And yet, what is Bigfoot? Is it really a man? Or maybe an animal? Or a creature of another world? How do you answer these questions asked for the thousandth time?
That a troglodyte is not a ghost is clear. Ghosts do not leave traces, do not rip off the bark from trees, do not fulfill their natural needs. But is there a man or an animal?
Troglodyte (ancient Greek - "living in a cave") - in the concept of Karl Linnaeus, a subspecies of man (Latin Homo troglodites), characterized by a human appearance, abundant hairiness and undeveloped speech. Highlighted on the basis of the testimony of ancient authors and stories of travelers. It was assumed that the troglodytes could be the prototype of information about the satyrs. With the advent of evolutionism, troglodytes began to be understood as human ancestors who have survived to this day in remote places on the planet.
Let's return to the most recognized authorities on this issue, we will consult with them in absentia.
Karl Linnaeus called our friend "Caveman". Thus, it seems, the issue was resolved. We are talking about a person, although not our kind. However, the classification of great apes proposed by the Swedish naturalist, although it formed the basis of modern biology, today needs significant additions.
Linnaeus used the word "man" arbitrarily, applying it even to the higher apes, which you and I certainly do not refer to as humans.
Vitaly Andreevich Khakhlov used in his works the term "wild man", "antediluvian man", "the first Asiatic man", but believed that he did not belong to the genus Homo, but could be perceived as a humanoid creature.
It should be borne in mind that such an interpretation untied Khakhlov's hands, since it allowed him to hunt this "animal", if necessary, using a weapon.
The next undisputed authority on this issue is the Belgian zoologist Bernard Havelmans. In 1955-1958 he, relying almost exclusively on the data on the snowman of the Himalayas, "christened" him in a new way, suggesting to call him "dichantropoides". That is, according to the famous cryptozoologist, we are talking about a creature similar to a person, but not about a person.
And here is what Boris Fedorovich Porshnev thought on this issue: “The term“Bigfoot”is completely conditional. Man here means no more than, say, in the name "orangutan" ("man of the forest"), that is, simply borrowed from the popular names of this animal, which is also called "wild man", "man-beast", etc.; the adjective “snowy” means no more than in the names “snow leopard”, “snow vulture”, “bighorn sheep”, that is, it only speaks about the belonging of this species to the mountain fauna, but, of course, not about permanent habitation in eternal snows.
Three main features of a troglodyte separate it from a person and bring it closer to animals:
• lack of articulate speech, • lack of material culture, • lack of ability to use fire."
Commenting on these provisions, in general, undoubtedly correct, I should note the following:
• There is evidence that in the absence of articulate speech, individual sounds similar to human syllables are sometimes caught in his cry.
• Despite the complete absence of material culture, he is still not devoid of the ability to act as a tool. The ability to use stones and sticks, judging again from the testimony of witnesses, is slightly more pronounced in him than in great apes.
• Not knowing how to use fire, he differs from all animals in that he is not afraid of fire at all, boldly approaches the fires, sometimes sits down directly opposite the blazing firewood.
Referring the troglodyte to animals, Porshnev argued the possibility of using weapons against him. Years have passed since then, we are convinced that weapons can not be used against animals in all cases.
So that the dispute about whether it is a person or an animal does not drag on indefinitely, it is necessary to determine what a person is. And it turns out to be not so easy to do this either. Let us first recall where modern paleontologists draw the line between humans and animals.
They distinguish a family of hominids - that is, people (we emphasize this fact!), Distinguish six species in it, but for some reason only three of them are actually called people. These are two fossils, skillful and upright walking, and living - sapiens.
The "People" family includes Australopithecus, three species: Afar, African and massive. They relate to people, but they are not people. The transition of the Afar Australopithecus to the skillful man was the feature that, according to many paleontologists, separated man from the animal world. According to this scheme, man is at least two million years old.
Porshnev, based on his definition of man, denied even Neanderthals "humanity." Thus, the dating of the time of human existence, given by different scientists, can differ by two orders of magnitude. These discrepancies are based not so much on different material (although in recent years it has been significantly added), but on different ideas about what a person is and what an animal is.
They say that in science there are two things that cannot be done with exhaustive completeness: define and build a classification. Therefore, I will not pretend to be exhaustive, but nevertheless I will try to propose an approach capable of linking different views of the human essence into a single whole.
It seems to me that there should be at least two definitions: biological and social. The biological should reflect the building plan. This definition is based on upright posture, perfect forelimbs, a large volume of the brain. Within the framework of this definition, the border between Australopithecus and humans will be conditional, nevertheless, it is possible to draw it.
Articulate speech, of course, is the most important characteristic of a person. But, introducing it as one of the main indicators, one must remember that its presence in fossil material is difficult to identify.
Of course, there is a definite connection between the size of the chin protrusion and the ability to articulate speech, but this connection is not expressed so precisely as to determine the presence or absence of such speech on fossil material.
In addition, other ways of transmitting information are conceivable among people, and the loss of speech does not yet give reason to classify the dumb as a different biological species.
The use of fire is undoubtedly the most important characteristic of a person as a social phenomenon. Difficulties arise here again in connection with the dating of the moment of mastering fire. It is believed that Homo erectus has mastered this energy source. But is it possible, on this basis, to assume that he belonged to a person in the social sense, and his ancestor - habilis (a skilled person) - did not?
Material culture is the indisputable prerogative of man. But the rudiments of it are also found in Australopithecus, which, it seems, belong to monkeys (from Latin australis - southern and other Greek πίθηκος - monkey). Only at the later stages of the development of sapiens did material culture develop so much that it completely separated our direct ancestors from the entire animal world.
In my opinion, material culture can be considered developed only if it provides for the exchange of products of material production between different members of a social group. The market, at least in its most embryonic form, is what finally formed the social form of the movement of matter.
The social person produces material values. The transfer of these values between members of society creates an exchange relationship. Where there is exchange, market laws immediately arise that stimulate the growth of material production, which more and more separates man from the animal world.
The development of material culture and the market exchange associated with it began within ten thousand years ago - on an evolutionary scale, quite recently.
Now I will try to formulate definitions, realizing that they will not be exhaustive.
A person in the biological sense is a representative of the primate order, the hominid family, characterized by upright posture, large brain size, perfect structure and increased mobility of the forelimbs, capable of complex forms of behavior.
A person in the social sense is a creature that uses articulate speech, fire and other sources of energy, has a complex material culture and enters into exchange relations with other such creatures, taking place according to the laws of the market.
Now let's try to answer the question, what is Bigfoot. From a biological point of view, this is undoubtedly a person, from a social point of view - an animal.