This story may strike the reader as incredible, but a geneticist, Dr Eugene McCarthy, formerly of the University of Georgia, has suggested that the normal evolutionary theory of the origin of humanity is wrong. Instead, he maintains that we may be descended from the hybrid of a chimpanzee and a pig.
Dr McCarthy is in a position to make such pronouncements. He has a PhD from Georgia University and has made a study of hybridization. He is the author of the Handbook of Avian Hybrids (2006). He has worked out his theory by reference largely to anatomy.
What makes a human different in structure from a chimpanzee can all be supplied by parts of the pig, he tells us. Moreover, he says the idea that all hybrids are sterile is inaccurate - many of them can reproduce. Chromosomal differences are not always an obstacle to this. Humans have fertility and sperm anomalies which are indications of ancestral hybridization.
It is said that firefighters will rarely eat pork as its smell is so close to that of burning human flesh. This last I did not glean from Dr McCarthy's observations, but have known for a long time. Many people think that pigs are stupid, disgusting animals, but this is not so. Pigs are intelligent, but are often led to the slaughterhouse before that intelligence peaks. Pigs can be house trained and are naturally clean. We mainly see them confined in small sties where hygiene is bound to be a problem.
From a Fortean angle, we occasionally receive reports of Pigmen. Could these be throwbacks to porcine ancestors or even (shudder!) more recent hybridization between humans and pigs? One thinks of the Pigman reported from Vermont in 1971. There was also once said to be a pigman in the Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. Cryptozoologist Lee Brickley tells us of a pigman in England.
Despite the fact that Dr McCarthy's contentions fly in the face of contemporary evolutionary theory, we should not automatically dismiss them. With his qualifications and experience, he may be right.
Thursday, 2 January 2014
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