Not our genetics, not our form. If this was our sole measure of success then we would have died out in places where persistence hunting failed. Instead, our success comes from being a storied people.
Instead of a genetic shift over time, a storied people relies on memetic changes and the epigenetic changes that result from those memetics.
Epigenetics, which is a relatively new field, hypothesizes that a chunk of DNA is expressed only in relation to an environmental stress or benefit. Epigenetics speaks to the physical changes that occur that allow humans to adapt to an environment, causing variation in their appearance, though they are fundamentally the same.
The same… well… the same kind of being that can choose to mate with their neighbors, to build relationships and nurture them.
What does it mean to be a storied people? A people who use culture to alter themselves?
It means there is no such thing as a human race. It means there is no such thing as an “Adam” and an “Eve”. A case in point, sometime before we ‘matured’ into homo sapiens sapiens, we started hanging out with wolves.
Any biologist can point out the sudden shift in ‘human’ attitude and ‘wolf’ attitude that resulted in a co-evolutionary path. The two species couldn’t mate genetically, but epigenetically and memetically, they were on-fire.
Homo lupus gave way to tribes. Tribes gave birth to an impossible variety of humans. Homo Lakota. Homo Cymmru, Homo Taino, Homo Gunwinggu. Ultimately, the cancer that is Homo Civis.
It’s that epigenetic flexibility which is our strength. It’s also why the ‘origin of the species’ will consistently be wrong. And it’s chasing after a myth which has never been the reality of our species.
We are all Adams and Eves.