Rule By The Moon In Human Origins And Evolution

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Chris Knight

Rule By The Moon In Human Origins And Evolution

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 18:45

Chris Knight has always claimed that the moon played a much larger role in human evolution than is generally thought. This lecture will summarize his overall theory of the origins of religion, ritual, language and symbolic culture. For our distant African ancestors, the moon became crucial from the moment we left the shelter of forest life and began occupying open savanna territory. In this new environment, early humans sought safety in numbers to counter the threat posed by lions and other large cats whose night vision was far superior to ours. Lions prefer to hunt when the moon is dark, which explains why even to this day, hunter-gatherer women choose to sing in chorus at dark moon to keep dangerous predators away. Unlike our ape relatives, women have a menstrual cycle of the length you would predict if synchronizing with the moon had been adaptive in our evolutionary past.

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Chris Knight

A Plains Indian Myth: When Women Lost Their Power
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

'The Wives of the Sun and Moon' is one of the key myths of Claude Levi-Strauss' monumental study, Mythologiques. This evening will begin with a story-telling followed by a workshop and class discussion to decode the message of the myth. Originally, according to the Arapaho Indians of North American Plains, marriage was not a fixed state but a periodic alternation between one kind of relationship and another, a once-a-month honeymoon followed each month by divorce and re-union with kin. Everything started going badly wrong when hunting and gathering gave way to gardening, the lunar calendar gave way to a seasonal/solar rhythm - and womankind became subject to wedlock as a permanent state.