By Kirkpatrick Sale
While did the human species flip opposed to the planet that we rely on for survival? Human and intake of assets have altered the weather, polluted the water and soil, destroyed ecosystems, and rendered many species extinct, significantly expanding the chance of an ecological disaster. How did humankind come to rule nature to such an quantity? to treat the planet’s assets and creatures as ours for the taking? to discover ourselves on a possible relentless direction towards ecocide?
In After Eden, Kirkpatrick Sale solutions those questions in a substantially new approach. Integrating examine in paleontology, archaeology, and anthropology, he issues to the start of big-game searching because the beginning of Homo sapiens’ estrangement from the flora and fauna. Sale contends new, recognizably smooth human tradition in keeping with the searching of huge animals built in Africa a few 70,000 years in the past in line with a fierce plunge in world wide temperature prompted by way of an important volcanic explosion in Asia. Tracing the migration of populations and the advance of looking millions of years ahead in time, he exhibits that searching grew to become more and more opposed with regards to the surroundings as humans fought over scarce prey in the course of Europe’s glacial interval among 35,000 and 10,000 years in the past. via the tip of that period, humans’ concept that they have been some of the best species on this planet, unfastened to use different species towards their very own ends, was once good established.
After Eden is a sobering story, yet no longer one with out desire. Sale asserts that Homo erectus, the adaptation of the hominid species that preceded Homo sapiens and survived for almost million years, didn't try to dominate the surroundings. He contends that vestiges of this extra ecologically sound lifestyle exist today—in a few tribal societies, within the vital teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism, and within the middle rules of the global environmental movement—offering redemptive probabilities for ourselves and for the planet.
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Additional info for After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination
The Sapiens record is necessarily used for hunting magic, as we will see later, but in this case the association seems clear : an example of the relationship o f human t o animal b o t h utilitarian and antagonistic that is at the heart o f the hunting culture. This emergence for the first time of magic in Sapiens culture - the term "magic" is clumsy, but it can s tand for the use of symbolization in specialized tasks designed to exert human control over others - reveals two crucial ele ments of the Sapiens worldview at this juncture, both central to the process of the domination of nature, and especially important in that both in some ways still underlie our contemporary perspective.
And if we still had to be wary of the other carnivores, now we were their equals in the hunt and occasionally even made them our prey. The psychological impact of all that, no less than the social, must have been profound. " This the Sapiens hunters learned to overcome, pressed by the urgency of survival in a changed world with the volcanic winter and after, but at what cost, with what feelings of remorse, or guilt, or anguish? And by what process of denial or transference or justification did they live, individually and tribally, with those feelings?
There are tantaliLing earlier indications that humans used ocher and a similar hematite for decorations - ocher fragments from the Kap thurin Formation in Kenya , for example, have been dated to as early as 280,000 years ago - but the abun dance of the material at Blombos represents a quantitative change. More than a hundred other ocher fragments, many tapered to resemble pencils, were found at the Klasies River Mouth site at the Howieson's Poort levels, and grindstones with ocher traces that might have been "palettes" have been found at Die Kclders Cave.