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The Homo Climaxus Revelation

 

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Original note: March 31st, 1979. Three Mile Island nuclear accident

 

The "discovery" of Homo Climaxus happened a couple of weeks before I had my religious conversion experience at Easter, 1979. Basically, what was discovered was that physical evolution of the human body hasn't stopped--it's just happening internally inside our brains and therefore doesn't show up as do outward physical changes (see note pictured above).

Hidden physical evolution is happening now within the fine structure of the human brain. Whole brain functioning is the direction of this fine structure evolution allowing for more balanced decision-making as humans are forced to solve increasingly complex life problems. It's taking place within our brains so it doesn't show on the outside which has fooled us into thinking the species Homo isn't going to evolve beyond Homo Sapiens. Evolutionary structural changes leading to bicameral unification of right and left brain hemispheres that in turn produce holistic analysis of problems and more balanced responses to personal and community situations- this is what is going on behind our foreheads now.

Homo Climaxus marks the end of plant domination of natural Climax cycles. Human beings now possess the numbers and technology to drastically alter world climatic systems which in turn alters existing plant-animal climax community ecosystems-systems. Humanity is the first of the animal species to surpass trees and grasses as the dominating climax community species. Before human civilization whatever plants were native to an area invariably determined what kinds of animal life was to be found there which in turn determined hunting and gathering stage human social development.

Now humans determine the kinds and numbers of previously ecologically dominant plant species which in turn makes humans the dominant species over the areas of the world where their numbers and technology impact the natural world. It is an awesome power humans wield which without whole brain consciousness leads inevitably to social disaster and ecological ruin. That is why whole brain consciousness is crucial and why it is happening now to increasing numbers of people.

As a mass movement, the 1960's psychedelic revolution is part and parcel of the human quest for whole brain functioning. Psychedelics increase brain signal transmission across the brain hemispheres, so they too are steps toward internalized whole brain functioning of Homo Climaxus.

All our late 20th Century concerns with cancer, aids, and genetic engineering have an evolutionary purpose. The human body is not genetically engineered to last a 100 years. Human beings will introduce into human DNA, industrial strength backbones, hearts, brains, and vital organs, and do away with genetic defects that cripple and ruin lives now. In the future, Homo Climaxus will develop genetic engineering technology that will allow human beings to evolve human forms matching the ecology systems of vastly different environments.

The population explosion will force humanity into the seas and outer space before humans gain control of it. In the future the seas will become habitat for mermen and mermaids, the moon for human Lunarians, and the planets of our solar system and others of the galaxy will be peopled with humans able to adapt their morphology to match the environmental requirements of all the new territories opened up by the growth, flowering, and the seeding of the stars that is the Climax destiny of humanity.

 

Two relevant news articles:

Language Gene Is Traced to Emergence of Humans

From the New York Times 8-19-02:

By NICHOLAS WADE

A study of the genomes of people and chimpanzees has yielded a deep insight into the origin of language, one of the most distinctive human attributes and a critical step in human evolution. The analysis indicates that language, on the evolutionary time scale, is a very recent development, having evolved only in the last 100,000 years or so. The finding supports a novel theory advanced by Dr. Richard Klein, an archaeologist at Stanford University, who argues that the emergence of behaviorally modern humans about 50,000 years ago was set off by a major genetic change, most probably the acquisition of language. The new study, by Dr. Svante Paabo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on last year's discovery of the first human gene involved specifically in language.

The gene came to light through studies of a large London family, well known to linguists, 14 of whose 29 members are incapable of articulate speech but are otherwise mostly normal. A team of molecular biologists led by Dr. Anthony P. Monaco of the University of Oxford last year identified the gene that was causing the family's problems. Known as FOXP2, the gene is known to switch on other genes during the development of the brain, but its presumed role in setting up the neural circuitry of language is not understood.

Dr. Paabo's team has studied the evolutionary history of the FOXP2 gene by decoding the sequence of DNA letters in the versions of the gene possessed by mice, chimpanzees and other primates, and people.

In a report being published online today by the journal Nature, Dr. Paabo says the FOXP2 gene has remained largely unaltered during the evolution of mammals, but suddenly changed in humans after the hominid line had split off from the chimpanzee line of descent.

The changes in the human gene affect the structure of the protein it specifies at two sites, Dr. Paabo's team reports. One of them slightly alters the protein's shape; the other gives it a new role in the signaling circuitry of human cells. The changes indicate that the gene has been under strong evolutionary pressure in humans. Also, the human form of the gene, with its two changes, seems to have become universal in the human population, suggesting that it conferred some overwhelming benefit.

Dr. Paabo contends that humans must already have possessed some rudimentary form of language before the FOXP2 gene gained its two mutations. By conferring the ability for rapid articulation, the improved gene may have swept through the population, providing the finishing touch to the acquisition of language.

"Maybe this gene provided the last perfection of language, making it totally modern," Dr. Paabo said.

The affected members of the London family in which the defective version of FOXP2 was discovered do possess a form of language. Their principal defect seems to lie in a lack of fine control over the muscles of the throat and mouth, needed for rapid speech. But in tests they find written answers as hard as verbal ones, suggesting that the defective gene causes conceptual problems as well as ones of muscular control.

The human genome is constantly accumulating DNA changes through random mutation, though they seldom affect the actual structure of genes. When a new gene sweeps through the population, the genome's background diversity at that point is much reduced for a time, since everyone possesses the same stretch of DNA that came with the new gene. By measuring this reduced diversity and other features of a must-have gene, Dr. Paabo has estimated the age of the human version of FOXP2 as being less than 120,000 years.

Dr. Paabo says this date fits with the theory advanced by Dr. Klein to account for the sudden appearance of novel behaviors 50,000 years ago, including art, ornamentation and long distance trade. Human remains from this period are physically indistinguishable from those of 100,000 years ago, leading Dr. Klein to propose that some genetically based cognitive change must have prompted the new behaviors. The only change of sufficient magnitude, in his view, is acquisition of language."

 

Brain May Still Be Evolving, Studies Hint

By Nicholas Wade

September 9, 2005

"Two genes involved in determining the size of the human brain have undergone substantial evolution in the last 60,000 years, researchers say, leading to the surprising suggestion that the brain is still undergoing rapid evolution.

The discovery adds weight to the view that human evolution is still a work in progress, since previous instances of recent genetic change have come to light in genes that defend against disease and confer the ability to digest milk in adulthood.

It had been widely assumed until recently that human evolution more or less stopped 50,000 years ago.

The new finding, reported in today's issue of Science by Bruce T. Lahn of the University of Chicago, and colleagues, could raise controversy because of the genes' role in determining brain size. New versions of the genes, or alleles as geneticists call them, appear to have spread because they enhanced brain function in some way, the report suggests, and they are more common in some populations than others.

But several experts strongly criticized this aspect of the finding, saying it was far from clear that the new alleles conferred any cognitive advantage or had spread for that reason. Many genes have more than one role in the body, and the new alleles could have been favored for some other reason, these experts said, such as if they increased resistance to disease.

Even if the new alleles should be shown to improve brain function, that would not necessarily mean that the populations where they are common have any brain-related advantage over those where they are rare. Different populations often take advantage of different alleles, which occur at random, to respond to the same evolutionary pressure, as has happened in the emergence of genetic defenses against malaria, which are somewhat different in Mediterranean and African populations.

If the same is true of brain evolution, each population might have a different set of alleles for enhancing function, many of which remain to be discovered.

The Chicago researchers began their study with two genes, known as microcephalin and ASPM, that came to light because they are disabled in a disease called microcephaly. People with the condition are born with a brain much smaller than usual, often with a substantial shrinkage of the cerebral cortex, that seems to be a throwback to when the human brain was a fraction of its present size.

Last year, Dr. Lahn, one of a select group of researchers supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, showed that a group of 20 brain-associated genes, including microcephalin and ASPM, had evolved faster in the great ape lineage than in mice and rats. He concluded that these genes might have had important roles in human evolution. As part of this study, he noticed that microcephalin and ASPM had an unusual pattern of alleles. With each gene, one allele was much more common than all the others. He and his colleagues have now studied the worldwide distribution of the alleles by decoding the DNA of the two genes in many different populations.

They report that with microcephalin, a new allele arose about 37,000 years ago, although it could have appeared as early as 60,000 or as late as 14,000 years ago. About 70 percent of people in most European and East Asian populations carry this allele of the gene, but it is much rarer in most sub-Saharan Africans.

With the other gene, ASPM, a new allele emerged 14,100 to 500 years ago, the researchers favoring a midway date of 5,800 years. The allele has attained a frequency of about 50 percent in populations of the Middle East and Europe, is less common in East Asia, and is found at low frequency in some sub-Saharan Africa peoples.

The Chicago team suggests that the new microcephalin allele may have arisen in Eurasia or as the first modern humans emigrated from Africa some 50,000 years ago. They note that the ASPM allele emerged about the same time as the spread of agriculture in the Middle East 10,000 years ago and the emergence of the civilizations of the Middle East some 5,000 years ago, but say that any connection is not yet clear.

Dr. Lahn said there might be a fair number of genes that affect the size of the brain, each making a small difference yet one that can be acted on by natural selection. "It's likely that different populations would have a different makeup of these genes, so it may all come out in the wash," he said. In other words, East Asians and Africans probably have other brain-enhancing alleles, not yet discovered, that have spread to high frequency in their populations.

He said he expected that more such allele differences between populations would come to light, as have differences in patterns of genetic disease. "I do think this kind of study is a harbinger for what might become a rather controversial issue in human population research," Dr. Lahn said. But he said his data and other such findings "do not necessarily lead to prejudice for or against any particular population."

A greater degree of concern was expressed by Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Dr. Collins said that even if the alleles were indeed under selection, it was still far from clear why they had risen to high frequency, and that "one should resist strongly the conclusion that it has to do with brain size, because the selection could be operating on any other not yet defined feature." He said he was worried about the way these papers will be interpreted.

Sarah Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Maryland and a co-author of both studies, said the statistical signature of selection on the two genes was "one of the strongest that I've seen." But she, like Dr. Collins, said that "we don't know what these alleles are doing" and that specific tests were required to show that they in fact influenced brain development or were selected for that reason.

Dr. Lahn acknowledges this point, writing in his article that "it remains formally possible that an unrecognized function of microcephalin outside of the brain is actually the substrate of selection."

Another geneticist, David Goldstein of Duke University, said that the new study was "very well done," but that "it is a real stretch to argue for example that microcephalin is under selection and that that selection must be related to brain size or cognitive function." The gene could have risen to prominence through a random process known as genetic drift, Dr. Goldstein said.

Richard Klein, an archaeologist who has proposed that modern human behavior first appeared in Africa because of some genetic change that promoted innovativeness, said the time of emergence of the microcephalin allele "sounds like it could support my idea." If the allele did support enhanced cognitive function, "it's hard to understand why it didn't get fixed at 100 percent nearly everywhere," he said.

Dr. Klein suggested the allele might have spread for a different reason, that as people colonizing East Asia and Europe pushed north, they adapted to colder climates.

Commenting on critics' suggestions that the alleles could have spread for reasons other than the effects on the brain, Dr. Lahn said he thought such objections were in part scientifically based and in part because of a reluctance to acknowledge that selection could affect a trait as controversial as brain function.

The microcephalin and ASPM genes are known to be involved in determining brain size and so far have no other known function, he said. They are known to have been under strong selective pressure as brain size increased from monkeys to humans, and the chances seem "pretty good" the new alleles are continuing that, he said.

Dr. Lahn said he had tested Dr. Goldstein's idea of alleles' spreading through drift and found it unlikely."

 

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