Part I, Human Ethos: Money and Nuptial Gifts
(my continued ponderings)
Just like any other animal, all what the human animal does can be traced back to Nature. Some might assert that money, for instance, is entirely an human-made mechanism. It is not. While it might not appear in the form of coins or similar, the essence springs from Nature.
Money is basically an item of some kind of value offered for something else of some kind of value. (Oh, and, no, money is not the root of all evil, as some say, but I’ll get to that some other time.)
Only relatively recently, with respect to Modern Man’s existence, has money taken on the forms of coins and paper. For a very long time money could be anything from seashells to furs, salt to livestock, diamonds to spearheads, and everything in between.
History of money: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money
About 10,000 years ago, in the Neolithic or Stone Age, is believed to be the rough starting point of Modern Man crafting things to specifically represent money.
However, Modern Man cannot claim to be the first to ascribe value to ordinary things not even within our own ancestral tree. Our Neanderthal cousins, some 70+ thousand years ago, were already fashioning items to represent some kind of special value.
And this transforming of ordinary items into gifts is shared with the rest of our Animal Kin. Even insects will offer their own kind of money as part of gaining favor from their desired mate. This concept of gift-giving-exchanges is both instinct and learned behavior that can be seen throughout the Animal Kingdom most often in the form of “nuptial gifts” or bribes to potential mates.
(Hmmm; all things considered, I guess what they say is right – prostitution really is the oldest profession in the world).
studying animal behavior offer gifts
Over time, the human animal, terrific tinkerer that it is, merely adjusted and expanded on Nature and eventually declared these natural gift-givings as unique unto the human animal, which of course it is not.
Next up, art.