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HOMO DOMESTICUS: Theory

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This chapter contains the basic theory on Homo domesticus.

oscar.carvajal@utoronto.ca

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HOMO DOMESTICUS: Theory

  1. 1. © Oscar Carvajal 2005 All rights reserved HOMO DOMESTICUS THEORY INTRODUCTION Society and ecology seem deeply linked to domestication, which may be the most threatening force acting on earth today, where the human may be its most immediate victim. This theoretical interdisciplinary analysis re-imagines domestication as the condition of housing—the built environment, leading to consider the human species as Homo domesticus. In terms of domestication, social and natural studies traditionally employ the metaphor of domestication to understand relationships among human beings and other organisms, things, and ideas. Baring in mind that this study considers the traditional notion of domestication an understanding of taming, the following bibliographic survey indicates the comprehensive way in which authors identify the implications of domestication (taming). Some authors apply the metaphor of domestication (taming) to animals and plants: Darwin, to animals and plants;1 Raisor and Fox, to dogs;2 Price and Grandin, to animals;3 Zohary, to plants;4 Simmons, to cattle;5 Schorger, to the turkey;6 Laufer, to the reindeer;7 Roberts, to turtles;8 and Matthew, to the horse.9 Other authors apply the metaphor of domestication to different social aspects: Rogers, to women;10 Fadlon, to alternative medicine;11 Gregoriou, to cosmopolitanism;12 1 Charles Darwin, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (London: J. Murray, 1868). 2 Michelle Jeanette Raisor, Determining the Antiquity of Dog Origins: Canine Domestication as a Model for the Consilience Between Molecular Genetics and Archaeology (Oxford, England: Archaeopress, 2005); Michael W. Fox, The Dog: Its Domestication & Behavior (New York: Garland STPM, 1978), and Canine behavior; a history of domestication, behavioral development and adult behavior patterns, neurophysiology, psychobiology, training, inheritance, early experience and psycho-social relationships, experimental neuroses and spontaneous behavioral abnormalities, congenital anomalies and differential diagnosis of diseases (Springfield, ILL.: Thomas, 1965). 3 Edward O. Price, Animal Domestication and Behavior (Wallingford, England; New York: CABI Pub., 2002); Temple Grandin, Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals (San Diego: Academic Press, 1988); and Peter J. Ucko and G. W. Dimblebay, eds., The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals [Research Seminar in Archaeology and Related Subjects (1968: London University)] (London: Duckworth, 1969). 4 Daniel Zohary, Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Cultivated Plants in West Asia, Europe and the Nile Valley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000). 5 Frederick J. Simmons, A Ceremonial Ox of India: The Mithan in Nature, Culture, and History, with Notes on the Domestication of Common Cattle (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1968); and A. E. Mourant and F.E. Zeuner, eds., Symposium on Domestication, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1960, in Man and Cattle: Proceedings of a Symposium on Domestication at the Royal Anthropological Institute, 24-26 May 1960 (London: Royal anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1963). 6 Arlie William Schorger, The Wild Turkey: Its History and Domestication [1st ed.] (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966). 7 Berthold Laufer, The Reindeer and its Domestication (New York: Kraus Reprint, 1964). 8 Mervin F. Roberts, Turtles as Pets (Neptune City, N.J.: TFH [Tropical Fish Hobbyist] Publications, 1960). 9 Matthew William Diller, Evolution of the Horse (New York: American Museum of Natural History [AMNH], 1927). 10 Barbara Rogers, The Domestication of Women: Discrimination in Developing Societies (London; New York: Tavistock Publications, 1981). 11 Judith Fadlon, Negotiating the Holistic Turn: The Domestication of Alternative Medicine (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005). 1
  2. 2. Schneider, to [North] American Methodism;13 Whitworth, to foreign corporations;14 and Berker, to media and technology.15 Some authors consider, in a traditional way of the notion, the domestication (taming) of places and the physical world: Mannion, of carbon;16 Hann, of the Turkish state;17 Hodder, of Europe;18 Yener, of metals;19 and Rogachev, of outer space.20 Other authors see domestication in human attributes, values, and interests: Dörfer, to glory;21 Brenner, to desire;22 McCutcheon, to dissent;23 Cobb, to violence;24 Warner, to blue notes;25 Brock, to the hero-figure;26 Godbout and Caille, to gift;27 and Regazzola, to movement.28 Finally, authors apply the metaphor of domestication to certain religious 29 30 concepts: Wentz, to the divine; Placher and Young, to transcendence; and Roberts, to anti- Semitism.31 12 Zelia Gregoriou, ―Resisting the Pedagogical Domestication of Cosmopolitanism: From Nussbaum‘s Concentric Circles of Humanity to Derrida‘s Aporetic Ethics of Hospitality,‖ Philosophy of Education (2003): 257- 66. 13 A. Gregory Schneider, The Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of American Methodism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993). 14 John Ford Whitworth, The creation of corporations for profit in Pennsylvania: under the Corporation act of April 29, 1874, and its supplements, the merger, consolidation, judicial sale and reorganization of such corporations, the domestication of foreign corporations, the practice in the office of the secretary of the commonwealth relating thereto and a collection of forms (Philadelphia T. & J. W. Johnson Company, 1906). 15 Thomas Berker, Domestication of Media and Technology (Maidenhead: Open University Press, 2006). 16 Antoinette M. Mannion, Carbon and its Domestication (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2006). 17 C. M. Hann, Tea and the Domestication of the Turkish State (Huntingdon: Eothen Press, 1990). 18 Ian Hodder, The Domestication of Europe: Structure and Contingency in Neolithic Societies (Oxford, England; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1990). 19 K. Aslihan Yener, The Domestication of Metals: The Rise of Complex Metal Industries in Anatolia, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East Vol. 4 (Boston: Brill, 2000); and Jak Yakar, ―The Domestication of Metals: The Rise of Complex Metal Industries in Anatolia,‖ Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 324 (November 2001): 114-17. 20 Vladimir Rogachev, ―Free Discussion Planned at Intl Space Conference,‖ [Information Telegraph Agency of Russia] ITAR - TASS News Wire, New York, April 2001: 1. The so-called ―outer space‖ exploration actually hides ―inner space‖ surveillance from outer space. 21 Ingemar Dörfer, System 37 Viggen; Arms, Technology and the Domestication of Glory (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1973). 22 Suzanne April Brenner, The Domestication of Desire: Women, Wealth, and Modernity in Java (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998); Evelyn Blackwood, ―The Domestication of Desire: Women, Wealth, and Modernity in Hava,‖ The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) 60, no. 3 (August 2001): 915-6; and Rene Devisch and Claude Brodeur, The Law of the Lifegivers: The Domestication of Desire (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Hardwood Academics; Abingdon: Marston, 1999). 23 Russel T. McCutcheon, Religion and the Domestication of Dissent, or, How to Live in a Less Than Perfect Nation (London; Oakville, Conn.: Equinox Pub., 2005). 24 Sara Cobb, ―The Domestication of Violence in Mediation,‖ Law & Society Review (LSR) 31, no. 3 (1997): 397-440. 25 Naphtali Wagner, ―‗Domestication‘ of Blue Notes in the Beatles‘ Songs,‖ Music Theory Spectrum (Spectrum) [official journal of the Society for Music Theory (SMT)] 25, no. 2 (Fall 2003): 353-65. 26 Claire Brock, ―Rousseauvian Remains,‖ History Workshop Journal (HWJ) 55, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 134- 42. 27 Jacques T. Godbout and Alain Caille, ―The World of the Gift,‖ Anthropos 98, no. 1 (2003): 237-8. 28 Tomaso Regazzola, La Domestication du Mouvement: Poussées Mobilisatrices et Surrection de l'État (Paris: Editions Anthropos, 1981). 29 Richard E. Wentz, ―The Domestication of the Divine,‖ Theology Today 57, no. 1 (April 2000): 24-34. 30 William Carl Placher, The Domestication of Transcendence: How Modern Thinking About God Went Wrong (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996); and Richard A. Young, ―The Domestication of 2
  3. 3. In terms of human domestication, as this next bibliographic survey indicates, various social and natural science authors speak about the domestication of humans. However, their contributions remain scattered, referring to domestication of separate dimensions of the human experience, without providing an integrated theory regarding the domestication of the human species, per se. While none of these authors employ the term Homo domesticus explicitly or deal with the concept in a wholistic and rigorous manner, each one of them contributes in part to this study on human domestication and Homo domesticus.32 Peter J. Wilson speaks of the domestication of the human species, investigating the ethnographic implications of the formation of small villages and towns, particularly in the Palaeolithic-Neolithic transition.33 Ruth Tringham refers to sedentism as the domestication of humans.34 John A. Livingston refers to the role of ideology in the domestication of humans.35 Jack Goody refers to the implications of the scribal culture in the development of human domestication.36 Claude Lévi-Strauss speaks of the shift from myth to philosophy and to science, and refers to human domestication from an ethno-cultural dichotomy approach, contrasting the Neolithic humans as savage and the modern as domesticated.37 Helen M. Leach reconsiders human domestication in relation to biological variation resulting from sedentism.38 Keiichi Omoto and Peter Sloterdijk refer to human domestication through bio-physiological modification via genetic engineering.39 Enhanced definition of domestication This study seeks to enhance the notion of domestication to gain an inside into the human and human relations. The enhanced notion of domestication includes a differentiation between taming and domestication, considering the influence exercised by the physical built environment. Domestication implies a direct influence of the built environment on organisms. Taking housing as epitome of the built environment, domestication relates to housing. Naturalist John A. Livingston contends that domestication literally means ―to bring it into our house.‖40 Domestication refers to the conditioning influence the presence of housing, architecture, or the built environment (used here interchangeably, in the broad sense) imposes on organisms. Whether they are inside or outside the house, Transcendence: How Modern Thinking About God Went Wrong,‖ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) 42, no. 3 (September 1999): 546-59. 31 Andrew Roberts, ―The Roots of Hitler‘s Murderous Anti-Semitism,‖ The Daily Telegraph, London UK 8 November 2003: 04. 32 Peter Hercules refers to Homo domesticus in his self-published electronic book, but his treatment of it is limited to an application from a psychological perspective. Peter Hercules, Liberating the Caged Human Animal (2002 copyright), [homepage of Dr. Peter Hercules] [online], available: http://www.untamedlife.com/index.php [2006, January 15]. David Valdes uses the term Homo Domesticus to portray a same-sex relationship. David Valdes Greenwood, Homo Domesticus: Notes from a Same-Sex Marriage (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2007). 33 Peter J. Wilson, The Domestication of the Human Species (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988). 34 Ruth Tringham, Unit Title: Life in the Neolithic 1 - Living in Houses (N.A.) [online], available: http://www.mactia.berkeley.edu/aop/modules/Neo1_module_web.htm [2005, December 18]. 35 John A. Livingston, Rogue Primate: An Exploration of Human Domestication (Toronto: Key Porter Books Limited, 1994). 36 Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). 37 Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Savage Mind (London: Librairie Plon, 1962). 38 Helen M. Leach, et al, ―Human Domestication Reconsidered.‖ Current Anthropology (CA) 44, no. 3 (June 2003): 349-68. 39 Keiichi Omoto, Jinrui no Jiko Kachikuka to Gendai (Human Self-domestication and Modern Society) (Kyoto: Jinbun Shoin, 2002); and Peter Sloterdijk, Regeln für den Menschenpark (Regulations for the Human Park) (Suhrkamp Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, 1999). 40 Livingston, Ibid, 15. 3
  4. 4. organisms are conditioned by the built environment through the influence of its very presence. The architectural presence domesticates living organisms. Domestication and taming represent different dimensions of a similar conditioning process. Domestication refers to the conditions imposed on organisms by housing; taming refers to conditioning techniques other than housing employed on organisms which reflect and reinforce housing. Taming refers to the utilization of the immediate contexts and sets of ideologies, sciences, techniques, and technologies to achieve, foster, and perpetuate relations of domination via sociological, psychological, physiological, and biological conditioning (see Appendix 1: Methods of Taming). While the built environment influences culture, culture influences ideology (which influences physically and meta- physically, but originates meta-physically, as an idea) and vice versa. The influence of the built environment refers to the influence (physical or meta-physical) originated physically (as or in relation to a tangible thing) by the presence or expectancy of built environments. Conditioning via methodologies (including ideology, technology, and technique) represents taming and conditioning via the built environment represents domestication. Domestication refers to ontological distortion through the built environment. The human built environment establishes the context for domestication. As humans build an environment it in return domesticates. The house or domestic realm universally materializes and epitomizes domestication. Domestication is the built environment conditioning ontology. Humans have also undergone domestication for generations. Domestication and the human The notion of human domestication also becomes a theoretical tool to understand ancient and modern earthly life. It assists in identifying social and ecological dynamics of domination. Practically, every reality on earth evolves under the influence and condition of domestication. Humans undergo the domesticating influence of the built environment. There have been specific instances throughout history when humans have tamed other humans in the sense of purposefully breeding and deliberately manipulating genetic and/or behavioural patterns, and even though authors initially refer to that dynamic as domestication, it refers to processes and methods of taming humans that mainly rely on the science of human knowledge or ideology.41 One way to conceptualize the condition influenced by domestication on humans is considering two human aspects: the ontological and the behavioural. Ontologically, domestication refers to the ways the built environment shapes the genetic makeup or nature of humans. Human ontology (Greek, study of being) here, in the Platonic sense, refers to the human being as an existent entity, and in the Aristotelian sense, to the characterization of that human being as existent entity. That domestication influences the very ontology of humans argues that domestication influences the very being of the modern human as an existent entity. Domestication has moved from being an external influence to the human to become a characteristic of the existent entity of the human. That human domestication refers to the very ontological transformative distortion of the human implies that the modern human can be regarded as an existent entity characteristically domesticated. Humans can be considered domesticated beings. Behaviourally, domestication refers to the ways the built environment shapes structurally and functionally the human within the larger ecological environment. Domestication influences the place of the human within the entire earthly and universal system, structure, or organism. Domestication further influences the way the human relates or functions in regards to themselves and other organisms or subsystems. Domesticated humans shape nature in a domesticated way. Humans could be considered domesticators, but they act as tamers. Another way to conceptualize the condition influenced by domestication on humans is considering four human dimensions, namely, anthropological, cosmological, social, and ecological. Anthropologically, that humans are domesticated refers to humans as beings that have been conditioned 41 Plato refers to the breeding of Spartan rulers or guardians. The Republic of Plato, Francis McDonald Cornford, trans. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1941), 160. 4
  5. 5. by the built environment, who reflect and reinforce the characteristics of tamed organisms, and who display the capacity to tame and domesticate other beings. Humans have become characteristically domesticated. Modern humans are born, grew up, and die conditioned by the built environment. Cosmologically, domesticated humans see the world around them with domesticated eyes. Modern human perception refers to human domesticated perception. Modern human science refers to human domesticated science. Human imagination refers to human domesticated imagination. Human domesticated cosmology delineates framed under the influence of the built environment. Domesticated humans display a characteristic incapacity to appreciate their larger cosmos without a domesticating perspective. Socially, human societies reflect and reinforce the tamed and domesticated characteristic of humans. Society refers to the association of humanity which predominantly characterizes by its tamed and domesticated, taming and domesticating condition. Modern society actually emerges as a product of human domestication, fundamentally composed by domesticated humans. Human domesticated society follows the condition of the built environment. Ecologically, domesticated humans approach and relate to their larger natural environment from a domesticated point of view. The ecological involvement of domesticated humans remarkably distinguishes by its domesticating nature. Earthly ecology evolves under the domesticating penetration and control of the human built environment. Domestication characterizes relations of domination among humans and the human relation to the larger environment. For instance, palaces are architectural constructions that establish the existence and presence of empires, hence of emperors. Facing the presence of a palace, people can establish their social value in relation to the palace. The palace defines who is inside and who is outside, who rules and who is ruled. And rule refers to domination; in this case, it clearly refers to human domination. People who live in palaces are evidently separated by the walls of the palace from their natural environment. This separation affects human relation with the environment. Humanity has evolved in the context of domestication, understanding the social and ecological character of domestication enhances the understanding of both humanity and domination. This study considers the general influence of domestication on humanity, but focuses on exploring how an understanding of human domestication informs a critique of domination. Human domestication and domination Domination refers to the control against individuals, species, or environments. It has been exercised by different means, one of them conditioning, which refers to an external influence on organisms. One of such external influences can be regarded as domestication. There are and have been other forms of domination besides domestication, especially since sociologists, anthropologists, ethnographers, palaeontologists, and archaeologists argue that methods of domination existed long before human-made housing was developed. They speak of band formation, sporadic attacks, tool and fire making, hunting, and collection among nomad societies.42 Domestication functions, among other forms of domination, as one way of domination. It is widely known and accepted that domestication (taming) mediates a domination of animals and plants that can be denominated ecological domination. The human built environment conditions the survival of numerous species of animals and plants. And humans also undergo domestication. The built environment also conditions the survival of modern humans. Hence domestication refers to a dynamic of survival and domination also at the anthropological, cosmological, sociological, and ecological levels. Thus domestication underlies ecological and social domination. Architecture generates and intensifies domestication mediating power accumulation and ecological and social domination. Marvin Harris has identified similar political-economical systems in 42 Rosen considers that ―the presence of small arrowheads (fragments) and microlithic lunates…suggests a continued role for hunting in this early [the Camel Site, Negev Early Bronze Age] pastoral society, or perhaps low level warfare.‖ Steven A. Rosen, ―Early Multi-resource Nomadism: Excavations at the Camel Site in the Central Negev,‖ Antiquity 77, no. 298 (December 2003): 749. 5
  6. 6. ancient China, India, Mesopotamia, Cuzco, and Egypt.43 These systems were characterized by the presence of highly centralized bureaucratic classes and hereditary despotic overlords. These elites claimed divine mandates and mediating powers, even divinity, using architecture.44 Palaces, temples, and tombs were of particular importance, embodying architecturally dominating social institutions. Such rulers organized society architecturally and maintained order using plain force to demand submission of underlings. Mesopotamians and Incas resettled defeated troops as peasant force and indoctrinated enemy leaders with imperial politics and religion. Domestication builds empire. Great architecture is synonym of great empire and vice versa. The process of architecture, indeed of domestication, refers to a process of ecological and social domination. Humans rely on and favor the development of architecture to maintain and advance the taming and domestication of animals and plants, indeed of other humans. Through housing, humans challenge the elements. Shelters alter time cycles (day and night), influence sources of energy (diurnal food and nocturnal sleep), and disturb life moods (awaken and asleep). By altering life cycles, energy sources, and organic moods, housing alters the human condition, including its feelings, needs, etc. Furthermore, elites would strive to control the housing or architectural domain and its industry. Social elites would reinforce housing as a human need for social domination and the sake of power.45 Human domestication established through architecture has evolved to such a degree that it has been taken for granted and even desired. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations (UN) in 1948 claims: ―Everyone has the right to a standard of living,‖ including housing.46 It is estimated housing appeared 40,000 years ago. Within the 2.5 million years of human history, housing represents a relative recent development, popularized in the last 10,000 years (see Appendix 2: A History of Pre-Human Life). Dynamically changing and mutating limited and exclusive social circles of humans, both concentrated and dispersed throughout the world, here denominated elites, dominate human populations through the built environment. The United Nations reaffirmed on June 15, 2006, its study released on March 25, 2004, by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which projected that the fifty percent of the human population would live in urban settings in 2007;47 by 2030 five billion humans would live in cities, two billions of whom would live in slums.48 Shelters represent a cultural development or created need rather than a natural need. Elites take advantage of housing for status and control purposes. Powerful multinational corporations in cooperation with state 43 North American anthropologist Marvin Harris (1927-2001). 44 McMillan speaks of progressive politics as the taming of power, and refers to the United States‘ social structure ―by far the greatest concentration of organized power in the modern world.‖ Joyce McMillan, ―Blair‘s High-Risk Strategy: The Taming of America,‖ The Scotsman (February 2003): 14. 45 English anthropologist Ruth Tringham designed at the UC-Berkeley Archaeological Research Facility (ARF) a module for sixth grade students at UC-Berkeley/Roosevelt Middle School Oakland, intended to help them think ―about humans domesticating plants and animals, as well as how the humans themselves become domesticated through learning to live with each other in confined spaces (architecture).‖ ―The Neolithic is a time when people began to settle down and construct and live in dwellings, which would last not only throughout the year but also for many years, perhaps many generations. This change that archaeologists call ‗sedentism‘ is an important prelude to some other significant changes. Some of us think this is the most important change since it means the domestication of humans.‖ Tringham, http://www.mactia.berkeley.edu/aop/modules/Neo1_module_web.htm. 46 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 25 (1), adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948), Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR] (2000-2006), United Nations [online], available: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html [2006, March 20]. 47 [United Nations] UN Report Says World Urban Population of 3 Billion Today Expected to Reach 5 Billion by 2030 (2004 copyright), United Nations Information Service (UNIS) [online], available: http://www.unis.unvienna.org/unis/pressrels/2004/pop899.html [2006, July 6]. 48 Guardian Unlimited: Urban Population to Overtake Country Dwellers for First Time (2006 copyright), Guardian Newspapers Limited [online], available: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1798774,00.html [2006, July 6]. 6
  7. 7. governments and other political, economic, financial, industrial, and commercial groups seek to control the construction, and particularly the housing, market.49 An obvious observation from daily life, it is neither a secret nor is it a naïve coincidence that the socio-geographic landscape of modern, as well as ancient, settlements corresponds to a planned, executed, and controlled process of architectural imbalance of social stratification. One can tell the difference between impoverished neighborhoods and privileged zones by noticing their architectural differences. Present human life seems impossible without housing, provided and regulated by human elites. Domestication represents a pervasive underlying dynamic of domination. Even more, housing design and building technology tend to self-replicate. Domestic humans understand and behave according to a conditioning situation represented by housing and architecture.50 Domesticated humans replicate social and ecological structures and systems that have been historically developed to frame their existence. They build their life experience on the principles laid down for them, in many ways corresponding to architectural design. They replicate their condition in every aspect of their ontological, cosmological, social, and ecological experience. They carry on their life experience within the constraints of specific functions designed and imposed on them. The functionality of domestic humans responds to the structural domesticated condition. Domesticated humans reflect a conditioned ontology, articulated in disturbed cosmology, and imbued in their own artificiality, reflected in a deformed social arrangement and dysfunctional ecological presence. Domesticated humans search for survival under the shadows of their built environment, deceived by power and domination. The notion of human domestication represents a valuable theoretical tool to identify dynamics of domination perpetrated against human individuals, society in general, and the ecological environment at large. Such dynamics include traditional symbolism, social stratification, confinement, the extremes of privacy, and ecological devastation, in particular, the domination of plants and animals. These issues will not be adequately addressed by changes in building, no matter how well intentioned and radical they may seem. For instance, ecologically friendly buildings, unfortunately, do not carry the capacity to address the very unfriendliness of the human built environment per se. This is not to oppose such wonderful initiatives, given the situation, but to alert to the deficiencies of such initiatives when confronted with the pervasive and devastating context of social and ecological domination shaped by domestication. To explore the positive contributions of domestication and the built environment may fill up myriads of theses but goes beyond the purpose of this study concerned with understanding domination. Certainly, domesticated humans would find infinite features in domestication that they would understand as enriching earthly life, particularly the modern human mode of life. In fact, human domesticated science is devoted to this end. In many ways, we domesticated humans do not know and cannot appreciate other modes of life beside the domesticated one. I do not think we domesticated humans have the ability, for instance, to chose a nomad life style; if needed, it would remain a choice forced by the larger ecological environment. A preliminary word regarding ethics, Peter J. Wilson provides perhaps the key conclusion about ethics in his comparison between nomad and sedentary societies. For him, the change was from ethics in the Paleolithic to altruism in the Neolithic. He goes further to argue that Neolithic or domesticated humans talk about ethics while Paleolithic humans did ethics. The change can be perceived in the transition from relational ethics to institutional altruism. Among nomads, ethics seems a given, while, with the preoccupation for domesticated relations or institutionalization under the built environment, ethics becomes a topic in the age of human domestication. 49 Biles studies the case of Soul City in North Carolina and reveals the intricate alliances between public and private organizations managing housing. Roger Biles, ―The Rise and Fall of Soul City: Planning, Politics, and Race in Recent America,‖ Journal Of Planning History (JPH) 4, no. 1 (February 2005): 52-72. 50 Lawson argues that most humans live in social clusters, interpreting life styles that reflect their housing conditions. Julie Lawson, ―Comparing the Causal Mechanisms Underlying Housing Networks Over Time and Space,‖ in Journal of Housing and the Built Environment (HBE) 16, no. 1 (March 2001): 29-52. 7
  8. 8. For instance, would domesticated humans consider leaving the sick, the lame, and the old to die by themselves—practices not uncommon among nomads—ethically sound? Would individual ethics take precedence over the ethics of the group or vice versa? If yes, for instance, would the freedom of the individual override the freedom of the group or vice versa? We domesticated humans seek to elucidate such questions but end up in eternal debates, often resolved via ethical imposition based on the amount of accumulated domesticated authority or supremacy, usually following institutional procedures that obey particular traditional and legal measures. Ethical advances among domesticated beings remain focused on addressing the symptoms of conditioning dynamics, among them obvious and scandalous inadequacies of domestication, but without challenging the very legitimacy of those dynamics, particularly of domestication. The said symptoms and inadequacies are inevitably judged from a domesticated view point by domesticated humans. That situation occurs mainly because human life has evolved to such a degree under domestication that eliminating domestication would imply eliminating the human itself. PROLOGUE In preparation for the interdisciplinary discussion in this work, this Prologue discusses the broader scholarly context and reviews the state of current scholarship in social and natural sciences concerning human domestication via housing, architecture, or the built environment, in the broad sense. It addresses the use of the metaphor of domestication for understanding domination. It includes a working definition of domestication and its argument and a statement regarding the relationship between domination and domestication, particularly of humans. This study explores a social-anthropological question, the domestication of humans, within a cosmological and ecological perspective.51 For that purpose, this section introduces the main disciplines regarding social anthropology in dialogue in this study, particularly Charles Darwin‘s work.52 Currents in social anthropology Anthropology refers to the study of humans. Historically, anthropologists started by examining traditional non-Western peoples. Analytically, anthropology may be regarded as a holistic and comparative branch of sociology. Holistically, anthropologists seek to connect the various parts that make up a social and cultural whole, rather than specializing on one specific subsystem within the whole. 51 This section adapts materials from: American Sociological Association (2006, January 19) [online], available: http://www.asanet.org/index.ww [2006, January 19]; Anovasofie [Analyzing and Overcoming the Sociological Fragmentation in Europe]: European Virtual Library of Sociology (2004-2006) [online], available: http://www.anovasofie.net/ or http://www.anovasofie.net/vl/ [2006, January 19]; Antrobase.com: Searchable Database of Anthropological Texts (N.A.) [online], available: http://www.anthrobase.com/ [2006, January 19]; and American Anthropological Association (AAA) (1996-2004 copyright) [online], available: http://www.aaanet.org/ [2006, January 19]. 52 Marvin Harris‘s description of competing anthropological approaches seems instructive: Sociobiology and Biological Reductionism, a research strategy that seeks to explain human social life by means of the theoretical principles of Darwinian and neo-Darwinian evolutionary biology; Dialectical Materialism, often known as Marxists, focus on the importance of infrastructure with a dialectical view of history developed by philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which plays a central role in Marxist theories; Structuralism, in spite of the proponents of structuralism declarations of the primacy of the infrastructure, structuralism places more importance on words and ideas, and resists scientific method; Structural Marxism, combining aspects of structuralism with aspects of dialectical and historical materialism, heaps scorn on cultural materialists as ―mechanical,‖ ―vulgar,‖ and ―so-called Marxists;‖ Psychological and Cognitive Idealism, that the mental, emic (insider view), and personality aspects of socio-cultural systems determine the etic (outsider view) and behavior aspects; Eclecticism, ―By picking and choosing epistemological and theoretical principles to suit the convenience of each puzzle, eclecticism guarantees that its solutions will remain unrelated to each other by any coherent set of principles;‖ and Obscurantism, ―a research strategy whose aim is to subvert the possibility of achieving a science of human social life.‖ Marvin Harris (2005 copyright), The Realm of MacGoddess [homepage of Nancy G. McClernan] [online], available: http://www.voicenet.com/~nancymc/marvinharris.html [2006, January 15]. 8
  9. 9. Comparatively, anthropology describes the diverse cultures, subcultures, groups and institutions, building up a rich databank of human cultural and social forms to compare, contrast, and to bring out specificities and social idiosyncrasies. Methodologically, anthropology advocates for a qualitative approach to uncover through fieldwork what things, relationships, persons, and activities mean to people, rather than what these phenomena are in themselves. The notion of human domestication emerges in the context of social anthropology, which developed in different ways. Social Anthropology (SA) developed as a scholarly discipline in the 1900s in Great Britain, influenced by French sociological ethnologie theory. The movement was led by Émile Durkheim, father of modern sociology.53 He focused on forms of social integration (solidarity), collective representations, and ritual. It was also led by Marcel-Israël Mauss, father of modern French anthropology.54 Of particular importance is Mauss‘ Essay Sur le Don (1923-24), translated into English as The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1954), a comparative essay on gift- giving and exchange in primitive societies. Social anthropology was inspired by the methodological ideals of fieldwork pioneered by Bronislaw Malinowski, spreading from Britain to such countries as Norway, Sweden, and Holland.55 Social anthropology is often contrasted to the North American cultural anthropology developed by Franz Boas.56 Cultural Anthropology (CA) is considered less sociologically inclined and more influenced by linguistics and history.57 Domestication and natural selection This study on domination and particularly on human domestication emerges chiefly in the context of and as a critique to the natural selection theory (see Appendix 5: Modern Synthesis and Domestication). Since Charles Darwin‘s On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) deeply informs current scientific discussions on evolutionary history (see Appendix 6: Human Evolution), including human emergence and development, this study includes an interpretation of Darwin‘s ideas.58 Darwin put forward a notion of domination 53 French-Jewish sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858–1917). 54 French-Jewish anthropologist and sociologist Marcel-Israël Mauss (1872-1950) founded the Institute d’etnologie at the University of Paris. 55 Polish-Austrian anthropologist Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski (1884-1942). 56 German-Jewish anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942). 57 Traditionally, while the anthropological school in the U.S. refers to cultural studies, the anthropological school in the United Kingdom (UK) refers to social studies. The UK school is now known as socio-cultural anthropology. Social scientists frequently refer to Applied Anthropology (practical research), Academic Anthropology (theoretical research), Cultural Relativism (suspended field work judgment), Cybernetics (information flow in complex systems), Evolutionism (gradual organization complexity), Neo-evolutionism (multilinear evolution), Scientific Dialectical Materialism (organic society and power accumulation), Neo-Marxism (production beyond economy), Functionalism (integrated social whole), Structuralism (complexity of structural meaning), Structural Functionalism (social function and social system), and Postmodernism (deconstruction of knowledge); Peter Metcalf, Anthropology: The Basics (London; New York: Routledge, 2005); Barbara D. Miller, Penny Van Esterik, and John Van Esterik, Cultural Anthropology. 3er Canadian ed. (Toronto: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2007); and Louis Dumont, [Introduction à Deux Théories D'anthropologie Sociale. English] An Introduction to Two Theories of Social Anthropology: Descent Groups and Marriage Alliance, Robert Parkin, trans. and ed. (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006). 58 English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin‘s (1809-1882) On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859) established evolution by common descent as the dominant scientific theory of diversification in nature. Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, ed. J. W. Burrow (London: Penguin, 1985); On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (2005, May 23), Literature.org: The Online Literature Library [online], available: http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/preface.html [2005, December 18]; The Origin of Species (2004 copyright), The Free Library by Farlex [online], available: 9
  10. 10. based on domestication (taming) but camouflaged with naturism. Darwin‘s methodology is deeply influenced by experimentation on taming. His method superposes sociological projections onto ecology. This general introduction refers to some aspects of Darwin‘s theory on natural selection, common descent, and some general laws, ―taken in the largest sense,‖ acting around us.59 As Darwin summarizes, Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms… On these principles, I believe, the nature of the affinities of all organic beings may be explained.60 Searching to explain those principles of organic affinity, Darwin traveled extensively to explore nature in exotic regions, including his famous expedition to the Galapagos Islands. However, his method of experimentation was greatly influenced by his understanding of and familiarity with taming, which Darwin denominates domestication, following the traditional custom to refer to taming. He observed ―variation under domestication‖ and extended it to illustrate natural selection, to explain coadaptation, ―the case of the coadaptations of organic beings to each other and to their physical conditions of life,‖ and to make his fundamental critique of Christianity: that the belief ―that each species has been independently created—is erroneous.‖61 He concluded that the best suited or adapted—i.e., the fittest62—dominates and survives.63 http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species [2005, December 18]; and Charles Darwin (1809-1882) (2004 copyright), The Free Library by Farlex [online], available: http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/domestication [2005, December 18]. 59 George John Romanes, Darwin and After Darwin: An Exposition of the Darwinian Theory and a Discussion of Post-Darwinian Questions (London: Longmans Green & Co., 1893); Thomas Henry Huxley, ―Obituary of Charles Darwin,‖ Proceedings of the Royal Society (RS) 44 (1888); Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); Dennis F. Bratchell, The Impact of Darwinism: Texts and Commentary Illustrating Nineteenth Century Religious, Scientific and Literary Attitudes (London: Avebury Publishing, 1981); and A.J. Cain, ―The True Meaning of Darwinian Evolution,‖ in Evolution and Its Influence, Alan Grafen, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989). 60 The Origin of Species: Chapter IV.-Natural Selection, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/4-1-2. 61 However, he closes his introduction with both a strong claim and a humble acknowlegement. ―I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification.‖ ―Introduction,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/0-1. 62 Although Darwin used it, the phrase ―survival of the fittest‖ was originally applied to economics and coined by English philosopher and liberal political and sociological theorist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) in his Principles of Biology of 1864. Spencer led classical Social Darwinism. However, some think Spencer applied more principles of ―use and disuse‖ (Lamarkism) than of ―natural selection‖ (Darwinism). Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Biology (London: Williams and Norgate, 1864-1867). 63 A similar approach has been promoted in recent decades in North America. As a critique of that theory, Jared Diamond would argue that, for instance, the dominance of the peoples from the Fertile Crescent in ancient times and from the United States in modern times do not occur due to their ―biological superiority,‖ but rather to ―an accident of biogeography.‖ Jared Diamond, ―The Erosion of Civilization; The Fertil‘s Crescent Fall Holds a Message for Today‘s Troubled Spots,‖ Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, 15 June 2003: M 1. Proquest Information and Learning Company (2006 copyright) [online], available: http://proquest.umi.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/pqdlink?index=209&did=347367111&SrchMode=1&sid=1& Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1111674494&clientId=12520 [2006, January 20]. 10
  11. 11. We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretell that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species.64 Some studies before Darwin‘s argued that species suit their context over generations.65 But Darwin saw it with particular intensity through the lenses of domination. His notions of strength, superiority, and fittest-ness refer to projections upon nature elaborated by human subjectivities seeking to standardize the appreciation of natural processes from a privileged position. John A. Livingston refers to Darwin as an artifact of the ideology of his time.66 Darwin imposed his thought on his view of nature, thought that was shaped by the culture of his time, in general, and by his experimentation on taming, in particular. Nature clearly transcends the laboratory, which represents a main context for taming, which consequently refers to Darwin‘s starting point. Darwin assumed the natural context as a battlefield; ―the struggle for existence‖ was a ―war.‖ ―Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.‖67 One difficulty with Darwin‘s notion is the blurredness between his notion of fittest and a notion of ―fiercest.‖ While many argue for a very pessimistic diagnostic of war, Darwin envisioned how nature‘s war improves ecological reality. ―Hence we may look with some confidence to a secure future of equally inappreciable length. And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.‖68 In his own words, ―This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection.‖69 It reveals a principle based on fiery domination rather than fitness. Darwin valued adaptability, fitted-ness, and ultimately survival, all of which relate to reproduction. He would value a defective survivor to an ideal extinct. However, he fails to identify an implicit anthropomorphic determinism and favoritism in his approach. He deals poorly with the pervasive and predatory human power and its epicenter among elites. His portrayal of natural adaptation reveals a sort of ―anthropo-elite-centric‖ selection appeal. He clearly struggled with dominant Victorian descriptions of nature.70 Darwin challenges common Christian theories of divine design, focusing on origin or genesis, replacing the agent (nature for the divine) and its method (selection for design).71 Darwin crafted the notion of ―natural selection‖ and characterized it to an extreme where the species are disavowed of their agency. Seeking to rescue Darwin from this pitfall, Richard Richards 64 The Origin of Species: Chapter IV.-Natural Selection, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/4-1-3. 65 Darwin‘s theories follow a long standing trend of research. James Hutton (1726-1797), known as the father of modern geology, spoke of gradual development over aeons of time (uniformitarian theory); Etienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844) established the principle of ―unity of composition‖ arguing that species are various degenerations of the same type; Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), grandfather of Charles Darwin, referred to organisms passing changes to offspring (common descent theory); Dr. W. C. Wells‘s (1813) ―An Account of a White female, part of whose skin resembled that of a Negro;‖ Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), first to use the term biology, thought of acquiring and passing on needed traits (Lamarckism); Robert Edmund Grant (1793-1874) developed others theories of transmutation; and that The Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) showed that human populations increase to exceed resources (Whig Poor Law). ―Chapter XIV.-Recapitulation and Conclusion,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/14-1-2. 66 Livingston, Ibid, 76. 67 ―Chapter XIV.-Recapitulation and Conclusion,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/14-1-2. 68 Ibid, 14-1-2. 69 ―Chapter VI.-Natural Selection,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/4-1-3. 70 William Irvine, Apes, Angels and Victorians: The Story of Darwin, Huxley and Evolution (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1955). 71 M. Midgley, Evolution as a Religion (London: Methuen, 1985). 11
  12. 12. disassociates causality and immutability: ―the causal efficacy‖ Darwin attributed to natural selection does not suggest ―the immutability of species.‖72 Richards aims precisely at correcting Darwin‘s strong impression in this regard. Instead, Alanna Mitchell prefers to see this agency as transformational; a ―Darwinian endeavor of metamorphosis.‖73 In the struggle for survival and reproduction (transcendence), species seem to adapt, vary, and survive. Seen from a non-Darwinian angle, species collectively present life conditions. Species incarnate the conditions of life. Species mutually condition one another. The dichotomy Darwin enforces between nature and life conditions seems a fallacy. Darwin pictures a nature selecting the fittest species which exist and live within life conditions. Darwin redesigns nature. ―Selection‖ and ―the fittest‖ correlate. On the contrary, argues this study, while species naturally struggle for survival, the fittest neither necessarily nor naturally survive. Sometimes the fiercest, the luckiest, and the weakest survive. But when the survivor is not the fittest, which happens often, selection does not correlate. Selection does not explain all natural survival. The fittest survivor notion seems contextual and subjective. Species represent natural agents. Rather than selection in the abstract, survival seems the species‘ concrete natural agency. As Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, Gabriel Marais, and Brian Charlesworth insist, species adapt; they recombine in order to survive.74 Species survive. But some species, notably the human, do not simply survive; they destroy and, worse, enjoy doing it. They seem capable of dominating for domination‘s sake. In this context, the notion of natural selection disguises and perpetuates domination. Darwin projected his social theories onto his observations of nature, which noticeably reflect his experimentation on taming. Selection, as a working metaphor, could make sense from a taming viewpoint or selection by human agency and under human standards. But such selection misrepresents nature and rather reflects human artificiality. While humans may value selection (e.g., taming), survival does not necessarily happen directly proportional to adaptability and variation. The notion of selection emerges by human conception and imposition primarily through taming. Darwin failed to recognize that he observed nature with a domesticated and domesticating eye. Selection not necessarily reflects nature at large but the development of human behavior in particular. Overemphasizing selection forces Darwinian theories to become selective, oversimplifying the role of random probabilities and of context in natural processes. Darwin eventually foresaw a cease to the struggle for adaptation. That the struggle between natural selection on the one hand, and the tendency to reversion and variability on the other hand, will in the course of time cease; and that the most abnormally developed organs may be made constant, I can see no reason to doubt.75 Whether Darwin foresaw a total domination of the fittest or not, nevertheless, adaptation, variation, and survival represent perhaps Darwin‘s most influential and best documented ideas of his common descent theory. They have revolutionized the sciences, as Darwin fervently prophesized. 72 Richard A. Richards, ―Darwin and the Inefficacy of Artificial Selection,‖ Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (SHPS) 28, no. 1 (March 1997): 75-97. 73 Alanna Mitchell, Dancing at the Dead Sea: Tracking the World’s Environmental Hotspots (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2004), 18. 74 Ross-Ibarra uses plant cytogenetical literature to explore the implications of the theories of recombination and preadaptation. Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra, ―The Evolution of Recombination Under Domestication: A Test of Two Hypotheses,‖ The American Naturalist (AN) 163, no. 1 (January 2004): 105-15. Marais and Charlesworth, at the Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, research on the impact of recombination on the evolution of genome. Gabriel Marais and Brian Charlesworth, ―Genome Evolution: Recombination Speeds Up Adaptive Evolution,‖ in Current Biology (CB) 13, no. 2 (January 2003): R68-R70. 75 ―Chapter V.-Laws of Variation,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/5-1-2. 12
  13. 13. In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man [humans] and his [their] history.76 Darwin‘s influential formulation in natural and social science, particularly regarding the origin of humans, indicates that species reproduce (simple and hybridized or mongrelized) and reach reproductive rates that prompt life struggle (facing conditions of their environments). Life struggle occurs under a generational cumulative dynamic (i.e., natural selection), favoring a clustered variability (i.e., character divergence), transmitting traits with growth correlation (change correspondence between embryo or larva and mature animal)77 to offspring (descendants) via inheritance (non-mutated)78 and methodic (domestication) or unconscious (use and disuse) modification (mutated). Thereby species adapt (higher state, winning novel characters), become more fit and perfect; or they regress (lesser state, losing ancestral characters), become less fit and subsequently extinguish. The final result is thus rendered infinitely complex…79 The several subordinate groups in any class cannot be ranked in a single file, but seem rather to be clustered round points, and these round other points, and so on in almost endless cycles.80 Although Darwin recognized the complexity of survival and referred to two selections—namely, natural and human (taming)—he shows more interest in arguing for selection as natural, neglecting to explicate their relationship. Darwin failed to identify the primary role of the built environment in the process of domestication. Darwin did not explain nature; at best, he addressed natural survival through explaining non-human variation under taming and domestication. There is no obvious reason why the principles which have acted so efficiently under domestication should not have acted under nature. In the preservation of favored individuals and races, during the constantly-recurrent Struggle for Existence, we see the most powerful and ever- acting means of selection.81 Darwin starts with taming to explain natural selection. Nevertheless, he finds adaptation, variation, and survival among the major guidelines species follow in their pilgrimage on earth. But Darwin focused so acutely on non-human organisms that he failed to identify selection against humans 76 One would hardly find references to women in relation to doing science, and particularly physics, including the summary offered by Darwin in his Preface to his On The Origins of Species, however, Margaret C. Jacob and Dorothee Sturkenboon would present another picture when they refer to the Dutch Women‘s Society for Natural Knowledge who met from 1785 to 1887. They refer to an early ―domestication‖ of science, meaning science at home, however the domestication might actually refer to the dominance of science by men. Margaret C. Jacob and Dorothee Sturkenboon, ―A Women‘s Scientific Society in the West: The Late Eighteenth-Century Assimilation of Science,‖ Isis 94, no. 2 (June 2003): 217-52. 77 ―Chapter I.-Variation Under Domestication,‖ The Origins of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/1-1-2. 78 Darwin clarifies, inheritance ―when beneficial to the individual.‖ ―Chapter V.-Laws of Variation,‖ The Origin of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/5-1-2. Darwin admits that modifications may lead both to upgrade or downgrade. 79 ―Chapter I.-Variation Under Domestication,‖ The Origins of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of-Species/1-1-2. 80 ―Chapter IV.-Natural Selection,‖ The Origins of Species, http://darwin.thefreelibrary.com/The-Origin-of- Species/4-1-3. 81 ―Chapter 14: Recapitulation and Conclusion,‖ The Origins of Species (2005, May 23), Literature.org: The Online Literature Library [online], available: http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of- species/chapter-14.html [2005, December 18]. 13
  14. 14. under domestication and even taming. In any event, with or without selection, natural or human, domestication continues to be a major evolutionary force, implicating the evolutionary impact of human beings via the built environment. Unlike the notion of natural selection, the notion of domestication has the potential to better explain one of the major forces that has been shaping society and ecology since the emergence of ancient human civilizations. To what extend domestication emerges in natural discontinuity, setting in motion disruptive dynamics regarding the adaptation, variation, and survival of species, particularly as it refers to the domination of humans by humans, greatly occupies the following section. HUMAN DOMESTICATION This study employs the metaphor of domestication to understand humans. It discusses traditional understandings of taming and domestication in the context of evolution. It explores the relation among food supply, the process of storing information, and taming and domestication. It submits a revision of the notion of domestication based on the influence the built environment imposes on organisms. It integrates contributions from different disciplines to extend a notion of domestication from naturalist and ecological scholarship to understand the human condition. It explores the influence of domestication on human beings or human domestication and calls the human species Homo domesticus. It presents a discussion of human domestication from diverse angles to differentiate between taming through ideology, technology, or technique, and domestication through the built environment. It then presents an historical context to appreciate the emergence and development of human domestication. It discusses the notion of human domestication adopting an ethnographic comparison between sedentary and nomadic societies. And finally, it presents a formal argument for the notion of human domestication, including the discussion of some of its dominant elements and some of its cosmological, anthropological, sociological, and ecological implications. It argues that the human race is better understood as Homo domesticus. While transiting through this study, we need to bear in mind that in the literature domestication is considered a direct human action over plants and animals. My contention is that domestication is the direct influence of the built environment and that the traditional definition of domestication refers to taming. This revision of the notion of domestication would appear confusing in this study since in order to continue engaging the available works it will be necessary to use their language but mindful that here their notion of domestication is reconsidered as a notion of taming, which will be explained and indicated while trying to avoid a cumbersome corrective rehearsal. 2.1. AN INTRODUTION TO TAMING AND DOMESTICATION Diverse scholars traditionally consider historical coincidences in the rise of taming and domestication and of civilization.82 Researchers believe humans were originally unstable scattered nomads. As farming sprang up, civilization emerged, and cities and cultures developed.83 Farming and herding represent perhaps the most significant developments during the late part of the Paleolithic- Holocene and throughout the Neolithic periods. Taming and domestication developed into relational practices by humans for improved lifestyles at the expense of diverse organisms and things. Humans continue to use tamed and domesticated animals and plants as food stock, work force, field research, social symbols, technological devices, entertainment, companions, decoration, and pets.84 According to 82 Frey presents this kind of approach to domestication and civilization by analyzing the work of the English poet Blake. Northrop Frye, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947). 83 Harvey Weiss, ed., The Origins of Cities in Dry-farming Syria and Mesopotamia in the Third Millennium B.C. (Guilford, Conn.: Four Quarters Pub. Co., 1986); and Leonard Weisgard, The Beginnings of Cities: Re-creation in Pictures and Text of Mesopotamian Life from Farming to Early City Building (New York: Coward-McCann, [1968]). 84 Pam J. Crabtree, and Kathleen Ryan, eds., Animal Use and Culture Change (Philadelphia: MASCA, The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 1991). 14
  15. 15. scientific accounts, taming and domestication refer to the process of collective alteration that different organisms, species or families of organisms, or biological populations endure when controlled by multiple generations of humans.85 The essential criterion for domestication is the maintenance by humans of a self-perpetuating breeding population of animals isolated genetically from their wild relatives, with resulting behavioural, and usually also phenotypic, changes in the domestic stock.86 The above definition places most of the emphasis on the human agency exercised to dominate other species including plants, but particularly animals. 2.2. A REVISED DEFINITION OF DOMESTICATION Traditionally, taming and domestication has been differentiated in terms of their reach: taming referring to conditioning on individuals or groups and domestication on species. The main reason for this criterion was the presumption that taming and domestication were actions of humans over plants and animals; humans were considered domesticators and not domesticated. It was understood that when there are no remaining wild individuals of a determined species, when they all were tamed, the species becomes domesticated and its generations are born and grew up domesticated. It was thought that a species reaches that taming point in the context of domestication. In that traditional theoretical context, taming shows on a small scale what domestication establishes at large scale, where taming could be referred to as micro while domestication as macro. Scientific communities traditionally define domestication as the process of collective alteration that species or families of organisms or biological populations endure under the control of multiple generations of humans. 85 Unless otherwise referenced, the general introductory survey this section presents adopts materials published in: WWW Virtual Library (2005 copyright; 2005, October 21) [online], available: http://vlib.org/ [2006, January 21]; Ashbya Genome Database (2006, January 23), Biozentrum: University of Basel, Switzerland [online], available: http://agd.unibas.ch/ [2006, January 23]; International Commission on Stratigraphy (2005, December) [online], available: http://www.stratigraphy.org/ [2005, December 19]; International Union of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences (2002, January 23) [online], available: http://www.ulg.ac.be/prehist/uispp/uispp-home.html [2005, December 20]; The Online Literature Library (2005, May 23), Literature.org [online], available: http://www.literature.org/ [2005, December 20]; Helicon (2006 copyright), Research Machines plc [online], available: http://www.helicon.co.uk/ [2006, January 18]; International Council for Archaeozoology (2005, November 15), National Museum of Natural History: Archaeobiology Program [online], available: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/icaz/ [2005, December 17]; Zooarchaeology (2004, December 06), WWW Zooarchaeology.com: The World Wide Web’s Virtual Library for the Archaeology of Animals [online], available: http://www.zooarchaeology.com/ [2005, December 21]; Houghton Mifflin Company (2006 copyright) [online], available: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/epub/ [2006, January 23]; Dictionary of the History of Ideas (2003 copyright), The Gale Group [The University of Virginia Library: The Electronic Text Center] [online], available: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/DicHist/dict.html [2005, December 19]; Free Online Dictionary by Farlex (2005 copyright), Farlex Inc. [online], available: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ [2005, December 17]; Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2006 copyright), Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. [online], available from http://www.britannica.com/ [2006, January 22]; The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006 copyright), The Stanford University: The Metaphysics Research Lab [online], available: http://plato.stanford.edu/ [2006, January 19]; Genetic Engineering (2002-2006 copyright), Bookstrike.com [G. Ganesh, Dennis, Nathaniel, Cai Peng] [online], available: http://www.bootstrike.com/Genetics/Home/index.html [2006, January 20]; Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (1997-2006 copyright) [online], available: http://www.behavior.org/ [2006, January 22]; and International Union of Geological Sciences (2005, March 2) [online], available: http://www.iugs.org/ [2006, January 22]. 86 Roy Ellen and Katsuyoshi Fukui, eds., Redefining Nature: Ecology, Culture and Domestication (Oxford: Berg, 1996), 454. 15
  16. 16. The essential criterion for domestication is the maintenance by humans of a self-perpetuating breeding population of animals isolated genetically from their wild relatives, with resulting behavioural, and usually also phenotypic, changes in the domestic stock.87 When researchers from the natural sciences refer to domestication as the process of genetic and behavioural alteration that a species endures when manipulated by humans in order to produce a breeding population separate from their wild relatives to meet human needs, they place the agency of domestication on humans. This helpful remains a vague definition of domestication that leans toward defining taming. As complete the above definition may seem it misses perhaps the most foundational etymological feature of domestication, namely, the influence of housing on organisms. When researchers from the social sciences speak of domestication as the influence housing in small-towns exercises on organisms, including humans, they place the agency of domestication on housing and small towns. John A. Livingston directly associates domestication and housing. ―To domesticate some non-human being, literally, is to bring it into our house.‖88 My contention is that the agency of domestication locates in the human built environment. Once the built environment comes into being, whether actually or potentially, it influences organisms on its own about and beyond the initial intention of the human who built or projected the building enterprise in the first place. Although the above traditional definitions have been helpful in the process of articulating the awareness of the said conditionings, they can be enhanced to gain an inside regarding the human and its relation to the larger ecological environment. The traditional notion of domestication elaborated by researchers from the natural sciences enhances when incorporating the insight regarding the influence of housing in small towns in order to differentiate between taming and domestication. Taming and domestication reflect and reinforce each other. Both taming and domestication refer to conditioning: taming via scientific, technological, and technical methods of knowledge; where domestication via the built environment. The notion of domestication elaborated by researchers from the social sciences also enhances when acknowledging that the influence of domestication goes beyond housing and small-towns. Domestication moves beyond the relation between life and house, whether inside or outside it. Domestication refers to the condition exercised by the human built environment in the broad sense on organisms. The built environment seen in the broad sense, includes monuments, bridges, roads, dams, satellites, space stations, etc., where housing functions as epitome of the built environment and architecture lies at the heart of the building enterprise. Architecture or housing here refers to the time- spatial physical presence or expectancy of the built environment and the modification of space-time by humans. Houses, for instance, shape earthly space and time. Houses demark geography and epoch. My preference is to use the term ―housing‖ as a concrete way in the broad sense to refer to shelters or the built environment in general. Architecture perhaps adequately captures this broad sense of housing to refer to the key tenets the constructions humans build to protect themselves from the elements. However, since architecture has evolved in many ways far from just housing, often it seems difficult to establish connections between architecture and housing or sheltering. My frequent use of the term ―housing‖ seeks to maintain in perspective the ancient origin of architecture, which is closely related to the building of shelters or houses. 87 Ellen and Fukui, Ibid, 454. 88 Livingston, Ibid, 15. Livingston, however, moves too quickly to a ―symbolic‖ approach from regarding domestication in relation to the house in a ―literal‖ sense and treats domestication in terms of ideology and dependence. He states: ―I believe that in spite of our cultural conditioning and domesticated ideological dependence, as living beings we still have simultaneous access, if we will it, to all four states of self-consciousness: individual, group, community, planetary. In theory at least, we all retain the capacity for wildness.‖ Ibid, 118. 16
  17. 17. Domestication was formally established and reflected via sedentary living conditions, patterns, and habits. Ruth Tringham89 speaks about humans domesticating plants and animals, ―as well as how the humans themselves become domesticated through learning to live with each other in confined spaces (architecture).‖ The most important changes in daily life in the Neolithic don‘t really have anything to do with ‗stone‘. The Neolithic is a time when people began to settle down and construct and live in dwellings, which would last not only throughout the year but also for many years, perhaps many generations. This change that archaeologists call ‗sedentism‘ is an important prelude to some other significant changes. Some of us think this is the most important change since it means the domestication of humans.90 Tringham‘s helpful approach, however, deserves qualification. ―Sedentism‖ does not correspond to domestication, but to settling. More distinctively, architecture denotes built or framed rather than ―confined‖ space. Resembling traditional accounts, Tringham‘s view implies two conditions for human domestication, namely, human agency by ―learning to live with each other‖ and ―in confined spaces (architecture).‖ But previous to the emergence of built shelters, humans settled and learned to inhabit, with each other, confined spaces—caves—and that did not make them domesticated. Nomadic tribes became domesticated as built shelters emerged, first temporarily (while continuing nomadic lifestyles), then permanently (becoming sedentary). The first human centers of population were unsettled or transitory nomadic conglomerates in the Palaeolithic. They evolved into long-lasting settlements in the Neolithic. More distinctively than transiting from unsettled to settled societies, in terms of domestication, humans were retrieving from natural environments to inhabit built environments. While domestication emerged among nomads, the condition of buildings was established firmly among settled peoples. Nevertheless, judging by the degree of today‘s built environment, domestication now conditions sedentary and nomadic peoples alike. The built environment stapled its indelible mark on earth. Domestication is very recent but powerfully threatening. Greatly contributing to mass extinction and unprecedented suffering via weaponry, pollution and global warming, the city embodies the leading domestic intervention on society and ecology. Human life within caves represents a pre-domesticating phase. Dwelling in caves represents the transiting from inhabiting natural spaces into inhabiting human built and artificial constructions. Initially, humans accommodated themselves to natural habitats, later to caves, which still significantly represent natural habitats. But the built environment shifted human accommodation into ecological transformation. This shift and dynamic transformational discontinuity typically characterizes and differentiates between natural and artificial living environments. Artificial environments refer to ―modified‖ natural or wild environments. Buildings—the architectural modification of wild environments—marks domestication. The influence of the built environment emerged among nomads but developed and became established among settled peoples. The debate regarding the difference between natural or artificial splits between fixists (settled order of things) and fuxists (do not settled order of things). Ernest Adams considers that ―all classifications are to a degree natural and to a degree artificial.‖91 Natural or artificial depends not in the things in themselves but in the way of conceptualizing about them. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and 89 English anthropologist Ruth Tringham (born 1940). 90 Ruth Tringham, Unit Title: Life in the Neolithic 1 - Living in Houses (N.A.) [online], available: http://www.mactia.berkeley.edu/aop/modules/Neo1_module_web.htm [2005, December 18]. 91 Ernest W. Adams, Archaeological Typology and Practical Reality: A Dialectical Approach to Artifact Classification and Sorting (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 279. 17
  18. 18. William R. Newman contend that ―the notions of nature and art are mutually constructed.‖92 They resolve the debate as a matter of degree and argue for the inseparability of natural and artificial. Art and nature are two inseparable partners whose movements continuously shape and reshape the map of those cultures that have inherited the ancient yet modern distinction between techne¯ and physis.93 However partners they may be considered, and acknowledging the dynamic or fuxist characteristic of earthly systems, which implicitly avoids a fixist posture, my contention is that natural and artificial greatly differ on their social and ecological impact. While natural dynamics tend to address matters of survival, artificial dynamics tend to go beyond survival and introduce and nurture discontinuities incarnating matters of domination and predation. For instance, artificial dynamics have degenerated into the pleasure of infringing suffering. Precisely, to accept such domination dynamics as natural reflects an extreme predatory artificiality. Beyond the physical dimension of the human built environment, domestication also refers to the metaphysical influence and conditioning on organisms via the very notion and conception of the existence and potential presence of the human built environment, e.g., destroyed architecture, projected construction. Hence, since humans have endured domestication and since domestication has reached humanity as a ―whole,‖ the human species can be referred to as Homo domesticus. When adopting the notion that domestication refers to the influence of the built environment on organisms, the theoretical context changes. While domestication and taming differ in their means (taming via technique, domestication via the built environment), they represent dimensions of a similar conditioning enterprise. Taming and domestication replicate and reinforce each other. While some techniques influence only individuals, others condition entire species. In the case of humans, the taming conditioning effect of ideology influences individuals, groups, and the entire human species, while the domesticating conditioning influence of the built environment has reached, directly or indirectly, the entire human species. The theoretical context where we can arrive after the above considerations is that modern earthly life has for some time and currently continues to evolve under the influence of domestication. 2.3. INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN DOMESTICATION Human domestication refers to the influence of the built environment on the human species. Even though Livingston contends that domestication literally means ―to bring it into our house,‖94 he refers to human domestication through ideology: the ―domesticated prosthetic devise‖.95 Wilson argues that humans are domesticated in small towns and villages. Whether in or out of the house, in the presence of abandoned ancient ruins, rural routes, small towns, or mega-cities, my contention is that domestication refers to the influence the presence or expectancy of the built environment exercises on organisms, hence we can speak of human domestication. Domestication establishes no dualism to classify humanity. Jack Goody criticizes Claude Lévi- Strauss96 dichotomy of savage and domesticated.97 He prefers to understand historical changes—e.g., 92 Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent and William R. Newman, eds., The Artificial and the Natural: An Evolving Polaritys (The Massachusetts Institute Technology Press, 2007), 18. 93 Ibid, 18. 94 Livingston, Ibid, 15. Livingston, however, moves too quickly to a ―symbolic‖ approach from regarding domestication in relation to the house in a ―literal‖ sense and treats domestication in terms of ideology and dependence. He states: ―I believe that in spite of our cultural conditioning and domesticated ideological dependence, as living beings we still have simultaneous access, if we will it, to all four states of self-consciousness: individual, group, community, planetary. In theory at least, we all retain the capacity for wildness.‖ Ibid, 118. 95 Ibid, 11, 56, 57, and 58. 96 French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (born 1908). 18
  19. 19. from gesture to oral, from oral to writing—as critical and complex conditions rather than dichotomies. Goody acknowledges human domestication. ―If we wish to speak of the ‗savage mind,‘ these were some of the instruments of its domestication…‖98 Since the relation between humans and other organisms is a vast and complex enterprise, this study refers to domestication as a metaphor, using it as a linguistic and philosophical mechanism to theorize about humans. Humans have lived for generations under conditions of domestication. Norbert Sachser anticipates that mammals will grow up as individuals relating primarily to conspecifics or individuals of the same species.99 Studying domestic and wild guinea pigs from physiological, domestication, and social evolution perspectives led him to conclude that the study of ontogeny and behaviour among mammals goes back beyond environment and social experiences through birth, and to prenatal, and ancestral conditions. Sachser‘s rules for domesticated group-living mammals, including the human race are: they succeed in reproduction; their perceived degree of welfare and stress represent consequences of social interactions marked by natural selection through social evolutionary processes of their wild ancestors; and their behavioural and physiological patterns were brought about during the process of domestication.100 2.4. A HISTORICAL CONTEXT FOR HUMAN DOMESTICATION Homo is the genus that includes modern humans and their close relatives. 101 Lucy102 (the most ancient Homo remains, found in 1974 in Tanzania) dates to about 3 megaannums (Ma) Before Present 97 English social anthropologist Sir John (Jack) Goody (born 1919) disagrees with the binarist or dualist approach. He aptly speaks of a generalized victim condition under the inaccuracy of ―the ethnocentric binarism enshrined in our own categories, of the crude division of world societies into primitive and advanced, European and non-European, simple and complex. As general signposts these terms may be permissible. But to build on so slender a base the distinct approaches to the physical universe seems scarcely justified.‖ Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), 8. 98 Ibid, 162. 99 Norbert Sachser, ―Of Domestic and Wild Guinea Pigs: Studies in Sociophysiology, Domestication and Social Evolution,‖ Naturwissenschaften 85, no. 7 (27 July 1998): 307-17. 100 Ibid, 307-17. 101 Unless otherwise referenced, the general introductory survey this section presents adapts materials published in: National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI): National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2005 September), Genome.gov [online], available: http://www.genome.gov/ [2005, December 18]; Ashbya Genome Database (AGD) (2006, January 23), Biozentrum: University of Basel, Switzerland [online], available: http://agd.unibas.ch/ [2006, January 23]; International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) (December 2005) [online], available: http://www.stratigraphy.org/ [2005, December 19]; International Union of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences (Congrès international des Sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques - CISPP) (2002, janvier 23) [online], available: http://www.ulg.ac.be/prehist/uispp/uispp-home.html [2005, December 20]; The Online Literature Library (2005, May 23), Literature.org [online], available: http://www.literature.org/ [2005, December 20]; Helicon (2006 copyright), Research Machines plc [online], available: http://www.helicon.co.uk/ [2006, January 18]; International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) (2005, November 15), National Museum of Natural History (NMNH): Archaeobiology Program [online], available: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/anthro/icaz/ [2005, December 17]; Zooarchaeology (2004, December 06), WWW Zooarchaeology.com: The World Wide Web’s Virtual Library for the Archaeology of Animals [online], available: http://www.zooarchaeology.com/ [2005, December 21]; Houghton Mifflin Company (HMCo) (2006 copyright) [online], available: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/epub/ [2006, January 23]; Dictionary of the History of Ideas (DHI) (2003 copyright), The Gale Group [The University of Virginia Library: The Electronic Text Center] [online], Available: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/DicHist/dict.html [2005, December 19]; Free Online Dictionary by Farlex (2005 copyright), Farlex Inc. [online], available: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ [2005, December 17]; Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2006 copyright), Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. [online], available from http://www.britannica.com/ [2006, January 22]; The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) (2006 copyright), The Stanford University: The Metaphysics Research Lab [online], available: http://plato.stanford.edu/ [2006, January 19]; Genetic Engineering (2002-2006 copyright), Bookstrike.com [G. Ganesh, Dennis, Nathaniel, Cai Peng] [online], available: http://www.bootstrike.com/Genetics/Home/index.html [2006, January 20]; Cambridge Center 19
  20. 20. (BP).103 Evidence shows Homo habilis or ―handy man‖ (handy human) existing 2 Ma BP, using primitive stone tools (choppers) in Tanzania.104 By 1.6 Ma BP Homo erectus appeared in Africa and migrated to other continents, primarily to south Asia, and between 0.50 and 0.25 Ma BP Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens. By 150,000 in Africa and Asia and 28,000 years ago in Europe appeared the single surviving hominid species, the modern human.105 Humans define themselves in many ways, including biologically, socially, and spiritually. Nonetheless humans are still biologically classified as a bipedal primate of the superfamily of Hominoidea, including the apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons). Modern humans belong to the species Homo sapiens, which from the Latin refers to ―wise or clever human.‖106 Archaeologists and anthropologists developed the ―Three Age System‖ to classify human prehistory (before writing history, dated for Egypt to 3500 BCE) into periods named according to the respective tool-making technologies.107 It divides human prehistory into Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages.108 The term Stone Age designates the vast pre-metallurgic period whose stone tools survived far more widely than tools made from other (softer) materials. The period encompasses the first widespread use of technology and technique in human evolution and the spread of humanity from the savannas of East Africa to the rest of the world. It ends with the development of agriculture, the domestication of certain animals and the smelting of copper ore to produce metal. The Stone Age was subsequently subdivided into three periods: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic, when human domestic settlements appeared. 2.5. CONTRASTING ETHNOGRAPHIES: SEDENTARY VIS-A-VIS NOMADIC A comparison between sedentary and nomad societies enlightens the awareness of human domestication. Peter J. Wilson explores domesticated sedentary ethnography in contrast to that of nomad societies to argue for small town life as domesticated human life. For him, human domestication refers to for Behavioral Studies (CCBS) (1997-2006 copyright) [online], available: http://www.behavior.org/ [2006, January 22]; World Archaeological Congress (WAC) (2003-4 copyright), Flinders University [online], available: http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/wac/ [2006, July 4]; International Union of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences [Congrès international des Sciences préhistoriques et protohistoriques (CISPP)] (2002, janvier 23), l'Université de Liègeand [online], available: http://www.ulg.ac.be/prehist/; and International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) (2005, March 2) [online], available: http://www.iugs.org/ [2006, January 22]. 102 Cremo argues that Lucy was formed from two skeletal remains. He comments that archaeologists and anthropologists in general know about it, and that it shows an example of how many conflictive findings have been systematically veiled from public domain. Michael Cremo and Forbidden Archaeology Etc., http://www.mcremo.com/. 103 In professional literature, Ma is used to mean megaannum or million years. The abbreviation mya is used in popular science writing and stands for ―million years ago.‖ Also, metrologists use the expression Before Present (BP) to actually mean before 1950. 104 Homo habilis probably lived with Paranthropis robustus. While the homos are meat-eating, the Paranthropus eats plants and termites. 105 All Homo species except Homo sapiens are extinct. The last surviving relative, Homo neanderthalensis, died out 30,000 years ago, although recent evidence suggests that Homo floresiensis, ―Man of Flores (Flowers),‖ remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times, lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. 106 Peter Gärdenfors, How Homo Became Sapiens: On the Evolution of Thinking (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). 107 John Lubbock, Pre-historic Times: As Illustrated by Ancient Remains and the Manners and Customs of Modern Savages (London; Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, 1865). 108 Because of its helpful simplicity, this study uses the Three-Age System (developed by the Danish curator of the National Museum of Denmark C.J. Thomsen, at the instigation of his predecessor Rasmus Nyerup, and to resolve display issues), although acknowledging that archaeological discoveries suggest a more complex prehistory. This general referential system seems increasingly inapplicable. Also, it initially applies to the ―older world‖ (Euro-Asian-African). Other systems have been designed for the ―newer world‖ (America). Elaine Dewar, Bones, Discovering the First Americans (Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2002). 20
  21. 21. the influence the small town exercises on humans. To minimize the temptation of pejorative or romantic descriptions, he interprets nomads from inside, aware of his own positioning in a tribal ethnographic perspective. 2.5.1. Domestication as a cultural development From a natural selection view and since society means the interplay and influence among humans, humans are domesticated in society. Domestication is not intrinsic to humans, says Wilson, but a major cultural innovation—i.e., an evolutionary event adopted by humans. Domestication, apparently, did not follow agriculture; rather, ―Archeological evidence clearly indicates that agriculture was not a prerequisite for sedentism and that human domestication occurred independently of plant and animal domestication.‖109 Human domestication may have inspired animal and plant domestication. Anthropologists and archaeologists show that hominids gradually shifted their living practices from arboreal environments to permanent houses and settlements on the plains. In principle, for Wilson, ―domesticated society relies to a great extent on the house as both a dominant cultural symbol and a central relaying point and context for social organization and activity.‖110 Technically, Wilson refers to domesticated peoples neither as hunter/gatherers nor as modern urban dwellers, but as villagers, people living in hamlets and small towns. Wilson argues: All [civilizations] featured architecture at their centre…. In turn, architecture itself is founded on the discipline and imperatives of geometry…. We are the direct heirs of Neolithic geometry and the arts and sciences that derive from it: tonal music, perspective painting, architecture, mechanics, ballistics, formal gardens, town planning, and theatre, to mention but a few.111 Adopting Wilson‘s analysis, since modern society is rooted in the past, including Wilson‘s domesticated societies or present human conglomerates living in small towns, modern society relates to domesticated society. 2.5.2. Domestication and human perception According to Wilson, domestication alters humans‘ ability to pay attention. While appreciating the role of instincts in human evolution and conduct, he sees human senses as foundational for emotions and instincts. The study of proto-human primates indicates that their societies were oriented toward dominance (the subject of competition) and subordination (the subject of hierarchy). In primates, hence in humans, intrinsically uncertain (error-prone) visual perception (equivalent of believing and knowing to English speakers) and attention were dominant for adaptation, survival, and well being.112 Social life is grounded in vision. Domestication influences vision, particularly human vision. Chimpanzees master pretence, use revelation and deception, and cultivate appearance. Survival learning and feeding-touching interactions among mammals also represent crucial mother-infant relationships relying on constant visual attention and perception. Vision, however, presents for human society inherent difficulties and complexity, more as a matter of interpretation (structuring, destructuring, restructuring, inference, induction, and hypothesis) than of direct access. Vision seems highly subjected to uncertainty. Thus, uncertain vision dominates human perception. Domestication further distorts already uncertain human perception. 109 Wilson, The Domestication of the Human Species, Ibid, 59. 110 Ibid, 4. 111 Ibid, 152. 112 Chance refers to four kinds of attention relations: Hedonic, relying on rewards and approval in return for display; Agnostic, binding with threats; Centric, surrounding by others and being the focus of their attention; Acentric, dividing attention between the self and the objects of the environment. Michael R. A. Chance and Ray R. Larsen, eds., The Social Structure of Attention (London; New York: Wiley, 1976). 21

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