The Sixth Kingdom
Issue no. 4 2000
Copyright John Allen 2000 not to be reproduced without written permission of the author
John Allen, dramatist, poet and revolutionary scientist was the visionary behind the Biosphere 2 project that manifested Vernnadsky's vision of life as a cosmic phenomenon
Establishing humanity's real location in its cosmos would solve innumerable scientific, artistic, philosophical, and personal problems and clear the decks for sailing on the furthest historical voyages creating meanings and transformations. At present the two chief theories of taxonomy not only cause many insoluble problems but uselessly spend a great deal of their exponents' energies in trying to annihilate the other. These two theories are 1) humans are the image of God (which God?) and 2) humans are a species in the order of primates, our closest cousin being the chimpanzee.
The chasms of difference between humans and Gods and humans and apes are so gigantic that most of us find these doctrinal disputes between Creationists and Evolutionists who insist on their ape taxonomy to be the blind arguing with the blind and would like to leave these ideological fossils to their repetitious arguments. However, the control and use of these two opposed texts by theological and scientific institutions which have great power over our private and public lives have impelled me to deconstruct the text that humans are best classified as a species in the order of primates and to share what I regard as a realistic taxonomy of humans by integrating the findings of science since Darwin and Wallace's day, by building upon their Theory of Evolution.
Religious arguments are based on faith so facts are unimportant. As Tertullian famously, and ferociously, said, "I believe it because it's absurd." However, for the argument that humans should be classified as a species of the order of primates to be called scientific based as it is on Darwin's mid-Nineteenth Century knowledge and cultural worldview must stand up to and answer critique. It must change if it cannot do so. This text offends commonsense to the point that popular antagonism to those claiming to represent the theory of evolution by claiming humans are an ape species or a sub-species of a family of the order of primates leads in America to either throwing out all references to evolution in many public schools or to teaching both theories equally in a sort of plague on both your houses gesture of anger and contempt. It is not the difficulty of understanding the importance of complex scientific theory that causes this reaction. There's no resistance to teaching quantum mechanics or relativity. However, classifying humans as a species of ape is so repugnant to observation that many are driven to hold the factually ridiculous theory of creationism in biology while remaining sophisticated physical scientists with respectable positions and to doubt the use of science except to produce technics of some sort or another, but certainly not to understand the universe since these people rather self-appointedly claiming to represent science do not understand that humanity's ecological role in the biosphere and its probable future is as different from ape species as apes are from bacteria. Of course, all of us descend from the same origin, though Darwin himself qualified that statement by saying from one or a few.
Nonetheless, the Theory of Evolution does not classify humans; evolution theory, now called neo-Darwinian, since Darwin also knew nothing about genes, shows genetic changes in living forms can lead to differential changes in any given lineage by the means of natural selection. How those changes are classified is the province of another science, systematics or taxonomy. Taxonomy existed before the Theory of Evolution. Darwin used taxonomic scientists to guide himself in working out the Theory of Evolution. For example, Darwin, on the basis of his detailed naturalist observation first thought the variety of small birds he saw on the Galapagos Islands meant they were of different taxonomic groups, but learned from a taxonomist in London that they were all members of the same family. This knowledge permitted him to realize that these species had originated from a common source and differentiated because of the differences in the flora in the Galapagos.
The Theory of Evolution has no vested interest in any particular taxonomic classification, other than it be as accurate as possible in reflecting the descent of a given life form and fruitful in inspiring further advances in knowledge. Taxonomy deals with what and the Theory of Evolution with how. The evolutionist Stephen Gould, past president of the AAAS, writes, "Taxonomies are theories of knowledge, not objective pigeonholes, hatracks, or stamp albums with places preassigned. A false taxonomy based on a bogus theory of knowledge can lead us badly astray."
Now Darwin and the co-discoverer of evolution theory, Wallace, both grappled with the place or taxonomy of humanity in the evolutionary history of the planet after they had discovered the mechanism of Natural Selection operating upon variations in life forms. Wallace thought that the difference between animals and humans was a chasm, implying a classificatory level of kingdom. Wallace, living close to nature, looked at thought for the source of this chasm and made some dubious studies in the world of thought forms; Darwin, living in the new industrial jungle, swung toward minimizing the chasm and he classified humans as a species of primates most akin to the apes and made extraordinary studies in the great similarity of emotions in humans and mammals. Eibl-Eibesfeldt in the 1960's proved in exquisite cross-cultural studies that emotional expressions were invariant across those differences demonstrating that human motor patterns expressing emotion were indeed determined by their animal descent. The fame of the discoverers of natural selection does not rest on their taxonomic scientific achievements.
Wallace lived in the jungle biome of Malaysia and Darwin in the center of the industrial world in an agricultural biome formed out of a temperate zone forest. Wallace had no great connection with the imperial establishment and Darwin forged intimate links with the London power centers, especially the Linnean and Royal Societies and the Athenaeum Club. When Wallace first sent in his formal discovery of the theory to the Linnean Society of London, Darwin contacted his powerful friends who made sure that both papers were presented at the same meeting of the Linnean Society, which was perhaps technically questionable, but certainly ethically, esthetically, scientifically, and humanly right since Darwin had held back from publication of his Theory for twenty years mainly because of his incredible scrupulosity for perfection.
In the mid-Nineteenth Century we must remember not only did no one know about genes, but the biosphere had not been discovered as an observable entity, ecological science had not been invented, and only two kingdoms had been recognized by taxonomy, the plant and animal kingdoms. The potent kingdoms of the procaryotes, non-nucleated cells, and eucaryotes, nucleated cells, and of the fungi were also, like humans, shoved by the procrustean classifiers, taxonomists, systematists of the time into species of plants or animals. Further, the extraordinary roles of cellular, fungal, and human life forms in the biosphere equivalent or greater than the plant and animal kingdoms languished under this arbitrary dictum. The science of culturology or ethnology had also not been founded. In other words, both Darwin and Wallace suffered in their taxonomy both from a false theory of knowledge, epistemology, and from certainly incomplete and to an extent bogus knowledge about paleontology. In epistemology they both accepted the hardcore dichotomy of spirit and matter with Wallace experimenting with the first to learn about humanity and its different destiny from animals and Darwin with the latter to learn about humanity and its common fate with animals. Whitehead's discovery of process as an epistemological approach and Einstein's discovery of relativity and quantum approaches and ethnology's discovery of elements of culture, memes, as possessing their own rules for transformation and evolution were available to neither man. Paleontologists did not know what forms, if any, had evolved in the time between when the apes existed with no humans and when the apes existed with humans or what exactly was the line of descent of humans.
Darwin and Wallace’s sound knowledge based on the exhaustive studies of animal form and function and geological period that led them to discover the Theory of Evolution was based on their profound field and in Darwin's case also laboratory work and consultations with breeding specialists. They both also worked closely with taxonomists. Even then, however, questions as to the nature of a missing link between primates and humans were raised. Today Five Kingdoms are recognized, but humans are even more uncompromisingly categorized as a species by textbook writers and a small regiment of relentless logicians insisting that their assumption of a "selfish gene" plus Natural Selection explains everything not only about beetles but humans and their cultures. The Gene in the Machine replaces the Ghost in the Machine. Some of these have gone so far as to classify humans as a "mere" (the favorite word of this species of scientists, rivaled only by nothingbuttery) subspecies of a family of the primate order. When this argument takes the place of discussion of opposing points of view, experience tells us that an ideology is constructing and informing the text.
There are many consequences to be logically deduced from the classificatory variants on "humans are a species of ape" and which are extrapolated by ardent admirers of the ecological power of bacteria and the emotional power of animals. Since species have a limited lifetime in the Biosphere, then any given species qua species is ultimately insignificant in the total picture of reality compared to the kingdom bacteria. Humanity is comparable to chimpanzees and other high mammalian species in that they are all expected, geologically speaking, to be extinct in a short time.
Lynn Margulis writes in her classic, Microcosmos, studying "the very short term geological future, we can say that mammalian extinctions and replacements, including our own, will continue". Margulis is one of those who classifies present humans as members of a subspecies, brothers to Neanderthal who only lasted about a 100,000 years, a very short geological time indeed. Margulis follows those who classify humans as a subspecies in a family, hominidae, equal to the ape family, pongidae, in the primate order. Stephen Gould following the 'mainstream' sums up his vast evolutionary and paleontogical knowledge to call humanity "a tiny and accidental twig on the ... tree of life". Twigs, of course, come and go with the seasons (geological changes). However, no kingdom has ever yet gone extinct nor is there any reason to think that any will since the taxonomic status of kingdom means that the life form in observation has generated a branching radiation of forms into every bioregion of the biosphere and is a sturdy branch of the tree with definite potentialities that could easily live as long as the entire tree, that is, until a solar eruption or cooling or giant meteor impact should drastically change Earth's conditions. These connoisseurs of human cosmic meaninglessness have greeted every new scientific discovery of greatness of the Cosmos as further evidence of the smallness, insignificance, and ephemerality of humans. Of course, each such discovery, galaxies, genes, biospheres, quarks, evolution, magnifies human contemplations and multiplies human powers and increases human significance, magnitude, and probable duration. But to those scientists whose teleology includes the goal of no goal for humans the lowest possible classification that can be assigned humans without violating their epistemology and required specialist knowledge proves their point of the meaninglessness of human life. This type of thought, that, for example, the earth revolving around the sun, and the sun around the galaxy, and the galaxy around some larger unit, rather than the earth being the physical center of the universe, or that the human mind operates with three brains, one of which has two lobes and that it is not a prefabricated unity diminishes humanity denotes the reflex of nihilist philosophy or religious dogmatism, rather than a logical, or even psychological deduction. For example, such advances in knowledge could be used to show the world of values and meanings has advanced millions of light years in space and billions of years in time over the insipid space-time limitations of ancient Middle and Near Eastern theocosmologies. Such advances also show that humans now have the option of settling in many different centers of this expanded cosmos and attaining asymptotic to cosmic immortality in companionship with the other kingdoms in space biospheres.
Physicists, astronomers, and planetologists often use these advances to demonstrate new meanings and possibilities which of course imply a long lifetime for humanity and its companions in artificial biospheres.
In the dynamic world of life sciences, however, away from the dogmas of certain taxonomists who are always well-funded by the scientific establishment of the imperium, now masquerading as an economium, new discoveries directly connected with evolution theory force more and more real time life scientists to treat humanity as an order, a class, a phylum, or as a kingdom. Julian Huxley, one of the creators of the neo- Darwinian synthesis o f genetics and theory of evolution treated humanity as a kingdom. Huxley wrote in his masterpiece, Evolution in Action, that "a new method of transformation has become available... in the human sector of evolution... the method of cumulative experience combined with conscious purpose ... has produced a new kind of result, in the shape of transmissible cultures; the main unit of evolution in the human phase is not the biological species, but the stream of culture and genetic advance has taken a back seat as compared to changes in the transmissible techniques of cultural advance... not only a more rapid tempo (of evolution), but a new kind of tempo—an acceleration instead of a more or less steady average rate over long periods."
Konrad Lorenz, the co-founder of Ethology, animal behavior, and certainly a deep friend and admirer of that kingdom of profound passions and fantastic adaptive functions, viewed humanity as a kingdom. Lorenz considered a human culture as defined in the science of ethnology or culturology to be the species exemplifying the new kingdom, and that the accelerating rate of evolution noted by Huxley was explained by the Lamarckian nature of this "new kind of result", namely that the inheritance of acquired characteristics became possible in the world of memes. The human kingdom, which I propose be called Symbolia, since this is the main way cultural elements, called memes by Richard Dawkins, can be transmitted, now contains probably 10,000 species and there are fossils of previous cultural species found by both archeologists and historians of perhaps another 10,000. The study of cultures would obviously be extraordinarily increased in breadth and depth by the impetus of this classification. And what study would be of more use practically and contemplatively to humans of any culture today when ethnic battles, oppressions, and even attempted cultural exterminations are the major source of wars and disturbances today?
Both of these great evolutionary scientists, Huxley and Lorenz, his student, viewed the creation of culture as Biosphere's youngest kingdom. Genetic evolution and phenotypic experimentation had led to an upright running big brained life form that could combine the powers of both genetic and memetic mutation and selection to produce the extremely adaptive mechanism of cultural teleos or goal-driven activity participating as a co-evolutionary partner with those parts of the biosphere totally following the non-purposeful Darwinian-Wallace theory of mutation and natural selection, that is, the previously evolved five kingdoms. In addition the new kingdom soon drastically changed the subspecies and some say species compositions of many animal and plant species and genera: the canines and rosaceae being only two examples of a rapidly increasing many by introducing value-driven selection as well as natural selection. Value or purpose driven or highly influenced is not to say these values are absolute in any way. Certain values of culture A may be considered factually disastrous or even anti-value by culture B. Purpose driven or influenced is not to say that some of the driving values are not bizarre in the extreme, such as selecting mutations for survival in order to produce the brainless but sleek muzzled collie. Go forth and multiply, get rich quick, headhunting, and prohibitions of pleasurable activities have met tremendous oppositions from cultures with different purposes. The Theory of Evolution must include both the neo-Darwin-Wallace mutation and Natural Selection which Darwin later constructed into Survival of the Fittest to more fitly survive in the Spencerian ideology of capitalist British Empire, and the three step evolutionary process introduced as Huxley pointed out by the invention of culture, namely, meme mutation or discovery, cultural selection to achieve goals, and Natural Selection. Oh, where are the Hittites of yesteryear, Villon might have written.
The discovery of the Australopithecines, unknown to Darwin, proved whom humanity had descended from. The missing link, because it had gone extinct, had to await the discovery of its bones in a remote pit in South Africa. One order stood between the order of primates and the first order of protohumans in the taxonomy proposed by Johansen as did some five or more million years of evolution. The order which stood upright came before the hominids began their big brain evolutionary spurt. E. O. Wilson felt compelled to challenge the taxonomic dogmatists to a degree and declared humanity was at least an order thereby indicating that he considered humanity as possibly a Class as are reptiles, birds, and mammals. The taxonomists of humanity in this imperium based on military power and the economium based on financial power have been proved to stand as anti-scientific in their "nothing but" a shortlived species claim as are the literalist interpreters of that much revised antique codex adopted by an earlier imperium some 1700 years ago to guide the beliefs of their freedom seeking subjects. The "missing link" had been found but far more research monies are still spent on studying chimpanzees than on Australopithecines and -Homo Erectus. Virtuosos of meaninglessness are financed ever better by those who now wish the world to adopt as universal the goal of a twenty per cent return on capital investments per year no matter the extinctions required of human culture species. Richard Evans Schultes points out that this type of extinction of species is certainly as drastic as the extinction of animal species.
Wilson has tried to construct a socio- biological text to preserve humans' animal status and even that at less than a phylum. This foray, done without much assistance from the findings of ethnology, gleams with such insights as his contention that there is a universal cultural prohibition of brother-sister incest because biologically there is a human disinterest of brothers in sisters sexually. The Incas and Pharaohs both, of course, used just that breeding program with as much success as any other royal breeding program, and the severest cultural conditioning and sanctions have not prevented many dramatic events of that kind even in cultures one of whose driving purposes is to widen the definition of incest as widely as possible and enforce obedience to its avoidance by the extremist of measures.
My own awakening to a necessary and then compelling interest in this area of taxonomy came about when designing Biosphere 2. I started out conventionally enough by using the Five Kingdom approach on the biospheric part of the design and trying to get species also of the ninety-two phyla as identified by Margulis. It soon became obvious that on a purely biological survival basis humans took as many resources as most if not all of the other phyla. I soon understood that ecological criteria are not taken into much account in taxonomy. When calculating what humans needed in order to survive and advance culturally, psychologically, and technically for long periods of time, I found that they had to use about the same scale of biospheric production as each of the recognized five kingdoms. Checking the use of Biosphere 1's production and resources, the same basic fact was found to be true. Humans and their cultural infrastructure use about 50% of the water and over 40% of the biomass production in Biosphere 1.
Humans with their cultures and technics are found as ubiquitously as are the recognized kingdoms of eucaryotes, plants, fungi, and animals, and are tracking the bacteria down to thirty thousand feet and in boiling hot springs, and have taken the other five kingdoms into space where only the bacteria may have been before, conveyed by meteors from as yet unknown origins.
Simply recognizing this fact, that humans had to be considered metabolically on the scale of the other kingdoms in Biosphere 2, was only half the solution. Humans in the experiment had also, to survive, to have a way of life (culture) that had a purpose (minimumly to survive in, master, and discover the laws of a biosphere different in many respects from the biosphere in which they had developed), a technics, and a thorough communications system (cybersphere, which I first called a nerve system) designed into Biosphere 2. In effect, Biosphere 2 was Noosphere 1, as Josef Gitelson, the Russian biophysicist and biospheric scientist often called it. The necessity of finding a practical solution to building an operating model of Biosphere 1 forced me to recognize the truth of Huxley's and Lorenz's insistence that humanity was a kingdom profoundly intertwined with the entire biosphere just as the other kingdoms and also profoundly altering the nature of the biosphere with its needs and its abilities to satisfy them and that the evolutionary mutation that allowed this new kingdom to survive and evolve further was indeed the adaptive radiation of cultures, a transmissable and rapidly adaptable set of behavioral units, or memes. That the genetic basis of humans probably is species-specific in the sense that humans from any culture can commence the breeding process with a human from any other culture may be true, certainly if the statement is slightly modified to stating that in the continuum of cultures there is no barrier to a two step commencement of the breeding process between any two reproducing populations. However, the end of the breeding process, birth, can only take place if the baby is born by the procedures of one culture if the two cultures are different. The baby cannot be born by the mother hanging from a tree and the mother lying anesthetized in a hospital the same time.
The evolution of a new breeding pattern is the generator of new kingdoms. From the animal sperm-egg mutation to the human sperm-egg-culture mutation is such a change. When a new breeding pattern generates enough adaptations to radiate throughout a biosphere this ecological succeed confirms the taxonomic status of kingdom. Fungi developed the method of embryos developing from spores.
As Biosphere 2 design progressed after I studied the data from the Test Module experiments and my experience inside, I was forced to consider the matter more deeply and concluded that a biospheric uncertainty principle operated at the biospheric scale, too large for humans to see (our view from space can only see one- half the Biosphere) just as the quantum level is too small for humans to measure without interfering with the accuracy of either the position or momentum measurement of the photon. The biosphere is so large that measuring humans' cultural requirements and influences exactly interferes with the accuracy of measuring their metabolic needs and influences. Measuring their metabolic needs and influences exactly interferes with the accuracy of measuring their cultural requirements and influences. Therefore, just as in quantum mechanics, I had to devise a quantum biospherics in which the design included a way to exactly measure humans as to their metabolic needs and reciprocities (for example, water and oxygen which must be present in certain quantities) and another way to measure humans as to their metaphysical or cultural necessities (for example, books, kitchen, laboratory, schedules, privacy, etc.). I had to switch my studies back and forth between metabolics and metaphysics to arrive at what at last appeared to me to be a representation of the human group, my quantum, in a manner that satisfied all my design necessities and has provided the master key for my projects and problems since 1987 when I gave the go ahead for Margaret Augustine to mark out the site from which she could build the apparatus that would house the biosphere experiment. Thirteen years does not rank with Darwin's heroic thirty years of preparation to commence publishing his results, but that much effort does mean that I am not rushing into print and that much testing, dialogue, and reading evolutionists is incorporated into this first notice of my preparation of the book, The Ascent of Humans, the natural and cultural selection of the sixth kingdom, descended from a subspecies of the phylum Crania which descended from a species of the order of Walking Apes which descended from the family of the Pongidae, and whose future genetic-memetic evolution includes the possibility of mutation into the domain, Demiurgia, by using the methods of accelerated evolution noted by Julian Huxley.
The result of all this is that to locate humanity properly, that is, to accord with all past scientific data and to generate fruitfully new scientific data, and to allow the fullest range to the contemplative benefits of science, and to open the widest range of advance of the ecology of technics and the technics of ecology, ecotechnics, I found I needed three levels of taxonomy. On the first, that is, as a life form without culture participating metabolically reciprocally with all other life forms, I used the classification of Crania, a phylum, with the notion that an upright running big- brained structural plan and life strategy of neotony for humans identified them as a phylum since the operative structure had passed from the lower two brains and vertebrae to the cerebrum being the activating factor in the body design. The attainment of phylum level took place with the mutation from Homo Habilis to Homo Erectus who proceeded to break out of the few econiches in which Homo could survive to spread throughout the continents and nearby islands of EurAsAfrica and became able to deal with any felines, canines, ursae, crocodiles or snakes.
The mutation from the phylum level took place with the invention of culture between 40-60,000 years ago which led to oceanic travel and the settling of Australia and the conquest of the Arctic which led to the settling of the Americas and placed the human kingdom in a position to radiate more rapidly than any kingdom since the first bacteria and to be found in any biome of the Biosphere by the early twentieth century with Shackleton's expedition into the Antarctic interior. Within sixty more years the new kingdom had made an adaptive radiation into space and was gathering data to adaptively radiate onto the Moon and Mars.
Designing and building Biosphere 2 soon brought me into an even more intimate contact with those intrepid groups and courageous thinkers in Russia and the United States determined to start the adaptive radiation of the new kingdom onto Moon and Mars and thence to planets yet unknown around other stars, perhaps with stops along the way on some of the outer Moons. To build into Biosphere 2 elements that would be useful to this aim, and aims had been introduced into evolution by the selection of human cultures as part of the Biosphere, would require the beginning of designing a nerve system that would be, so to speak, the missing third lobe of the cerebellum, the cybersphere, the lobe that, connected by computer with the same hands and brains and eyes of the human kingdom as the first two lobes would provide memory, communication, feedbacks, and simulations of consequences of acting on in complex systems on such a scale as to make this third lobe a collective lobe into which any group quantum could plug. A group quantum I defined as any set of Crania who are united by a common aim, that is, they have at least a sub-culture. All humans descended from the ancestral group(s) that invented culture are part of at least one group quantum, in other words, part of the human kingdom, which I called Symbolia for its primary method of transmitting memes.
At this point I was struck by the proposal of a taxonomy that demanded a level beyond kingdoms, just as ancient kingdoms had a word for another level of similarity when these kingdoms existed in a more comprehensive similarity that they all recognized. In Greek, this was called the ecumene. The taxonomic proposal was to use the word domain for those large aggregations of similarities in form, function, and scale that played decisive roles in biospheric creation and maintenance. It proposed that archeobacteria, the bacteria that lived in anaerobic, non-oxygen, econiches, the bacteria, and the eucaryotes were these fundamental domains. Each of these three is associated with fundamental changes in the Biosphere, what the Russian, Lapo, calls Bygone Biospheres. The eucaryotes provided the springboard for the three great kingdoms of animals, plants, and fungi from 600-800 million years ago.
The bacteria changed the composition of the atmosphere to high oxygen and low carbon dioxide from low oxygen and high carbon dioxide and the archeobacteria formed the first biosphere in which small increases in oxygen from their byproducts allowed the bacterial mutation(s) to adaptively radiate.
It then occurred to me that if a true mastery of both earth biospheres and artificial biospheres could be combined and, after that, if a successful adaptive radiation occurred of space biospheres on the Moon and/or Mars, that humans would then have to be classified as the Fourth Domain because the combined efforts of humans, archeobacteria, bacteria, and the eucaryotes would be required to make such an effort succeed. Such a mutation of memes and development of themes to deal with different cosmic worlds would bring about the fullest development of the evolutionary potentialities contained in the human genetic-memetic pool, that is, the ethnosphere, or the range of values, teleos, goals, in human cultures, the technosphere, or the range of memes embodied in extra- biologic useful objects, and the cybersphere, or the third lobe, as described above, including communication from vast distances such as interplanetary via virtual reality imaginations in the third lobe, and finishing the creation of the noosphere.
To realize the noosphere, Vernadsky, the founder of biospherics, called for the fullest integration of scientific knowledge and its several methods into human reason, without the loss of its artistic, romantic, and freedom loving knowledges. The noosphere, or sphere of intelligence, is the point where Buckminster Fuller envisioned the micro- incisive and macro-comprehensive anticipatory synergetic design becoming the norm of human behaviour. This point still lies in the future but the proper taxonomy of humans will move that point closer to reality.
The successful design, building, and completion of a sustainable, co- evolutionary Mars settlement would prove conclusively the arrival of this stage of human development past a kingdom into a domain, an integral positive vector in the epic unfolding of the implicate universe that can, through dramatic (possible and actual failures) stages develop into a quasi if not actually immortal ever evolving cosmos. A space biosphere evolving and flourishing (biomass and biodiversity and cultural diversity) on Mars can only get there by first establishing a noosphere on Earth because only a noosphere here will understand the necessity of checking all its Earth derived biodata on Mars to ensure its objectivity. And a noosphere will probably only arrive on Earth by successfully completing a Mars on Earth model on Earth to prove that such an approach can work on Earth and be allowed to adaptively radiate over the planet.
The major piece of non-scientific superstition holding back the accomplishment of this task is not religion, it is the determined assertion that humanity is a short-lived meaningless ape is an assertion that sits at the table of science only because it has not been deconstructed as to the interests it serves and served when it was first foisted on the most profound theory ever developed by human minds, Darwin's and Wallace's Theory of Evolution. Bates was in that quantum group as the third, but gave up and gave his beetle collection of adaptive radiations to Darwin. Apehood is a taxonomy that serves those who treat other humans, not to speak of animals, as a means to their ends and don't want a bad conscience or a bad press. After all, we are all only a shortlived ape species.
Not only does the taxonomy of homo as a species of ape deconstruct to an apologia for the devaluation of life by the imperiums and economiums and educatoriums, but it flouts science itself by ignoring the discovery of the vast length of time, at least 5,000,000 years in which Austalopithecines stood upright followed by Homo Erectus growing its brain size and structure and then by modern humans who probably 60,000 and certainly by 40,000 years ago created culture as a coherent, stimulating, complex body of behaviors performable by Crania that could be mutated meme by meme several times a generation, each time taking about the time it takes a bacteria to ingest a new piece of DNA while accumulating ever more information and at intervals discovering ever more powerful principles by which to organize that information. These groups of humans thus created the beginning strategy of a kingdom so recognized by some of the greatest of evolutionary scientists in spite of all contumely they suffered for it.
It is not science for the present existential masters of scientific funding and publications to ignore that deep conflicts exist over the taxonomy of human beings. Neither Science nor Nature publishes any comments on these conflicts. The American Association for the Advancement of Science and its British parent remain silent and continue to publish the nothingbuttery texts as if they were accepted by all life scientists. Darwin and the Theory of Evolution are not threatened by recognizing the alternate taxonomy of humans as a kingdom. Darwin and the Theory of Evolution and indeed all science is threatened by making Darwin's mistake about the status of humans into a dogma which happens to suit the interests of the present set of powerful people who have no real liking for any search for truth about the world that does not promise ideological backing for manipulation of humans. They subsidize some science willingly only because some scientists turn themselves into technicians for war and superprofits. Some sciences such as toxicology gain major funding only through outraged public pressure. Science as a whole is also weakened by all within who have refused to raise publicly in a sustained and thorough way their legitimate questions as to the factual bases for present 'mainstream' acceptance of variants of humans being a short lived subspecies of a family of the primate order taxonomy and not to put forth alternatives that include all the new facts of paleontology and the contrasts between ethology, animal behavior and ethnology, human behavior, and the discoveries in neurology, linguistics and ecology. The requirement for fruitfulness in scientific hypotheses must also be honored, and, as Stephen Gould noted, taxonomy is not a set of pigeon holes.
The Biospheric Uncertainty Principle states that: looked at as a metabolic member of the biosphere, humans should be classified as a phylum, Crania; looked at as member of cultures performing technical operations transforming every element on the planet earth, indeed creating new elements appearing on earth, and having adaptively radiated throughout the biosphere with their unique breeding strategy humans should properly be classified as a kingdom, Symbolia. I propose this taxonomy for scientific and public use and I believe the consequences of that adoption will open up whole new lines of research, of artistic productions, of new design criteria for technics, and a general lifting of spirits and hopes for the future.
However, the processes called evolution never stop as long as there's life. If humans succeed in creating a sustainable co- evolutionary million-yeared biosphere on Mars or Moon they could then be properly classified as a domain, Demiurgia. I project that this is the direction certain cultures will take. World-making together with the other three domains is our evolutionary potentiality. With the synergy of evolution by mutation and natural selection on the genetic level of all the kingdoms together with mutation and natural and cultural (directional) selection on the memetic level which descended from mutation and natural selection on the genetic level humans could reach that destiny unless destroyed in a cosmic cataclysm. Realistic taxonomy must cease its denial of the kingdom scale role of humans in the Biosphere. The truth is, humans are now intertwined with and central players in the Evolutionary Theater as Hutcheson called it.
We are here to stay as long as the Biosphere.
As Charles Darwin said, "How can anyone not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service." I propose the following taxonomic view of humans which has for me and I think will for anyone using it whether for or against provide extraordinary and plentiful observations of much of reality systematically covered up by the constructed text of mid-nineteenth century human classification although certainly we learned immense amounts about apes, monkeys, australopithecines, and hominadae from being for or against it. With this taxonomy, for or against, science will learn extraordinarily and plentifully and helpfully about humans, about ourselves and that process will be supported by the whole kingdom not funded only by the main benefactors of the previous hypothesis.
Our ancestor was Crania, Homo Erectus; our kingdom, the sixth, is Symbolia, Homo Sapiens; our descendants will always be Symbolia and Crania but they may also make the Biospheric Uncertainty Principle take account of the fourth domain, Demiurgia, at last well and truly Homo Faber.