The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Stoning adulteresses

Throwing shit (often literally) at enemies is a common primate trick. In the Near East, there was a custom of stoning adulterers. But there was no concept of "adultery" in chimpanzee society (as opposed to gorillas, and us). Somehow we got from there to here.

I expect that throwing stones was an ancestral way for a human band to, ritually, cast out a fellow human. Where there was adultery, the trust of the family was broken. So that's part of it.

If Neanderthals were the first human monoandrists, then they had the first adulteresses. It also happens that Neanderthals first met modern humans in the Near East, which is after all the border between East Africa and the rest of the planet (assuming the impassibility of the Sahara and Med).

So it was Neanderthals who taught our ancestors how to stone adulteresses. For this to have affected the Neanderthal sperm-cell, Neanderthals must have been doing it for a long time and, by the time we met, the stonings had become fatal.

posted by Zimri on 15:40 | link | 0 comments

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