MASTERY OF THE LINE DIMENSION AND INTENTIONAL/DIRECTIONAL MOVEMENT
Intrinsic to being able to move is to have somewhere to go. Seeing something, recognizing it and making the choice to move towards or away from it, or do nothing, was the emergence of intentional action. Although our ancestors first discovered the line dimension in the forefathers of vertebrates, animals that evolved an internal spine with a bilateral body plan excelled at exploring the potentials afforded by this dimension. This exploration was established on the development of three critical systems::
1) A way to move toward or away from something that had been sensed.
2) A way to sense something that was not in contact with the life form, which required visual or auditory processing. Visual processing is the first to emerge.
3) A way to make a decision about what had been sensed based on multiple factors (forming an INTENTION). If prey was seen, predation had to be evaluated against hunger and risk. If a predator was recognized the protective tactics to either fight or flee had to be evaluated. These ancestral cognitive mechanisms, which continue as an element of our daily experience, requires a primitive sense of the passage of Time – predicting the future based on past experience.
These three cofactors required for the emergence of Vertebrates are discussed here:
- Human Beings have two primary structural elements, the Locomotive Core and the Manipulation Core. The Manipulation Core is unique to our species, but, although specialized for our species needs, we share our Locomotive Core with all Vertebrates. Vertebrates are animals with an Endoskeleton, a boney, centralized compressional loading system which is much more adaptable than the more primitive encasing Exoskeleton seen in the animals’ from which Vertebrates evolved. A key feature of Vertebrates is the Spine, from which all structural and functional attributes extend.
Discussion of our Locomotive Core, in the context of the structural frameworks which are synergistically integrated into our species:
/The animals in our direct lineage resolved that a bilateral body plan was the most efficient.
- A precursor to movement having utility is having somewhere to go. This requires some sense of what is ahead. Vision coevolved with the other attributes of movement, enabling recognition of the beneficial or detrimental consequences of moving towards something, or something moving towards the viewer. Vision is the first sense our ancestors evolved that enabled awareness of and predictions about things that were beyond the boundary of the organism (not touching it in some way). The first visual processing was genetically “hard-wired” primitive pattern recognition, which is still active in our neurology (Blind-Sight). However, the utility of visual processing combined with the ability to move entailed the evolution of many refinements, which we observe in the range of vertebrate species alive today
The evolution of “Doing” is a profound event in the lineage of Living Things. Moving about, or doing something, profoundly changed the characteristics of life on Earth. The complexities of “making something happen” elevate “action” to an archetypal domain, which is required for describing the qualities of the Living Things which comprise our lineage. The Doing Archetype, in the context of the Archetypal Framework, is discussed here:
Protection was one of the first features that evolved to enable evolutionary success. Once animals began moving around these protective responses developed into what we now call the Fight/Flight response. Fight/Flight has many structural/functional characteristics, many of which we have inherited from our ancestors who first evolved these traits. There is a section on the evolution of protective responses, which includes a paper on Fight/Flight:
In our ancestral lineage creatures, that utilized the Line Dimension were those that developed a central nervous system and vertebral column. These were sea-dwelling animals that eventually crawled onto land, requiring them to deal with Gravity. The story of the evolution of land animals is the story of the mastery of movement in a gravitational field, which eventually led to our ancestor’s mastery of balancing and moving on only two legs, and the immense potentials that transition introduced to our species.
UTILIZATION OF THE PASSAGE OF TIME
Vertebrates implemented successful tactics by formulating intentions and then acting on those intentions. This required utilizing the dimension of Time in a new way by recording what happened and then using those memories to predict the future. Originally genetically “hard-wired”, this ability to remember eventually evolved into our sophisticated capacity to learn.
NEXT EVOLUTIONARY LEAP
THE SUBSET MAMMALS