It is my contention that all forms of humans have been intelligent and fully human from day one. Day one happened a long time ago, in fact 3.6 million years ago. All humans descend from the first male and female progenitors of the human lineage who appeared in South Africa in a place of dense forest.
The different forms of humans from prehistory are labelled as separate species, although manifestly they had no problems in producing offspring together from time to time. This means that they were not separate species, but only separate sub-species of one human species.
The genus of mankind is Homo and the species is sapiens – the creature with knowledge. To reflect the belief that all humans have been fully human, each species should be labelled as, for example, Homo sapiens habilis. In this case, habilis would denote the sub-species. Within sub-species there are races or varieties which have slight differences, but all belong to one species.
I will be using some of the classic labels for the prehistoric forms of humans just to try to avoid confusion in an area of anthropology ladden with confusion. But I also intend to propose new labels.
So let’s be clear – I am asserting that there has never been an ape-man; there have been primitive forms of mankind, but an intermediate gradation between apes and humans has never existed.
Did Neanderthal stoop and swing his arms like an ape? No, he had features of the hip bones found in some modern populations and they walk perfectly well. His arms were a bit long, but that is because he was using them for locomotion – not knuckle-walking like an ape, but paddling a water craft. The same feature is found in canoe nomad tribes in South America.
The average size of Neanderthal’s brain was significantly larger than the global average of modern humans today. He may have lost out to incoming Homo sapiens populations in Ice Age Europe 35 000 years ago, but it was not because he lacked intelligence. I’ll be getting to grips with these issues on this website and in books.
First, a quick overview of the migration of the human lineage. This is the migration of humans (none of them were ape-men):
Australopithecus was first found in South Africa 3.6 million years ago.
By 2 million years ago Homo habilis was living in East Africa.
Homo erectus also known as Homo ergaster lived in East Africa 1.8 million years ago.
By 2 million years ago Homo erectus was also living in Indonesia in Asia.
These first forms of humans only lived in tropical regions of the world.
Homo erectus migrated to southern Europe by 1 million years ago. He is sometimes called Homo antecesor in Spain.
500 000 to 300 000 years ago there was Homo pekinensis in China, Homo heidelbergensis in Europe and Olduvai man in East Africa. This globally distributed form of human used to be labelled Archaic Homo sapiens. Among Archaic Homo sapiens three racial types started to evolve: proto-mongoloids, proto-caucasoids and proto-negroids.
Homo neanderthalensis appeared some 100 000 years ago in Central Asia. He moved into the Levant region (Israel) and then Europe.
Homo sapiens appeared 100 000 years ago in Israel. This was the place where populations from Africa, Asia and Europe met. It was ‘the melting pot’ of cultures and of intermarriage between peoples for 65 000 years before Homo sapiens migrated into Europe.
Key inventions and adaptation to cold allowed Homo sapiens to move northwards into Ice Age Europe 35 000 years ago. Homo sapiens also called Cro Magnon man caused Neanderthal to cease to occupy Europe 33 000 years ago (but Homo neanderthalensis went elsewhere).
When the Ice Age ended 10 000 years ago, Neolithic populations grew up first in Asia and America, and later in the Middle East moving into Europe by 5000 BC. Homo sapiens Ice Age hunters became herders in northern Europe and dispersed to other places after the Ice Age ended. Civilizations grew up on the basis of Neolithic agriculture, and the rest is history as they say.