Wolves Saved Humans From Extinction
The author of the celebrated ” A Dog’s Journey” and “A Dog’s Purpose,” among other fine books, W. Bruce Cameron here offers a novel set in the Paleolithic era, about 30,000 years ago, when climate change was threatening modern man with imminent extinction.
Starvation forced human tribes to fight each other as well as wild predators for the rapidly diminishing or migrating prey. Humans needed every angle to survive, from weaponry to cunning. Biologists and archeologists have demonstrated that the most important element of our survival and evolution was domestication of plants and animals, and perhaps above all, wolves. Domestication and artificial selection not only saved our species from doom, but have altered our own biology substantially.
“The Dog Master” unfolds with mankind divided into tribes, including one called Wolfen, who worships wolves, paying tribute by offering them food, and mimicking their ways. Wolves were their gods, not their enemies. Spirituality and art were just beginning to surface in this era. The Wolfen represent early devotees.
What experts do seem to agree on is that at some point one wolf was thoroughly domesticated by one human, and that act created an evolutionary leap. (For some really fascinating reading about evolutionary development, read “Domesticated” by Richard C. Francis.) The wolf’s superior ability to hunt and track prey was of vital importance to human survival. But in the story, it is more than simple basic survival that brings the two species together. There grows a trust, an empathy, and a strong emotional attachment between the Kindred man Mal and his “Dog.”
Source Article: Jeremy N. Townsend