What Is a Family?
THERE IS a soundless season in human history that we suspect lasted for millions of years. No laughter, no singing, no arguments—no voices are heard at all. We have no written records. It is the early spring of the human race, the time of the Garden of Eden. This garden, we are coming to realize, was no brilliant biblical fiction, an acre of vacationland created by the Almighty for the privileged pleasure of Adam and Eve, that super-starred couple.
No, this garden was in fact a real place. In those narrow stretches in and around tropical forests there existed a non‐ exclusive, busy playland inhabited by a variety of animal species, including the tens of thousands of those oddball primates later to be known as Homo sapiens.
From what we can tell as the new data from anthropology is sifted, life for our earliest, apish ancestor was not a constant struggle for survival. Quite the contrary. It was a summer festival, one in which our wandering, fruit-picking grandfather lived in peace and plenty, primarily on plant foods but occasionally trapping small game. At almost no expense of time and effort he obtained a satisfactory diet, and with leisure to spare.
It gives one pause. And perhaps a brief twinge of envy to