In this book, a totally new picture of five million years of human evolutionary history is presented.
Male and female hominids lived separately in different areas for most of the last five million years. They met together once a year and stayed together for a brief period. What they did for and during this annual mating season is the key to the proper and correct understanding of human evolution.
Five million years ago, the last common ancestors of the African great apes and humans lived in an extensive rain forest encompassing a river and a lake. There was a system of mountains, a lake and a river, all of which were linked together. Ever since then, mountains, rivers and lakes were intimately involved with humankind.
When the climate turned arid, the riverside forest broke into fragments of small forests. In desperate need of food, the last common ancestors were forced to visit the trees which dotted the river shore. They developed a unique mode of terrestrial locomotion to move between the main forest and the scattered patches of forest.
One day, during drought, a small group of apes ventured to a faraway tract of forest beside the river. On the road, they were caught in heavy rain and in the resulting frenzy, they lost their way back home. During their wanderings, they evolved into gorillas. Almost at the same time, another small group of apes met the same fate, and evolved into chimpanzees.
As the climate grew increasingly arid, the year divided itself into dry and wet seasons. During the dry season, males were forced to remain in the nearby mountain ranges because there weren't enough food in the home forest to support both males and females. As a result, males and females parted ways during the annual dry season. These were the ancestral hominids, who evolved into australopithecines.
Two and a half million years ago, as the climate became incresingly arid, the forest surrounding the lake began to break up and disappear. Finally, the female hominids, the inhabitants of the forest at the margin of the lake, were forced down to the ground. They became fully terrestrial, but they did not know where to find food and water. Consequently, females began to follow herds of Hipparion horses. Later, they switched to one-toed horses. Following these migrating horses, some hominids ended up in East Asia from Africa about 2 million years ago. In the same fashion, some hominids later wound up in Europe.
In the meantime, male hominids developed and acquired unique behavior. As rain began to fall, they went downstream to their courting ground. There, they beat the ground with sticks to attract and seduce mates. They beat pebbles, sand, the bones of dead animals or anything else on the ground, leaving behind piles of fractured, dented, and broken bones. These stone debris are erroneously called Oldowan tools by archaeologists and anthropologists.
Rain was so important to our remote ancestors because the rain was a harbinger of the brief annual mating season. They prayed for the coming of rain as the climate became arid. They prayed earnestly by beating the ground with sticks in their place of courtship. In due course, hominids became prayers.
Later as rain began to fall irregularly, the rain lost its foremost importance. Instead, the horse ascended in importance. Now, males prayed for the coming of the horse, accompanied by their mates.
About 32,000 years ago, Upper Palaeolithic Europeans began to pray for the coming of the horse by carving, engraving and painting horses on the cave walls. Painting was simply another version of prayer. The same was true for language. Human language was developed out of verbal prayer.
In this book, the common thread running through the entire history of human evolution is crisply and clearly explicated. The origins of construction, music, sculpture, handicrafts, painting and languages are all clarified as variations of the same theme. That theme was prayer.