So, prior to 6 million years ago, things were looking bad for us Apes. If the last common ancestor between us and chimpanzees, had anything like the chimpanzee social pattern, males were spending most of their time and energy competing in their hierarchies for females, and the females were left to fend for themselves and their children. Low and behold, in nature’s passive way, those females who happened to choose more submissive males that would provision them had more offspring that survived preferentially. Generations of females who chose less aggressive males not only produced more offspring, but their daughters increasingly inherited this same tendency and the males increasingly possessed the newly “sexy” trait of provisioning a female. This is called sexual selection and was discovered by Charles Darwin. See Tim White for a description of why the discoverers of Ardipithecus ramidus came to the conclusion that 4.4 M. yrs. ago they lived in monogamous groups and see William Hughes for the finding that all the insects that ended up as “super-cooperators” also were founded by monogamous social systems. You might say that step #1 involved our founding female mothers domesticating the founding fathers of our biological Family.
Monogamy is simply the most productive social system, especially when things are going badly as they were 6 million years ago. Use some common sense: consider bands of nuclear families numbering 20-30 living back then. One has a system of lifetime monogamy, and the other is rife with promiscuity and divorce. Which do you think would survive better? The biological reason for the monogamous advantage is that, not only do the males have a genetic incentive to help raise and protect their own children, but all the siblings have 50% of the parent’s genes and so are inherently more cooperative with each other. Of course things work out in “broken” homes, but here were talking brute survival in which that little bit of “biological” cooperation can make the difference between life and death.
But, alas, even the stalwart founding mothers of our hominid Family were not able to create monogamous groups of families without totally revamping the rules of the game. Think about it. You are overthrowing a primate social system established for over 40 million years in which the rules were that the strongest males got the most access to females and food – way over to a whole new system in which all these ancient “jungle” laws had to be suppressed by the “Thou Shalt Not” rules of monogamy and hard work for the good of the group. This kind of muscle could only come from God rendered through a unique natural mechanism whose time had at long last arrived upon this earth.
In the next post we will walk through the creation scenario once again – how the dominance mentality of the individual ascended into the singular role of group authority by means of a mechanism similar to sexual selection.
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