remains of eighty-foot water reptiles with lungs, which dominated the Jurassic seas for 150 millions years. Animals were forced to run faster in order to survive, and heavy, flat paws became one- or two-digit hooves for horses, or fins for dolphins, or long-boned wings for birds. A certain species of ape developed five-digit paws with an opposable, versatile thumb, evolving into the human hand.
The accidental fire ignited by lightning was quickly adopted as a way to keep warm and as a defensive tool. Using the fire was the most stimulating for the brain and carrying the fire forced the hominid to walk straight on two legs. Most probably, the acquisition of language began around a fire used to cook food. Cooking food further improved the brain development and because the use of fire, hominid and chimpanzee families separated forever. Because the bipedal walking, handling the fire at will helped the not-quite humans to migrate and survive the Ice Age. Next in importance to fire was the discovery of the wheel.
Due to icy climatic changes and almost no vegetation to support life, large animals went extinct 11,000 years ago, a time when the mammoths, camels, and horses vanished from North America. It was the exact time when Homo-sapiens-the-fire-maker found less competition in the animal world and became numerous and resourceful for survival. That made it easy for animals and humans to travel from one continent to another. When the ice melted and the continents were separated by large bodies of water, all animals and humans needed to adapt to the newly created climate conditions.
No one put human and animal reigns closer together than Charles Darwin (18091882), who revolutionized and inspired many philosophical currents dealing with the living world. Basically, he lined up the living species according to their genealogical succession in time and came up with the theory of evolution. In his Origin of Species, Darwin tried to demonstrate how men and other living creatures came from simpler forms of life, and only by adaptation to certain local conditions, by natural selection, and by gene mutability, did they evolve into the present species.
The effects of all of these accidental encounters on survival resulted in new species of animals with new body forms, colors, and abilities to attack or defend themselves. The amphibious flying frog, which lives on land and water, can also fly from one tree to another, making it a most versatile creature. These effects of similar natural selection became, in time, hereditary. Similar mutations of species toward stronger genes took place in the worlds of fish and vegetation.
If Darwin would have stopped at that conclusion, he would have had no trouble with the believers in the Bible. However, the investigative biologist went much further, and speculated that all animals, including humans, came from the same initial, simple source of life. According to him, only the adaptability process diversified species, while the struggle for survival and sexual selection made them advance to superior levels of existence.
Most of his contemporaries flatly refused this theory. They felt insulted to think that humans and anthropoid apes shared the same ancestors, which, in the final analysis, may have been a reptile or a fish. According to creationists, life forms are too complicated to be the result of an accidental evolution. Actually, more than half-a-million species, among them 3,500 mammals, could not have an equal number of original ancestors. Hundreds of them are not relate to any other creatures.
The only detectable evolution in the animal world is the superior eyesight and the forward-pointing ears of predators and the superior sense of smell and backward-pointing ears of prey animals. The wider the eyes are apart and placed on the side of the head, the more primitive the animal is. As a rule, the prey has better camouflage and can outrun the predator, another adaptation for survival. Natural selection has also restrained the number of carnivorous species, versus the large number of herbivorous ones.
Back to Effectology, I believe that indeed, accidents play an important role in genetics. Copulatory accidents resulted in a variety of animals within the same species, but with different characteristics. The examples in the feline family of lions, leopards, cheetahs, pumas, lynxes, and so on; or in the bovine family of oxen, buffaloes, bison, and others, speak for themselves. A strange genetic variation represents the family of the camel, the llama and the alpaca on different continents. In the reptile world, we can detect an amazing 2,700 species of snakes, proving the effect of their adaptability.
Humans consider themselves to be the undisputed superior creature on Earth in all ways. Yet for 650 million years, more than 2,000 species of bloodless, brainless, and boneless jellyfish inhabited the oceans and the seas. They live in the tropical waters, in seas covered by ice, in clean and polluted waters, and at any depth, and they multiply at an incredible rate. No human could match that performance, which raises the puzzling question in regards to superiority. Jellyfish kill more humans each year than most predatory animal, leading to the question: who is the real winner in the game of life; the smarter creature, or the most enduring one?
Considering that a human baby needs almost twenty years of careful grooming to become independent, while most animal babies need only a few days or weeks to do so, we are not sure who is better fit to live and inherit the earth. The problem with Darwin's theory is that the chimpanzee and gorilla, which are the closest apes to man, have stayed genetically unchanged for millions of years. They do not seem to progress mentally at all, even in laboratory conditions. Another unanswered question is why the amoeba or primitive worms have never changed or emerged into superior organisms in billions of years? These examples of stagnant evolution are counter-points to Darwin's concept.
Today's science holds solid ground after discovering powerful DNA tests, and invented laboratory cloning. It even invented artificial sperm and promised women to the ability to reproduce themselves. However, science still needs to begin with an original model created by someone or something, infinitely better equipped than any lab. That model is found in the Bible.
One may wonder why humans come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Let us consider the same type of questionable accidents as many have accepted in Darwin's theory of adaptability. Are pale-skinned people a result of adaptation to cold, snowy lands, while dark-skinned people were forced to adapt to tropical climates? Is it that little sun leaves the skin white, while an abundance of sun produces black pigmentation in the skin?
Somehow, the exact opposite adaptation makes more sense: people in snowy climates should be black to attract more sun rays to keep them warmer, and people in hot climates should be white to reflect the sun's affects. The skin pigmentation theory can easily be discarded when considering polar bears and all other animals of freezing climates. On the other hand, Nordic races have minimum hair on their body and face, contradicting the necessity of skin-fur as a protection from a perpetual freezing climate.
How about the Mongoloid race? Did they borrow their yellow skin as a camouflage coloring from the vast, windy, and dusty plateaus of Asia? Is the narrowness of their eyelids an adaptation for avoiding the impact of dust storms? How about the occurrence of large and protruding eyes in the Negroid race? One might think that, to avoid strong sunlight, the eyes would be small, not wide. What about the larger, flatter noses common in Africans, versus the narrower noses of Caucasians? Is the curly hair of the Negroes an adaptation to serve to protect the head from the sun? Knowing that our body temperature is regulated by the heat released or saved by the head, one could argue that this is the wrong kind of hair for a warm climatehair designed for a sunny climate should serve as a cooling radiator, not as a lid for a boiling pot.
According to the latest anthropological discoveries, human life originated in Africa, and we probably once lived in trees. By simple deduction, the entire human race should be dark skinned, with arms longer and stronger than legs. What made us walk straight, have hands with opposable thumbs, and begin communicating with language? Something extremely radical and vital must have determined pre-humans to change their lifestyle and make them into superior beings. Maybe mankind originated in a continent other than Africa, where only the warm-climate seekers ended up by accident.
Using Effectology's principles, the answers rest, of course, in the power of accidents, which could force primitive men to acquire the minds and bodies we have today. It is very likely that a massive accident suddenly terminated forests inhabited by our hairy, tree-dwelling ancestors. It's possible that an extremely dangerous arboreal animal, forced the humanoids out of the trees and into caves, for better protection.
Regardless of the nature of the accident, four million years ago, the humanoid had to walk fast to escape the pursuit of predatory carnivores. Soon, he was the only two leg walker with an upright body. She stood almost five feet tall, which helped in surveying the land and in moving quickly. The ability to grasp a stick or a stone as a weapon was the next step for the survival of the future Homo Habalis, the tool holder. The opposing thumb gave him a firm grip and versatility with the hand. His sense of balance, his coordination, and his intelligence became second nature. Briefly put, humans were "accidents" of organic evolution and of social-living condition.
While our hands were busy our legs became longer and stronger than our arms, and our posture became erect in order to allow our legs to maneuver faster. Thus was born Homo erectus: tall, well proportioned, and large-brained. In order to outwit and overpower the life-threatening environment, that of the post-dinosaur-era, these pre-humans developed language communication skills.
The new uses of legs and arms, and the use of language were the most important effects generated by whatever accident pushed the humanity out of the trees. He who could not adapt did not survive. For sure, most of the surviving humans were not sedentary. They looked for better lands and better climates all the time. An unknown reason forced him to leave Africa and thus to change mentally and physically.
The accidental migration of Homo Habalis as the first intercontinental travelers from Africa to Asia traces back some 1.8 million years ago. Their journey to unknown lands immensely improved their knowledge and their brains' abilities. That journey of surviving for hundreds of thousand of years changed them into Homo sapiens
There is archeological evidence that Neanderthals populated the Earth from today's Java to North Africa, and throughout most of Europe (up to the Ural Mountains). Traces of their existence were found in France and Czechoslovakia. From the bone findings of the Neanderthals it is clear that they could not stand up perfectly straight. Because of that, they were slow-running half-beasts. They had limited mental capacity and they were sedentary beings.
Why could the Neanderthals not survive in Europe? I believe that the accident of the Ice Age, which extended its thick blanket of snow from the North Pole to the Mediterranean Sea, made life next to impossible for any creature in Europe. Therefore, most of the Neanderthals were exterminated by bitter cold and lack of food some 100,000 years ago. After the melting of the continental ice, which provided a rebirth of vegetation and animal life in Europe, the virgin continent was ready to shelter the next wave of human ancestors. By this time, northern Africa had changed into vast deserts, which forced their inhabitants to migrate out of the doomed region.
The massive migration of Homo sapiens to Europe happened some 50,00030,000 years ago. Its slow process stimulated active, cognitive thinking, sophisticated ways of adapting to different types of climates, and the rapid development of language. The evolution produced numerous artistic expressions such as singing, dancing, pottery, painting and other high skills.
If any Neanderthal tribes were still living in Europe, they proved to be an evolutionary failure when facing the invasion of a superior human breed. The furry, slow thinking and awkward-moving Neanderthal could not fight the more agile, better armed, and better organized invaders, and they were exterminated.
Yet, I believe that the beginning of a better human race was accidentally self-inflicted by humans themselves, much later than is believed. Because race diversification was not a popular idea in the Stone Age, a stronger race also meant a smarter and better-fit race of individuals to take over other races. This began in the mountains, where caves offered natural shelter and protection against the elements.
A certain type of humans felt more entitled to occupy those caves and killed their inhabitants. It is believed that Homo sapiens killed the Cro-Magnons, who had inferior wits and skills. According to eugenics, Homo sapiens were not only physically superior, but were also a more rational individual who used language and tools to achieve greater rate of survival. Homo sapiens were the only ones fit to migrate and take over more hospitable lands. Because of a better diet, better mutations began to enrich human genes.
That second mass migration happened some 10,000 years ago, when the last glaciers melted from the lowlands of Europe. These became covered by abundant forests and divided by many nourishing rivers. The new wave of settlers domesticated horses, cows, sheep and pigs, and claimed the most fertile pastures and the best river valleys. To eliminate the natives was a necessary accident. It all came down to the perpetual fight for survival of humans living off the land.
When the most genetically endowed humans expanded their hunting skills, they become warriors and eliminated the rival groups. I firmly believe that the strongest and the best-looking humans killed off other groups of humans who looked different, but were too weak to defend themselves.
Beside the use of the deadly force, the natural selection of superior race was achieved by choosing breeding mates with symmetrical features, and lesser bodily hair. Lack of fur coating indicated a clean body free from parasite infestation. It meant finding a sexual partner with stronger and superior genes, who could live longer and procreate better fit children to provide help. The criteria of such accidental selection were purely visual, as good-looking men hunted for good-looking females to give birth to better looking children. The role of sexual attraction in natural selection was instinctual, but with a huge effect on the future of mankind.
The entire selection depended on the mood of the females and the power of persuasion of the males. Men chose the best looking and most healthy women as mates; women accepted only the strongest and bravest men who could provide for them and their children. Accidents in copulation happened when a tribe killed the men of an opposing tribe and took their women. The effects were mostly beneficial for survival, because it prevented mating between close relatives. The mixture of new blood and new genes ensured healthier and stronger offspring.
In time, due to natural selection, a certain look and stature of men and women began to be the rule for acceptable partners, and that dictated the very composition of a tribe. Intermarriages with another tribe were based on the same selective criteria. Little by little, the tribes united because they looked alike and spoke the same language. It was the beginning of the races of humanity.
Migratory accidents and melees made the tribe branches into distinct races. Very likely, natural accidents separated continents, and the raising of mountains isolated people in fragmented populations, which adapted to different environmental conditions and produced different nations. Was that the way evolution went, or does the Bible have a better answer?
The Effectological dilemma and speculation can go further than that. Maybe cosmic accidents forced certain planets to be evacuated and their inhabitants to relocate elsewhere in order to survive. Spaceships from different worlds may simply have landed different race of people in different parts of our globe. Maybe some extraterrestrials settled on our planet and bred with humans, who all looked the same prior to the intrusion, diversifying us into the races we see today. If the human race lives on other planets, that proves the undeniable presence of a universal Creator.
There is no need for me to go further into this kind of hazardous thinking, about which I could write many pages, unfortunately all undocumented. However, science fiction movies have already produced a combination of human/animal space creatures, which are accepted as the future of the human race. Even the Muppet Show presents a hybrid land for strange, furry, and wired-looking creatures that act like and resemble humans.
On a more serious note, Effectology may speculate that cosmic accidents on different parts of our globe induced genetic mutations and changed those populations into the different races we see now. If the Bible does not provide the answer to how humans were created, then neither does Darwin.
What is for certain is that life was not created from nothing. I have confidence in saying that humans survived mostly not by adapting, but by migrating to look for a place that would better serve their survival. By doing so, humans took more risks with unexpected effects. When humans made a wrong move in their migration, they were subjected to deadly accidents which probably eliminated many species. When, also by accident, humans found the right climate and a land of plenty, they thrived and multiplied.
I shall restrain myself from divagating on this endless and controversial subject, which I believe will never be resolved. With so little scientific proof, I can only say that genetic accidents can affect anything in nature, including the color and the shape of humans. For thousands of years, the Scandinavians, the Chinese, the Indians, and Africans had distinctive looks because they lived in different geographic areas. But since documented history began 7,000 years ago, certain demographic accidents made these normally sedentary populations migrate and intermingle with each other.
Because of cross-fertilization, many races melded into sub-races, such as the Semitic people, Indo-Europeans, Slavs, Anglo-Saxons, Spanish and Moorish people, and so on. In the United States of America, many races and nationalities immigrated, looking for a better life. Accidental copulation made, in only two centuries, new combinations of people, such as Chicano, Cajun, black Asians, and others It should be noted than even the Jews, renowned for their intra-racial marriages, began to mix with the gentiles (though the religious quality of being Jewish is passed from a Jewish mother to her children).
These mixtures of different races have created enormous problems and catastrophic accidents throughout history. No doubt, human lust created many racial versions of individuals. In total contrast, animals in the wild are very strict about cross-breeding. Zebras, leopards, black bears, white doves and countless other species never breed with their close cousins from other species.
One may wonder which creatures are more fit to survive. Because humans have progressed so much over time, they seem to be the winners of the survival skills race. But are we the best adapted to survive from now on? Again, a simple look at the bottom of the ocean floor reveals the extended mollusk family, which survived unchanged for the last 600,000 years. Today there are some 220 known species of shellfish, which fully demonstrates their powers of adaptation. These "inferior" creatures may be invertebrate animals with no brains, but they do not age, and they regenerate their amputated limbs and damaged body parts. Their camouflage is perfect, many of them able to change colors and patterns in an instant. They do not move very much, for they can find all they need in one small area. Sea sponges, corals, jellyfish, sharks, and countless numbers of other species shared the same superb adaptability and stability in sustaining life without large brains. If less is better, then the best illustration is this.
Alas, in case of a nuclear disaster that may bring the landscape of Mars onto Earth, only bacteria and cockroaches will survive. If life starts over again, the surviving inferior insects, worms, and rudimentary animals will have a chance to inherit our planet all over again. Inferior but alive is better than superior and dead!