Welcome to a special feature of the website. This section explores what I argue is one of the greatest outstanding mysteries of our ancient past. This is the discovery of fatherhood.

There must have been a time, thousands – and probably tens of thousands – of years ago when ancient peoples did not understand the connection between sexual intercourse and birth. A gestation period of nine months was just too long for our distant ancestors to have made the link.

At that time, women would have seemed especially mysterious and miraculous, swelling up and giving birth on no apparent rhythm and for no apparent reason.

But then, at some point, the link would have been made and this would surely have been a major intellectual, social, psychological and even political breakthrough, transforming ideas about family structure, kinship, ancestors, community, heredity, the very purpose of sex.

The argument outlined in the document is partly speculative – as it must be, given the time distance – but it does also discuss quite a bit of evidence, anthropological, biological, archaeological and even religious, that supports the idea and dates the discovery to a specific time and place.

Anyone who is interested is free to explore the evidence inside. I am quite prepared for the argument to be shot down, but would be interested to hear from serious readers who have additional evidence that either supports my line of reasoning, or vitiates it. Either way, I hope you enjoy exploring what is a fascinating topic.



2 commments on “The Discovery of Fatherhood”

  • Saied says:

    Yours argument seems to be along the lines of the chicken who thought “What the crap are those round things ? Maybe I should sit on them. Hey, where the f- did all those little kids come from ?”

    Intelligent humans didn’t arise from the caves – they went into them in the first place….

  • hydra says:

    I suspect that the link was made quite early, far to early in the development of human consciousness to be counted as a “discovery” . I don’t think someone who could be called human would ever think that people just give birth as trees grow leaves. The transition to “discovery” would be so slow as to be unremarkable.

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