(Old Hominid adage…)


Primitives, oligarchs and their obsequious servants, regressives and obscurantists insist that science is something special, reserved to slightly deranged specialists, smelling of sulfur and devoid of feeling. Actually, that’s completely false, and an attempt by oligarchs to persuade their subjects that they can’t think. Humanity is science and science is humanity. It is important to understand this, because, if one doesn’t, not only progress is impossible, but what it means to be human, misundertood. One then goes around like the Absurdists, making a religion of Stalin, or Sysiphus, ready to become subjects of tyrants.

“Science” comes from scire, to know [1]. By this, all is said about why brains were evolved. Without knowledge, advanced animals are nothing, they die. That includes migratory birds. Migratory birds, from Europe to Africa, suffer as much as 70% mortality on their first attempted migration. What are they doing on their first migration? Following those they know who know. On the return trip, only 50% mortality: the birds are learning. 

Intelligence means adaptability. Many storks (cigognes) figure out that, considering climate warming, they will survive the winter better than the dangerous migration meant to avoid said winter. Thus some decide not to migrate, and, instead reside in Europe year round. This is a new phenomenon. This stork climate science is not fundamentally different from Kepler’s curve fitting in the discovery of his three laws that planet follow (equal areas, ellipses, relation between period and radius). Observe nature, model nature, draw conclusion (s).



The two species of chimpanzees and gorillas and the three species of orangutans are full of knowledge on their environment, including medicinal plants, and potential predators whom they are keen to confront, be they lions or tigers. However their mental capability does not exceed that of a five year old human, so there is only that much they can discover, and transmit through culture.

The earliest fossils argued by their discoverers to belong to the human lineage are Sahelanthropus tchadensis (7 Ma) and Orrorin tugenensis (6 Ma), followed by Ardipithecus (5.5–4.4 Ma), with species Ar. kadabba and Ar. ramidus. The human peripatetic (walking on two legs, running), semi-predatory way of life was launched in those early times, making our ancestors into killer apes.

Humans learned sophisticated meat procurement strategies around three million years ago. We know this from the latest excavations revealing stone tools and weapons. Hunting enabled humans to grow more power hungry brains, in a virtuous circle of meat fueled culture feeding evolution and reciprocally. Then fire was conquered. Making fire in a wet wintry forest is more than an art: it had to be a science to insure survival. The temperate zone, with its rigorous winters, could be colonized only from mastering fire and the making of clothing. This happened two million years ago, with Homo Ergaster.

There is evidence of trade on huge distances, even 50,000 years ago, say in Australia. Thus humanity developed the knowledge, long ago, that trade enabled advanced technology.

The knowledge species became the planetary species. For example, all over the Pacific Ocean, which covers nearly half the globe, trade routes developed. The South American sweet potato ended in the Highlands of New Guinea… That was very mysterious until Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany and geography. Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, sailed 8,000 km across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. In truth, Polynesians had much more sophisticated ships. Seventy years later, Polynesian genes have been discovered in South America, demonstrating the existence of trade across the Pacific long before Magellan showed.

To sail the ocean required advanced astronomy. Some will scoff: we are much more advanced now, and they will chuckle. Oh yeah? Then explain why modern science can’t explain what most of the mass of the universe, Dark matter and Dark Energy possibly could be (excluding yours truly’s explanation: SQPR)… 

Humanity spread in areas without wood or fossil fuels, where, without technology, it could not have survived for more than a few hours: polar and desert areas, high seas, and high mountains ranges and plateaus. 

When we colonize the Solar System, it will be more of the same.

The most dangerous animal, we the cuddlies. For thousands of generations before the Neolithic and the emergence of civilizations, human females were as dangerous as human males, because females had access to extremely lethal poisoned weapons used to kill megafauna (which they probably made themselves). We have direct evidence of this in 20C hunting and gathering populations.

The modern submissive human female is a consequence of the rise of specialized civilization with warrior castes, and breeding armies of enslaved females. Female submission is a completely artificial artefact of a stage in civilization. Czarina Catherine the Great conquered Southern Ukraine, ethnic cleasing it, and calling it “Little Russia”… She was not even Russian… And Voltaire admired her…


Ian Miller replied: “The interesting question is what was the evolutionary force that led to humans to acquire enhanced brains? The usual proposition is that the ancestors of chimpanzees were happy where they were. Our ancestors tried new territory, and the prompt weeding out of those who were unsuitable led to more rapid evolutionary advancement.”


Happy where they were, and perhaps too happy… If you feel right always, you are not trying hard enough: this is our distant ancestors thought, as they headed away from the trees. Occupying a new ecological niche always favorizes new speciation. So a species niche making at will, will self-evolve, and exponentiate, this is indeed what happened: Will to power through the power of new niches. Amor Nidificans, not Amor Fati.  

The old proposition of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was that life tends to increase complexity. Lamarck observed that through his microscope, studying mollusks’ fossil evolution. Such a force is the opposite of entropy. To understand it we will have to get a better understanding of Quantum Mechanics and entanglement. As the complexifying force exerts itself upon the environment, new ecological niches are created, and then, occupied by life itself. 


Chimps love meat: it is more calorie laden than all other foods. Chimpanzees are also hyper aggressive. Chimpanzees also tend to spill out of the forest. I saw one large male chimp in savannah park, maybe 100 kilometers from the first serious forest, in an area full of lions and leopards. He demonstrated to me his unbelievable insanity, humongous strength, and delirious ferocity, half demolishing a solitary tree he had climbed on, in the process.  

Our ancestors were even more chimp-like than chimp themselves, on the Dark Side, and lived in the savannah more than other chimps. They could do so only if they were smarter and more violent. But then they prevented less smart and less violent chimps from joining. 

I suspect our ancestors used stones and branches as weapons early on, more than other primates: otherwise they would have been powerless and defenseless… And used them to the point that this usage drove human evolution. They had to keep at bay not only other chimps, but baboons and giant baboons (a species they dispatched early on). Baboons are hyper aggressive, to a ridiculous extent, but they fear chimps (who eat their young). Thus the human ancestors created a niche for themselves: hominoids are better at stone throwing than other primates because of the fact they can hang from their arms. Long arms swinging down give more momentum to stones (some baboons in Africa could testify to that fact when interacting with the ten year old version of yours truly). 

To survive in this more difficult niche, human created, our ancestors had to be smarter. The less bright ones got eaten. 

In any case, this is a story of extreme violence: failures don’t get to eat, let alone reproduce, and, instead, get eaten. 

I observed in the wild that psychology is very important. All brainy animals tend to do mental analysis, and they take the circumstances into context. I do not kill venomous snakes who do not engage in aggressive behavior. In general smart animals do not engage in aggressive behavior if the profit/risk ratio is not high enough. That’s what brains are for. But that profit/risk ratio is itself the fruit of a psychological evaluation, both from predator and prey. That’s why it’s in general a bad idea to run away from a predator. 


Humans Are The Most Violent Species:

Violence is fundamentally the application of force on the environment: what could be more human? What species has modified Earth more than humans? Blue green algae creating Earth’s oxygen? Vegans planting genetically engineered soy, drenched by toxic fertilizers, to the horizon, where there used to be forests, will deny this, and flaunt their sheepiness, forgetting in their self-celebration, that the goat is a satanic symbol. If beavers kill forests to shelter their dwellings with dams, that’s indeed a form of violence. 

Thus extreme violence, be it only on the environment, be it only by colonizing it, establishing new ecological niches, extreme smarts and refined psychological analysis pervading nature, human, animal or physical, were the engines driving humanity forward for millions of years. Spending a few hours in a totally wild place full of megafauna, and without weapons, reveals this in a hurry: only the threat of potential hyperviolence keeps predators at bay… As long as one knows them well.

Once, hiking up a mountain with my family, I have exchanged verbal threats with a converging brown bear (Eurasian grizzly) for more than half an hour in an Iranian forest… The most terrible scream I did ever manage finally got him to go away (nothing else worked). Once in Yosemite, a large and fast stone impacting on a charging ursine target did it. And I had to demonstrate stone power to threatening bears several times. Bears know stones perfectly well, and fear them; once they know that you are a stone master, with resounding impacts on a third object to reveal that notion to their thick skulls, they retreat. Indeed, making a demonstration of stone throwing generally gets bears to gallop away. Unassisted cross country mountain running with minimal equipment in forest full of inquiring bears was my passion for decades, and it reveals nature’s psychology: a sort of pantheism is eminently practical. Survival tricks are a must. They can be as simple as not wearing headphones, or never stepping not far from something that could hide a lethal snake waiting in ambush.

It goes without saying that being ruled by smarts and ready to engage in preventive violence are not exactly “woke” notions. Integrating that fundamental truth, that smarts and violence dominate, or denying that it exists, is exactly why China went down for centuries, when it was overrun by foreigners, or why Europe has been going down for more than a century, or why China is coming back up, and why the US exists, and why the US is on its way up, more than ever (Biden plays woke, but only on TV; otherwise Biden is Trump 2.0).

We are the knowledge species, and more knowledge is how, on the average, our ancestors learned to survive better. 

Now is not any different. It is actually much more so: the survival of the species was never in doubt, until today and only new and better knowledge will save it.

Ah, and what of Descartes’ famous “I think, therefore I am!”. Well, “I am” was never in doubt. Anybody who thinks a bit knows that “being”, perception, precedes thinking. And there are plenty of situations when one feels that one is, and one does not, or can’t, think. So, whatever Descartes tried to say, it’s neither here nor there.

We are the knowledge species, we are potentially all scientists, critiques and thinkers. Except that oligarchs and plutocrats want us to believe most of us are no better, and at our best, as sheep… We will be, as a species, only if we think enough to know what is right, and important.

Patrice Ayme



[1] Old French science “knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge” (12 C.), from Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” present participle of scire “to know.”

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