The Interaction between Our
Symbolic World and Our
In genetic and evolutionary terms homo sapien is an omnivorous higher primate with the capacity for social learning and for abstract thought. Our genetic makeup, the basic model, is that of the hunter-gatherer who began to populate this globe about 10,000 years ago, a time span far too short for natural selection to have accomplished any significant genetic changes. These 10,000 years represent merely a tiny percentage of evolutionary history. Consequently, our fundamental biological blueprint, determining cognition, thought, and behavior is still the same as it was then and as it still is in all societies, be they Western or the so-called primitive tribes which still inhabit the more remote regions on this planet. In that sense, the Australian aborigine is no different from homo Americanus. This blueprint constitutes what Melvin Konner (1982) has called "the biological constraints on the human spirit"; it defines the limits of our ability to adapt and, at the same time, to ensure the survival of the species. To use the simplest of examples, we can, up to a point, adapt to certain climates—the tropics, subtropics, and
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: On Mood Swings:The Psychobiology of Elation and Depression. Contributors: Susanne P. Schad-Somers - Author. Publisher: Insight Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1990. Page number: 125.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.