Most Intelligent Design arguments are polemic, and silly on all sides, so it is time to clarify how humans came into existence, and why we humans rule the genomes of all species including our own.
There was a time some five hundred thousand years ago when hominids looked passably like ourselves if they had been fully dressed, but they would soon reveal their sub-human qualities if we could converse with them. They would have a curious inability to construct sentences. When adult they would have a large vocabulary of strange sounding specific words tagged to specific things some of which might have more than one syllable, but the linkages between the words would be unstructured, and thus complex ideas would be impossible to form or to communicate. They could accomplish very complex tasks by copying individual behaviors from others as we see from their stone artifacts, but each was based on a series of copying behaviors – under this particular condition, do this particular act.
Into this type of situation, which lasted up until 30,000 years before present with the Neanderthals, were born our ancestors which at the time were no different from these others, and were perfectly interbreed-able with them. These new people happened to be physically separated at the time when, in their sexual selection procedures, they made one tiny change: the females conferred together about which males were the most desirable. Females had been very selective of mates for a very long time and the only thing different this time was that the usual affirmation sound of the group, perhaps something like mmmm, was made in reference to a particular male. Since they all liked this particular guy they all gave the mmmm, and probably started repeating it, just for fun, as a group. There was nothing strange about that particular get together and they without doubt did lots of other things too. However, it was fun enough that the next time they got together someone started playing the mmmm game again. And so a fun game to do at parties, became a tradition with the females, and they often played it at all the parties. Well, parties being what they are they often times ended up with a sexual encounter, and what do you suppose – the guy they all liked the most, and gave their mutual mmmms to got the most sex, and the most children. The guys who didn’t get the females’ group approval didn’t get as much sex, and didn’t have as many children. If there is the tiniest bit of heritability in any of this scenario then that verbal ability would tend to grow more pronounced in the following generations. Here is link to a comic use of women saying mmmm although in this case it isn’t men, but it might as well be.
There are three old methods of genetic selection for modifying a species and two new ones.
- Natural Selection – is a process whereby random genetic variations occurring within a species are being selected for reproduction by environmental gradients of stressors selectively pruning off the less fit individual members as defined by the sum of those stressors.
- Sexual selection – is when members of a species preferentially select other members of their species, when mating for reproduction, because these mates possess some special discernible quality representing vigor.
- Artificial selection – is verbally defining desirable qualities, and preferentially mating those individuals who possess the desired qualities, and usually some willful inhibition from reproducing of those individuals who lack the qualities. County fair selection.
- Gene manipulation – is willful physical human intervention with the genetic material in an effort to create variety in the genes and create new phenotypes . We can skip over this and the following method because it was not available to the ancient people.
- Gene creation – is very new but it is what Craig Venter is now doing and he is creating new life forms in his laboratories. Very basic life forms but ones made up wholly of never before living primitive genetic parts.
Natural selection has been in play for billions of years, and sexual selection for many hundreds of millions of years, but artificial selection has only been acknowledged for the last few hundred years, and only when breeding plants ,and animals. But artificial selection has been practiced in primitive forms for thousands of years by using crude rules of thumb, for example, “Like breeds like.” and “Bury the best seeds.” These simple rules brought much improvement into agriculture over the last ten thousand years. With the county fair competitions of England in the 1700s things really took off. Charles Darwin, a bit later, spends much of his book The Origin of Species writing about these fairs, and pigeon breeding, which had become very popular, and produced spectacular results.
My suggestion is that sub-human females were the ones doing artificial selection way back at that first party. Those women did not have language; they did not have the remotest idea of the outcome of what they were starting, but with the positive feedback cycle that came from that party slowly arose a primitive language, and with time and many more positive feedback cycles a much more refined artificial selection process arose and the females were now speaking more clearly, and once that reached a level of syntactical clarity it quickly developed into the fully functioning language. That was the situation about 60,000 years ago which permitted the dispersal of modern people throughout the world. They could adapt to many more places, because of their ability to control their environment better via transmission of learning, and live in more varied situations. When they separated to great distances the tight feedback cycle on language was broken, and the language abilities evolved from then on with each group separately. However, remnants of the verbal choosiness of females remained in the form of the choosing of male mates whose physical qualities were best adapted to the local environments. The healthiest, and most enthusiastic of the males made the best mates, and the group quickly fitted itself to their environments.
It is women choosing mates based on their conversations with other women which created human beings and continues to adapt humans to their surroundings quickly.