Looking at Michael Tomasello’s Book (2014) “A Natural History of Human Thinking” (Part 18 of 22)

0336 Chapter four, on the era of collective intentionality, starts with the term, “a modern human society”.

But, what does the word, “modern”, indicate?

Does it indicate the Lebenswelt that we evolved in?

Or does it indicate our current Lebenswelt?

0337 Tomasello does not even imagine the possibility that our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

The cultural transition from the latter to the former nominally begins 0.0078Myr years ago.

That is 7824 years ago, more or less.

0338 I like this particular year because scholars may covert from AD (Anno Domini) to U0′ (Ubaid Zero Prime) simply by adding 5800.

But, astrologers may have other suggestions.  So, the jury is out for year zero of Ubaid Zero Prime.

Say what?

If the heavens operate as a timepiece on the Celestial Earth, then maybe astrologers on the Mundane Earth can calculate out a conjunction, among planets known only to moderns, around 5800 B.C.  A significant conjunction would perhaps, correspond to the nominal birth of Adam and the mythic initiation of our current Lebenswelt.

The exercise may be viewed as a modern tribute to the three wise men who brought gifts to the Christ child.

0339 The hypothesis of the first singularity is initially proposed in two works, The First Singularity and Its Fairy Tale Trace (short and scientific) and An Archaeology of the Fall (longer and aesthetic).  Both are by Razie Mah.  Both are available for purchase at smashwords and other e-book venues.

The take-home message?

The evolution of talk is not the same as the evolution of language.

The evolution of talk plays a key role in the hypothesis of the first singularity.

Constrained social complexity is a hallmark of the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.  Before two-hundred thousand years ago, hominins practice hand-talk.  Then, with the evolution of our species, speech is added to hand-talk.  Humans practice a dual-mode way of talking, called “hand-speech talk”.  They do so for two hundred thousand years.  At first, speech is like a musical accompaniment to hand talk.  Over generations, speech takes more and more a life of its own.

Then, the first singularity starts with the Ubaid of southern Mesopotamia.

Civilization is potentiated by speech-alone talk.  All civilized peoples practice speech-alone talk.  Civilization belongs to our current Lebenswelt.

0340 So, let me look at a more detailed timeline for the era of collective intentionality.

Before 0.2Myr, speech is added to hand talk at the start of our own species, Homo sapiens.

0341 Even though Tomasello does not know about Razie Mah, his arguments support the incredible scenarios on display in The Human Niche and An Archaeology of the Fall.

The era of joint intentionality lays the foundation.

The era of collective intentionality builds the edifice, a living world where the collaboration of teams (15) cultivates every social circle, from family (5), to intimate friends (5), to bands (50), to communities (150) and, in moments of gathering, mega-bands (500) and tribes (1500).  Every social circle adapts to its proximate niche.  Every social circle adapts to the ultimate niche of triadic relations.  Traditions favor harmony among social circles.  Every social circle encourages human flourishing.

0342 Is this what we evolved to be?

We work (for foods and) for objects that cannot be pictured or pointed to using hand-talk and hand-speech talk.  Yet, they are real, nonetheless.  We cannot analyze the objects that bring us together within each social circle, because hand-talk does not permit explicit abstraction.  Hand-talk facilitates implicit abstraction.  When these implicit abstractions are adaptive, they end up as adaptations.  They infuse the hominin body and brain.  They are the roots and the branches of our tree of life.

0343 Perhaps, to the civilized person, this harmony between social circles and human bodies and brains seems a little too… shall I say?… utopian.

Does it sound a little too similar to what Thomas Aquinas labels, “original justice”?

See Comments on Daniel Houck’s Book (2020) “Aquinas, Original Sin and The Challenge of Evolution”, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

0344 All this ends with the first singularity.

Our current Lebenswelt is not the same as the Lebenswelt that we evolved in.

We are not who we evolved to be.

0345 My recommendation?

Place a dark line through the term, “modern human society”, whenever it appears in Tomasello’s text, and replace it with a label for a world, where we live as who we evolved to be.

At the center of the Lebenswelt that we evolved in stands the tree of life.