Two Conjectures

  • The human proclivity to perceive metaphysical agency in the world is not the result of 'childlike faith'; nor does the perception of such agency substantiate the objective existence of gods, angels, ghosts, aliens, or an independent moral order, as many people believe it does. Rather, the human attribution of metaphysical agency is 'childish', like a bad temper, a defect that when left unchecked wreaks havoc on individuals, families, and whole communities
  • Anthropological research investigating the origin of Homo sapiens suggests that the development of Earth's dominant primate species coincided with the evolution of less viable protohumans, among them Neanderthals and Homo floresiensis (the 'hobbits' of Indonesia). In fact, genetic research from as recently as 2010 revealed that up to 4 percent of DNA in modern humans living outside of Africa came from Neanderthals, a consequence of interbreeding between Homo sapiens and their primate cousins. Such findings beg the question, if Homo sapiens spent even part of their evolution co-existing with other sexually compatible primates - to the extent that genetic material from those primates became part of the human genome - is it possible that anatomically modern Homo sapiens are, even now, sharing the planet with a similarly compatible species as different from them as Neanderthals were from early humans?