The History of Human Species
Series 3: The History of Human Species – Introduction
Wow! The title is shocking for sure! Who can dare to tackle such a topic! And this in only 7 short seminaries?!
Of course, I will not enter in any historical details, but, as always, I try to find the main drivers that shaped – and are still shaping – the human species evolution. Their understanding helps us to make sense of the historical moment we are living and, thus, to find a breakthrough toward a new evolutionary cycle. Not only as a species or as a civilization, but as individuals too, we are in a bifurcation point: we either evolve – becoming the Life step further; either become irrelevant to Life and go extinct. We do not have any other choice: we already have reached our bifurcation point: the world will never be the same.
The main idea of this series of seminars is that we are connected with all the other species: we are not above or separate of Nature, but part of it. And is our evolutionary responsibility to be a functional part of it! We are here to serve a “greater than us Life”!
Life is a Great Circle. We are all part of one Great Circle of Life. There is no true separation between us and the whole body of Life. The only separation that exists is only in our ideologies that brought us in this crisis. The same principles of Life have shaped us as they have shaped the whole Planet. It is not a secret anymore: We can not disregard them too much without bringing us in peril.
We have learned to live in harmony inside our clans and tribe for millions of years. The harmonious cooperation, the mutual-consistency between the tribe-mates is how our ancestors made their way into the savannas and manage to thrive and became humans: only through cooperation inside our tribes. But around 6000 years ago, as we colonized all the Earth and tribes started to clash one in another, the tribes were forced to compete between them. A new developmental cycle started for human species. As usually, the cooperation between some tribes has proved the best way to out-compete others. This first kind of cooperation was only the beginning of the road to a fair global cooperation between humans. We are still learning, while obviously we are living at the end of this cycle. Although we are heading toward an ecological and evolutionary wall, our way of living is still based on competition that is destroying the whole planet. We are facing our ordeal! We are facing our “last exam”! Have we learn how to cooperate between our tribes in a fair and ecological way? For us it is “now or never”!
Another idea of these seminars is that we are a heroic species. Not only an incredible cooperative and innovative one, but a heroic species, part of a Great Chains of Heroes – where each species is actually heroic in its own way. We are not a greedy or a sinful species – we are a heroic one, pioneers of Life.
All the species has their own functional role in the Great Circle of Life. It is possible that ours to be related with Life`s consciousness. Through us the Universe is becoming conscious by itself! Through us, our Planet – as a Mother – want to bring joy and empathy to all Her children. It is possible that we to have to play an important role in the unfolding of Life on this Planet – a role that only now we start to become aware.
Each living being is called to be part of something greater than it. It is the same for us: The Planet and all the living beings are here not for our consumption, but the other way around: we are here to serve a functional role for their well-being. This is what I understood researching Life: that every living being wants not only to survive, but to be part of something greater. This is the main Principle of Life that has shaped and is still shaping the evolution. Now, as we become more and more conscious by us as a species and as a whole Planet, we start to change our ways and to fulfill our role in the Great Circle of Life. We are not here to exploit, we are here to serve “a greater than us” Life. Serving this functional role will fulfill us as human beings, will give us meaning and significance, joy and dignity. Through us, Life on this Planet will evolve more and more through conscious decisions and less and less through trial-and-error processes.
We are a cooperative – an amazing cooperative species. There is no individual human being that could survive alone. We need a human community to thrive, to have meaningful and joyful lives. In one of these seminars, I will show you how “Group Selection” has shaped our evolution: we are wired to be part of a community; to have different roles in a human community; we have evolved to be complementary. In other seminar I would like to show you why in human-scale communities we tend to cooperate and choose moral life strategies; and why, in super-human scale societies, we tend to be free riders and act immorally. In other seminar I would like to show you that we do not need any centralized governance to govern us. Human societies with centralized governance always have collapsed – because of their inherent dysfunctionality, while those based on a governance distributed in the whole body of society, never collapse, but just peacefully reorganized themselves, co-evolving with their environments! There is no human organization – literally no one – based on centralized governance that did not collapse! When you employ Life principles to organize a human society, you do not need any centralized control. The society itself grows naturally in a holarchic way, having its governance system distributed – as any living organism has! The simple existence of the “need” for centralized control and governance is a good indicator that that society is not resembling a living organism.
The architecture of Life is holarchy, not hierarchy. When human society is split between castes, between group interests there can be no common ground, no shared purpose, no coherence and solidarity.
As long as we employ organizing principles conducive to inequity, our societies will always end-up in collapse and ecological exhaust. The last seminar – Toward a fair society – underscores how the collapse of the old civilization offers us the opportunities to create a better world. Now it is the time to finally understand that cooperation/fairness/mutual-consistency is the only strategy for the human species in long run. We can build a fair world, harmoniously integrated into the planetary ecosystem if we chose to design it aligned with Life principles.
If you want to understand better how some hominids became humans and why now we are in this crisis, just engage this series of seminars. I said “engage” because it will be as inter-active as possible for a seminar. I would like that each seminar and each series of seminars to be engaged as a journey of discovery. Everyone of them was thought of as a puzzle of a map. Connecting these puzzle pieces in your own way, you can craft your own map that could help you better orient in our changing world.
Each seminar will have 2 parts. In first part we will talk – around only 25 minutes – about 5 ideas. I do not want to make it complicated. I will make it so you to have time to take some notes. The second part – around two hours – each of you could come with its question and I will answer. Hence, the discussion will be always oriented to your interest. Anyway, I will be glad a third part to follow – free discussion between audience triggered by the presentation. I will happily join this dialogue, ready to listen to your points of view and to improve mine.
Seminar 3.1: We are a heroic species!
I will tell you a (different) story about humans, one from where you can see that we are truly a heroic species!
1. We are a heroic species
2. We are part of a Great Chain of Life-heroes
3. From fighting humans to cooperating humans
4. Our great destiny!
Seminar 3.2: Group Selection and Innovative Behavior
Humans are a cooperative species. We never lived and survived alone, but only in groups. The selection screen is acting not on human individuals but rather on human groups. If you want to understand how we lived, survived and thrived all our history, you have to understand better what “group selection” is.
Also, there is no evolutionary step further without an innovative behavior. When life’s challenges put you to the test, when old good solutions are not anymore good solutions, you have to come up with something new. You can not expect that by behaving in the old ways you will get a new outcome.
If I undermine the functionality, coherence and cohesion of my group, I will probably flourish in the short term, but my group will be less coherent and solidary and even dysfunctional and so, it will be outcompeted by other groups, where humans behavior is more conducive to cohesion and group functionality.
So, let’s choose and develop a behavior that is conducive to the coherence and functionality of the community! This seminar will show you why this behavior is useful for your survival.
1. Why Group Selection acts on humans and not individual selection?
2. How we can use this understanding in designing our life strategies?
3. Why always only an innovative behavior could make the difference in human groups?
4. How an innovative behavior could be developed?
Seminar 3.3: From first hominids to Homo Sapiens (till 75.000 BP)
In this seminar we will try to answer a very important question: how human species emerged? What makes us humans? Many say that what made us to survive, thrive and conquer the world is our amazing cooperative behavior. In this seminar we will talk mainly about human cooperation:
1. The brave choice of first hominids – adventuring into the savanna – how does it foster human cooperation?
2. Raising a human child: how does it foster human cooperation?
3. Language: how does it foster human cooperation?
4. Technology: how does it foster human cooperation?
5. Danger from other human groups: how does it foster human cooperation?
Seminar 3.4: Colonizing the world (75-10.000 BP)
We are a species that made a difference in Life evolution.
Something “mysterious” happened on the way.
We set us on a journey to discover what is our destiny on this Planet.
What should be our functional role in the Great Circle of Life?
But first, we have to understand how we have colonized the planet and what we have learned from this journey?
1. What happened in southern Africa 75,000 years ago?
2. Out of Africa: We set us on a journey of discovery! 70.000 years ago
3. Hunters and Gatherers across Asia, Australia and Europe
4. Crossing Bering Straits toward unknown territories 12.000 years ago
5. What happened in Fertile crescent 10.000 years ago?
Seminar 3.5: Spiral Dynamics and Four Frontier
We will look to the last 10.000 years through the lens of Spiral Dynamics and 4 Frontiers frames.
I will make a small presentation of these 2 frames, through which I will present the 6 main types of civilizations: Paleolithic-Mesolithic / Neolithic / Antiquity / Middle Ages / Modernism / Postmodernism. Then I will present the possible civilization of the future, in the light of these 2 frames. As expected, every great type of civilization is based on a certain metaphysics, which informs that civilization.
1. Introduction of these 2 frames
2. Beige-Magenta / Paleolithic-Neolithic / Frontier 1 / Metaphysics of Great Goddess of Life
3. Red-Blue / Antiquity-Middle Age / Frontier 2 / Metaphysics of God Almighty
4. Orange-Green / Modern-Postmodern / Frontier 3 / Metaphysics of materialism
5. Yellow-Turquoise / the Future / Frontier 4 / Meyaphysics of the Living Universe
Seminar 3.6: Why do “complex” civilizations always collapse?
This is a good question! The answer is related with unfairness and unsustainability of so-called “complex” civilization. What we need is another kind of civilization, one that is organized as a living ecosystem, harmoniously integrated into the planetary ecosystem.
With our level of ecological awareness and with our powerful technologies that started to align with Life principles (see Living Technologies series), we can do this!
1. The five levels of collapse (after Dimitri Orlov)
2. Why “complex” societies do collapse? (Joseph Tainter)
3. How some societies choose not to collapse. What made the difference? (Jared Diamond)
4. Why “complex” societies always collapse?
5. There is a solution for avoiding societal collapse!
Seminar 3.7: Toward a fair human civilization
Just as the dying body of a caterpillar triggers the biological process that will turn the caterpillar into a butterfly, so the collapse of postmodern civilization triggers the process of social renewal that will lead to a new human civilization.
Butterfly Community open-project is aiming to transform from the inside-out the human society. Now, the outer conditions are perfect for a renewal.
It is our chance – our privilege – to be Life’s step forward! In this seminar we will talk about:
1. Could be the cooperation between people a long-term solution?
2. Why fairness and why human-scale communities?
3. Why mutual-consistency and why holarhy?
4. Why ecological sustainability and why voluntary simplicity?
5. How can we overcome the barrier against evolution/cooperation?
What we will learn?
This series of seminars helps us to better understand human history, how we emerged as a species, how we have evolved so far, and what we can do to move forward as a species and civilization.
Of course, this understanding can help us find solutions and strategies for survival in our VUCA world. The message of the seminars is clear: cooperation is the long-term solution of any human group that wants to thrive.
Be a Collaborator!
Anyone can become our collaborator!
We are searching for artists, trainers, film-makers, web-designers and for everyone that is inspired by the same vision as us.
Whatever the challenges of the future, cooperators will have a clear evolutionary advantage compared to non-cooperators.
In the new VUCA world, we will have to survive and thrive in new ways, different from those that have been successful so far. As a multicellular organism is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than a cell alone, as an ant-hill is smarter and has better capacities to deal with its environment than an ant alone, the cooperative groups will be smarter and better equipped to deal with future challenges than single individuals.
Educators, trainers or artists – those who aim to have a social impact, to spread an idea – have to cooperate, if they want to succeed. However, the evolution of Life has a clear direction: towards ever-increasing scales of cooperation.
Those who want to move forward must learn to cooperate in mutually enhancing ways.
The open project “Butterfly Communities” is an emerging community that is searching for young artists, trainers, filmmakers, etc. that have understood that we have to help each other to have a stronger social impact.