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The evolution of fear in the human lineage

It’s the fear that creates the need for abstract symbolic objects; it’s the requirements of a cognitive system evolved to achieve the fastest reaction time as possible for a threat, it’s a system that is constantly active in a creature that spend its entire life in a constant state of alert hence fear, and it’s the normal state for that creature.

Most creatures are depended on two lines of defense – always in the following order: 

  • 1st line of defense: Earliest detection time of a “threat X”
  • 2nd line of defense: Earliest reaction time to the disclosed “threat X”

We on the other hand are depended only on the 2nd line of defense our 1st line of defense – the earliest detection is completely imaginary and internally produced (it called belief):

We are solely dependent on earliest as possible reaction time to a threat that are randomly and suddenly appears out of the blue as we are lacking any proper earliest detection system – especially when we sleep. 

The deep sleep of an animal sleeping in the safety of the sheltering canapé is the first main hurdle of such animal now living on the exposed dangerous ground with no change in physiology.

This is mean that we have lived with extreme sense of fear and all of our fight or flight systems where constantly on, in other words we couldn’t sleep especially at night.

And when you can’t sleep you become delusional and delusions are day dreaming (optimism) that’s how we started to imagine a better future and dream away (cover-up) current realities. 

Luckily we developed an amazing 3 dimensional imaginary system (to calculate fast and agile brachiation (swinging between branches) which includes parabolic movement in 3 dimensional environment of the canapé (aspheric axis system)) based on amazing short term memory with capacity to process gigabits of fast incoming information and to produce an internal output of the future while traveling in speeds of 50 kilometer per hour leaping 30 meters in the air in the most complex (branches…) environment on the planet .

This amazing and unique ability of the tailless swingers is not shared with any other surface dwelling animal (walking on land or on branch are the same both are surface by definition – hence a 2 dimensional environment):

Only swingers can calculate three dimensional parabolic routs utilizing Newton’s second law of motion together with Conservation Laws and Conservation of Momentum laws) producing accurate prediction.

Not only that the calculations are than being scripted and broadcast and presented in IMAX quality by our  Brain(Computer)-generated imagery (BGI)), this system was our pervious navigation and orientation system resides in the heads of our gibbon like ancestors: this system was used for predicting and flashing vivid three dimensional set of colored picture of the future (animated gif) portraying your next muscle movement that are needed to be executed and synchronize all the way to your next contact point with reality: your imaginary BGI animated gif image portraying you arriving to the next contact point (a branch) a fraction of a second before you actually arrived, this ability to produce a vivid set of simulated picture of future reality in order to prepare and synchronize the bodily systems (motoric, hormonal etc.) until the next brief point of contact with reality.

There is an important consequence for the constant delay of reality by images of the near/immediate future: when you move in the environment at high speed you live in past prediction of the near future, you never live in the moment rather always living the next step before it occurred.

Our future projections are depending on a vivid image from the past (experience), where imaginary image always blocks the present attention and perception while reality is always caught a moment earlier and only briefly in other words the still image of our imagined future produced when we are swinging in high speed in the forest canapé is what is now utilized by the creature (slow) long term memory to store multiple images both real and imagined which enable it built more complexes scenarios based on multiple individual images ordered to simulate a route of many steps forward leading to the best moment ever which is imagined in the far future.

This photo album is used to produce vivid movies which can hide many moments of current reality (hours, days, weeks, years, lifetime…) and to vividly cover-up and blocks (but not bilk) reality (more about the real evolution of cognition and the real definition of intelligence will be published soon). 

So with DreamWorks studios in our heads we were ready to imagine better times in the abstract future and denial reality; which turned out to be the winning fitness strategy at those times.

Only the dreamers survived as one important factor played for their hands – dreaming also means sleeping.

Here you have a group of apes with 50%/50% chance to make it through the night whether they are fully awake or deep-sleeping:

With weak sense of hearing (with stationary small ears facing forward) and zero night vision (eyes evolved for capturing high resolution contrast and color images while swinging 50 kph in the forest canapé). 

The Gibbon like animal unchanged for Epochs (as we have been at that point of time) was perfectly adapted for 12 hour’s sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. This equatorial cycle dividing the life of the creature for 12 hours of day activities and 12 hours of night sleep.

The creature was fearless as it had no predators that can catch it when it awake or reach it when it sleeps.

The creature didn’t need the fight part of the fight or flight mechanism hence it lack the sense of fear as at night this lightweight animal was deep sleeping in the safety of the top branches of 30+ meter tall tree, and at days it’s agility made it unreachable by the tropical forest predators (example: Gibbon versus 2 tigers).  

On the African savannahs on the other hand a Gibbon like creature cannot escape daytime predators and cannot even detect nocturnal predators; not alone can it escape via running on the ground or climbing on the scares and low trees in total darkness.

So on one side you had the logic apes staying on-guard as long as they can and die from exhaustion and on the other hand you have the delusional apes getting 12 hours sleep every third night as long their number didn’t came up in the lottery of “the early evolution unbearable easiness of death”. 

Well that’s sum-up the chances of survival of each one of the groups with their corresponding strategy and trait:

  • Group A: Strategy A: facing the threats utilizing trait A: logic
  • Group B: Strategy B: ignoring the threats utilizing trait B: denial, of reality

It’s clearly evident that the survival rate of members of group A, at that particular point of time, was very low, probably around 5% due to death from the 24/7 stress related symptoms.

While the members of group B had higher surviving rate as they died at half the pace for they were exposed to only half the amount of 12 hours of stress with 12 hours of stress reliving sleep daily.

And the fear was even more severe for the youngsters and females as the lack of ability of the species to access their traditional food sources, made the hungry apes cannibals, so the fear of the youngster and females had another factor of fear of your own kind, every male can potentially kill any female or youngster and every female can potentially kill any youngster including her own.

It was a state of a total mistrust between all individuals of a previously peaceful and sexually equal species, the natural tendencies of mistrust and new gestures of trust for diffuse aggression than started to enter into our gene pool.

We can observe a primate starting to reorganize its society in the way the chimps are today. It was a period of transition from one type of fitness strategy to another, from one type of animal to multiple variations of multiple strategy and their correspondence traits, phenotype and behaviors. 

Our large size of brain is an indicator for a categorical thinking system that is dependent on memorizing (storing) large database of complete and modular data-sets of preprogrammed operating symbols that include steps, routs, instruction, scenarios, points of hazards points of interest and necessities etc.
Large long-term memory data base, limited short-term memory based abilities, limited multi-leveled dimensionality and more than 50% presents of external stimulus is processed via the low-road.

In other words the large brain is not a sign of intelligence rather a sign of incompetence and lack of orientation that force memorizing instructions of how to operate in a 2D environment that have only 2 dimensional surface points of reference , making your ability to orient yourself as an important point of interest/reference that has to be oriented against unreliable memories of objects and the only possibility to orient yourself is by keeping a strict rout that is memorize according to landmarks or your emotional feeling of familiarity or fear at certain points of your rout (the scary dark forest, the open safe plane etc.).

Our gibbon like ancestor brain size is an indicator for a systematic thinking as all other small/medium brains of tree living monkeys and primates. Systematic thinking brain is not dependent on memorizing (storing) large database of complete and modular symbols, rather small amount of symbols that represents only necessities such as graphic representation of points of interest and limited array of memorized locations. The short-term memory abilities on the other hand are extensive: the multi-leveled dimensionality is way over 7 (the average “smart” categorical thinkers / I think that levels of thinking dimensionality can help define the brain usage and mindset:

  • Under 5 levels of thinking dimensionality – categorical thinking with 66% or more of stimulus are processed via low-road
  • 5 to 7 levels of thinking dimensionality give individual mix ability ~50% stimulus go through the low-road
  • Over 7 levels of thinking dimensionality – systems thinking with 66% or more of stimulus are processed via the high-road and less than 33% presents of external stimulus is processed via the low road system.

From tangible constant fear of gruesome and unpredictable death to a constant irrational fear: the shaper of our evolution, culture and civilization

The fastest way to react to threat is to be able to trigger at once all the corresponding bodily systems that are needed to deal with the threat that produced the sensation, and to have a reaction plan in hand, more of a manual with point of beginning and point of end, and to have immediate set of reactions for the imminent and eminent events, it’s an auto pilot mechanism that is taking over the controls of the cockpit – an instinct, that while it’s on (as long as the fear is there) the animal is in autopilot cognition mode.    

And the ability to switch to a state of paralyzing denial sinking into ensuring and reassuring fantasy worlds and fall asleep when fear is or isn’t tangible (which clear the cortisol from the blood).

The fear from other intentional agents was first triggered by the creature semi-dormant ancient an undeveloped (at that time) fight or flight mechanism usually dealing with very tangible situations of personal risks for animal living sometimes hundred meters above the ground such as falling.

When the circuits of fear are at work, the cognition process is skipping the short term memory and it’s corresponding circuits, which is where the logic process happens, instead it’s completely relay on the long term memory areas where cognitive process have two main purposes:

Input of traumatic events that are based of fear of the unknown road ahead hence memorizing landmarks and dangerous hazard as well as points of replenishment (pits stop) a pavlovian conditioning.

The second is output which is exactly the reverse process of the input.

And the way it works is that it stacks images, noises and smell samples into area of the brain where the symbol fits:

According to the stimulus the whole disc is triggered and the current symbols that have connotations to that disc area will be stored or used for next time a stimulus representing need or threat is triggering the amygdala: nutritional items such as food are stacked in one area which supply also other apparatuses such as the emotional feeling and physical reaction (saliva and stomach acids) of the rest of the organs that the limbic system needs to trigger, but the input and output of all this super symbol synaptic connection super symbol disc is working as two option switch:

Positive – go forward and negative – go backward.

This is correspondence with the 2 dimensional environment where movement have only this two options, on a circle it will look like there are two halves one is including the dial of 180 degrees of movement forward possibilities and the other half is the same for moving backward. Where the direction is always determine by the point of arrival, which is important as orientation in a 2D environment is based on a chain of landmarks that creates a rout where your current location and forward direction is determine by the last previous point of orientation/reference.

The areas in the brain, which store this long term memory will be made by flat structure of synaptic connections which organized as a disc where the center of the connection disk is on an intersection with other discs which gives the 2D orientation map.

This disks are organized on the membrane surrounding the main area of the 3D navigation system which use the inside of the sphere membranes for a 3D organization of synaptic connections organized as spheres and utilizing the inside areas of the membrane. The disc shapes are distorted by the living surface of the neurons clusters: Like distorted gravity field of an elastic disc placed on an uneven surface…………

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