Paul Allen's PBS TV Series Rebuttal to Rock Prophecy:

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Paul Allen = RED, and Michael Fairchild = BLUE


EV 2001: What has allowed bonobos female [monkeys] to establish such peaceful relations with males?...The answer is female solidarity. By cooperating with each other and solidifying their bonds and reducing any tension that does exist, they are able to form alliances with each other and cooperatively dominate males, and this changes the whole balance of power, and the whole social dynamic in the group, and makes [bonobos monkeys] radically different from chimpanzees.

RP 1999: Wallen explains, "Male Rhesus monkeys spend their lives living in essentially a female dominated social structure: the females indicate when they want to engage in sex and who they want to engage in sex with, and they are very persistent about that. It's clear in monkey groups that the female regulates the sexual interaction, and the female chooses which male she's going to interact with and when she's going to mate." Wallen theorizes that the ancestors of modern man maintained a similar social structure: "I suspect that sexual activity of early hominids was probably quite different than what we see in modern society. First, females were probably much more sexually assertive than is the case today, and secondly, female relations were probably much more crucial to the social structure of early hominid groups. I think that the characteristic pattern of males to be interested in sex rather continuously was probably the same then as it is today. But it was females that regulated the sexual activity by initiating sex with males when they were interested in this and not engaging in sex when they weren't." Under such conditions, where females regulate sex, and men maintained continual interest in sex, it would make sense that males would seek a means to undermine such control over them from their female mates.

EV 2001: Darwin's contemporaries had no trouble with male competition. But females actively directing evolution through their choice of mates? That was too much. This was the aspect of sexual selection that Victorians really had trouble with. They couldn't imagine that mere female animal brains could be shaping something as grand and important as evolution itself. In those days, females didn't have choices…So radical was the idea of female choice that it was more than a century before anyone tested it.

RP 1999: Patriarchy…at the core is fear that female sexuality will somehow become this chaotic force and nature will become this chaotic force overtaking us. So we have to have everything very tightly controlled and hierarchically ordered…Men wanted open access to sex on male terms. They learned that the way to achieve this is all in the mind. Through the concepts, stories, and myths of religion, men built connections step-by-step that wrested from women the ability to regulate sex. By way of greater strength a father could force mother and child to learn stories and suffer consequences for disobedience to rules. Thus the myths of religion were erected by men for the purpose of undermining a woman's ability to refuse sex. "All in the mind" means that belief is all it takes to subvert the urges of biology. A female's more intermittent interest in sex, as opposed to the typical male's ongoing lust, frustrated the men of pre-history, leaving them with a choice of abstinence, masturbation, or rape. Then everything changed when men learned to use beliefs about hell and damnation to weaken a woman's ability to refuse her mate's advances. "Laws of God" were invoked to undermine her right to abstain from sex. Men achieved this power through stories about the sinfulness of the body. By claiming that God condemns flesh, the religions of men proclaim that males are closer to God than females, because woman produce flesh. While this belief deems sex/sensuality as bad, it also demeans women, the makers of flesh, and thus sanctions supremacy for men…Through exaggerations of female sexuality, men erect a premise upon which control of "lecherous ladies" appears essential for everyone's survival. Control is the whole issue that males are concerned with because, from the beginning, females have always been the more natural regulators of sex.

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EV 2001: When females choose a trait that is an honest indicator of good genes, that trait spreads throughout the population over generations…A deep biological dilemma: for some species, the chances of their offspring surviving increase if a female chooses a mate who will stick around, over the one with the best genes. Evolution has favored, in many species, males and females who share the job of parenting.

RP 1999: In species like birds, where infants need constant care, the bonding together of parent couples is common. Pair bonding among humans also likely results from infant dependency because children require adult supervision for many years. But such monogamy is rare among mammals: just three percent of mammals mate with a single spouse for a lifetime. Human beings are an exception, to a degree…Man was not even remotely aware of his own physical role in the production of children. That knowledge seems not to have come until the early days of farming, sometime after 10,000 B.C.E., and…it crystallized his sense of possessiveness, for the concept of "my son" required the child's mother to be tied to one man only.

EV 2001: Male songbirds are only going to give up philandering if he believes the chicks he's staying home to help raise are his own. The result is monogamy, a social solution to a biological dilemma. Human infants are also born heavily dependent on parental care…but monogamy isn't easy to attain, while some evolutionary forces encourage it, others threaten the family values that are at its core.

RP 1999: By studying various primates, anthropologists find clues to human evolution. For example, whereas the promiscuous female chimpanzee will mate with a series of males and bond with none of them, a female gibbon monkey bonds exclusively with one mate for many years. This may be because, like a human female, the gibbon lacks an estrus cycle, the reproductive cycle that drives most other female primates (like the chimpanzee) to seek intercourse during peak days of ovulation. Estrus cycles inspire promiscuity, because most female primates avoid sex when they are not ovulating, so male primates are in constant pursuit of any mate who is at the receptive stage of her cycle and ready for sex.

EV 2001: It turns out that when women are ovulating, and the chances of getting pregnant are high, there is a consistent shift in what they find attractive toward a more masculine looking male. Just like with the songbirds, that's when the unconscious lure of those "good genes" is strongest.

RP 1999: But since the female gibbon, like a human female, lacks an estrus cycle - and is therefore receptive during more days of her monthly menstrual cycle - a male can form a lasting bond because sex is accessible to him more often with this single mate. This is the theory behind monogamous mating, but it doesn't explain why a human female, even when receptive for sex throughout her menstrual cycle, often chooses to court several partners anyway, rather than bond with just one male. In fact, during the five thousand years of recorded history, most people have mated in a promiscuous way. "If, in the early days, humanity bore a strong family resemblance to the chimpanzee," explains Tannahill, "at least one major biological change must subsequently have taken place . . . the human female's menstrual cycle must gradually have replaced the estrus cycle of the primates, a modification with long-term results in the case of the female's own sexuality, and long-term repercussions on the relationship between men and women."

RP 1999: Both monogamy and polygamy have flourished among humans at differing times throughout pre-history. Such mating behaviors are adapted to the changing environment. With our needs shaped by a variety of unstable forces, flexibility in our response increases our chance for survival. "Perhaps the most reasonable hypothesis is that the human race originally resembled its chimpanzee relatives in being promiscuous," concludes Tannahill.

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