• Pieter Derycke

Notes & Quotes - Human movement: unique but not seperate

“Our imperatives were no different from those of any other species: to eat, to procreate, and to avoid being eaten. It was only our method of coping with these imperatives that was unique, at least in degree: the enormous development of our cerebral functions […]. I recognize our uniqueness, but I reject our alleged separateness. It is lonely up there atop the pyramid of life; a cold wind blows in from the intergalactic void, and I gladly step down to a lower, less-exposed level and cuddle up to the warmth of my brother animals. When I speak of my cousin the toad or my brother the coyote, I mean just that. And I’m ever saddened and dismayed to hear so many of my fellow humans denying this commonality. Their hubris, I fear, may be our undoing in the end." (François Leydet 1977)

The human species is unique, but not more unique than any other species

Every human animal is unique, but not more unique than every other human.

Human animals are not separate from the non human world.

Music for today: Willis Earl Beal: Evening’s Kiss

I’ll quote Charles Darwin: “If we choose to let conjecture run wild, then animals, our fellow brethren in pain, diseases, death, suffering and famine […] they may partake our origin in one common ancestor – we may be all netted together.”

This is from Darwin’s early work, in 1837, where he was still being careful in his choice of words. But indeed, we are all netted together! This view of the living world is very interesting, because it resembles that oldest of worldviews: animism. Darwinism surely differs from animism, but both share the conviction that all animals, including human ones, are part of the same family and have common ancestors.

Humans are not highly evolved. See circle tree of evolution. Every living animal is evolved as far as the other. Below is a ‘tree of life’ that shows our family tree and illustrates that all living things are equally evolved.

Interesting reads:

Jared Diamond: The third chimpanzee

David Abrams: Becoming Animal

Very interesting video’s about human uniqueness by the unequalled and unique Robert Sapolski:

or this somewhat longer movie of a similar speech: Are humans just another primate?

What about human movement? Human movement is unique, but not more unique than the movement behaviour of any other species. Every human has a unique movement style, but not more unique than every other human.

We cannot see human movement separate from movement from other species. Our movement patterns are the result of evolution and human species specific movement (and the movement systems) is full of testimonials of our ancestral past. Human movement is unique but not separate from the movement of our cousins the mammals, the reptiles, the fish…

See Serge Gracovetski

See Simon Thakurs great work on ancestral movement (really check his site out!).

Human movement is not separate from the movement from our ancestors.

Human movement is also not separate from the non-living environment. Your environment determines your movement. See my ‘hanging and the environment’ posts for more on this.

Human animals are unique, but not separate.