Man (Hunter-gatherer) has never lived on the edge of survival
Hunter-gatherers no more live on the knife-edge of survival than wolves or lions or sparrows or rabbits. Man was as well adapted to life on this planet as any other species, and the idea that he lived on the knife-edge of survival is simply biological nonsense. As an omnivore, his dietary range is immense. Thousands of species will go hungry before he does. His intelligence and dexterity enable him to live comfortably in conditions that would utterly defeat any other primate. “Far from scrabbling endlessly and desperately for food, hunter-gatherers are among the best-fed people on earth, and they manage this with only two or three hours a day of what you would call work—which makes them among the most leisured people on earth as well. In his book on stone age economics, Marshall Sahlins described them as ‘the original affluent society.’ And incidentally, predation of man is practically nonexistent. He’s simply not the first choice on any predator’s menu. So you see that your wonderfully horrific vision of your ancestors’ life is just another bit of Mother Culture’s nonsense. If you like, you can confirm all this for yourself in an afternoon at the library.
As a kid, I read an article in the Scientific American. It measured the efficiency of locomotion of various species on the planet. Bears. Chimpanzees. Raccoons. Birds. Fish. How many kilo-calories per kilometer did they spend to move?
Humans were measured too.
And the condor won. It was the most efficient.
Humankind came in with an unimpressive showing about a third of the way down the list. But somebody there had the brilliance to test a human riding a bicycle. We blew away the condor. Off the charts.
This really had an impact on me. Humans are tool builders. We build tools that can dramatically amplify our innate human abilities. We ran an ad for this once that the personal computer is the bicycle of the mind. I believe that with every bone in my body.
Genealogical ancestry, therefore, is surprising. It works much differently than genetic ancestry. [...] None of these surprises in genealogies, however, contradict ...