Archives for: June 2007
Blood Group anthropology supplies a way to frame a modern crisis: The divorce of human diet from our own species' natural habitats and place in the food chain. The advent of neolithicity signified Man's assuming control of the earth and its wildlife, eventuating in our associating fish with the Seafood Department, meat with the butcher's shop, grains with boxes and sealed plastic bags, and vegetables and fruits with "Produce" bins.
Paleolithic man, we are taught, was of the O blood group, hunting and gathering meat, fish, greens and berries, co-participating in terrestrial life with other life forms. Blood group A mutated to facilitate a wholly different (and "modern", regnant) manner of living on earth: The mastery of plant and animal life, which has defined the history of Civilization. B mutated later, and in small numbers, as shepherds migrated further into the wilderness with flocks and herds, becoming nomads with infrequent contact with settled communities. AB was generated, appearing a millennium or so ago, of the cross-breeding of migrating Asiatic B's with, on the west end, settled Europeans, and, on the east, Japanese and western Asians: A thoroughly modern development.
My previous Blog treated of AB's as yet indefinite anthropology; in the mystery of AB's vocation lies, I believe, the solution to our profound environmental malaise: Where do we go, as a species, as a "civilization", from here?
B reacted versus A, one could argue, by altogether leaving the farms and towns; but the 20th century witnessed the veritable annihilation of B's nomadism by technology, which replaced the various animal-relationships upon which B lifestyles depended, whether with horses, camels, or even yaks, and, by extension, sheep and goats. Motorized transport, mobile telephones, refrigeration: These increasingly, and now quite finally, halted B's unique adaptive relationship to the earth and its dominant cultures.
I posit the human/animal relationship-type as fundamental to blood group differentiation, and my own blood group, B, as arising from a rebellion, if you will, of shepherds against agricultural and urban hegemony. There were just enough of us ready to depart from cities and farms, courageous enough to throw in our lot with animals chosen for their ability to supply us with numerous products and services in exchange for our finding pasturage for them in ever more remote locales. During the first centuries A.D., however, as our blood group's populations returned to the cities, we abandoned more and more of our geographically nomadic ways, spinning-off the next era's groundbreakers, the AB's, who, since nomadism's very recent decease, may hold the key to the resolution of Modernity's ecological dilemmas, as we study its developing relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.
When we look back at the disappearances of more ancient civilizations, we are baffled as to how these highly developed centers simply ceased to exist. Yet, in our own lifetimes, numerous peoples amongst earth's humans, have been forced by technology's encroachment to integrate themselves into alien predominant ways of life, especially to the high-tech juggernaut. Animal-rights concerns and environmentalism may turn out to have been the distant precursor of AB's unique (and technologically sophisticated?) stab at an answer, one that shall singularly encompass and represent the strivings of all of its blood group forebears. In the meantime, while A supplies the older, settled, established human-dominant community allele, and B (which FOUND a solution but, since AB's technics era, this was squelched) contributes the minority "outlaw"- mutual-subsistence allele, it is O's primaeval memories and stories that haunt, drive, and even inspire us all.
What AB shall make of the melange, and the opportunity, is Posterity's Secret.