“Thoroughly Modern Killers”


“There is an article in the current issue of Scientific American which posits that the success of humanity as a species began about 71,000 years ago when humans developed projectile weapons and then likely tipped them with poison. The evidence is the discovery of manufactured stone points that were too small for hand-held spears.

“The atlatl was the first stand-off weapon. It did not require the user to get within bad-breath range of the target. More significantly for combat, it was the first weapon for which skill was more important than strength. A small man, a woman or a child could kill a large animal or a strong man.

“Which became significant when human and Neantherthal tribes began bumping into each other. The Neanderthals were bigger, stronger and they had spears. Humans were smaller, weaker, and they had poison-tipped atlatls.

“And, for the Neanderthals, that was all she wrote.”
@ Just An Earth-Bound Misfit, I

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