Human beings have been on this planet for a considerable amount of time.  For an indeterminate amount of that time, ancient people inhabited different land forms.  Opportunities for interaction with ‘foreign’ groups of people were limited, if not nonexistent.  Consequently, there was little awareness of, let alone contact with, other human communities spread across the planet.  All of these ancient people did, of course, share the same basic human physiological make-up. They faced the same fundamental human needs and challenges and met them with varying degrees of competency, drawing on similar practical and intellectual skills.  Primary among these were the knowledge and skills needed to ensure survival and procreation.

 Since the transition of the species from homo erectus to homo sapiens, individual members were also exercising a wider range of creative talents and potentialities.  While the location of those potential talents was and remains personal and individual, the formation, expression and maintenance of them requires a reasonable degree of communal consciousness and coherence.  This expression of individual talents within a strengthening communal life and identity increased the opportunities for expanding both practical and intellectual creativity.  The early and ubiquitous emergence of different stories, rituals, ceremonies and visual and performing art forms as means of expression and social induction, suggest the presence of abstract and imaginative thinking among those talents and potentialities.  Entwined within these practical and abstract activities and innovations was the progressive development of linguistic and cultural systems.

 Though the ability to create and use physical objects, languages, cultural systems and abstract ideas and beliefs is innate within the species, there is no predetermined single set of outcomes to emerge from the exercising of these given abilities.  The corollary of this is that these innate abilities embody a potential for an immeasurable number of applications and outcomes.  The processes are open ended and the outcomes they produce are varied, random and perhaps unpredictable.  As a further consequence of the open ended nature of these processes all crafted objects, ideas, languages and cultural systems remain open to rejection, revision, reform and renewal.

 Diversity and change are as old as humanity itself and will be as new as the many tomorrows that are yet to come.

Garth Read, March 2018

Tags: Diversity, Ancient Humans, Change

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