The exact origins of when extraordinary traits and abilities first appear in the human species Homo sapiens, as seen in certain individuals in the current population, cannot be known. And a definite answer to this question can never be obtained. Whatever answer that can be found can only be done through estimations based off of the best available evidence. In obtaining this information, a number of different methods are available.
The first method used to obtain valid scientific evidence on the matter is paleontology, particularly paleoanthropology. With the information that has been obtained from this source indicates that the history of extraordinary traits and abilities is a long one. However, the evidence that has been obtained through the fossil record so far is lacking and inconclusive. With the specimens that have been obtained are few in number and most are circumstantial at best. This is due to the fact that it’s hard to determine if the evidence indicates that the individual possessed an extraordinary trait or ability, is an artifact of fossilization, or the individual just possessed an odd anatomical structure. Only a small fraction of the fossils obtained actually have clear evidence of an extraordinary trait or ability. These extraordinary traits and abilities that have been obtained from the fossil evidence indicate that the individual possessed a physical trait or ability, such as Bodily Weapon, Physical Structure: Mineral/Stone or Unusual Physical Characteristics. It is possible that the extraordinary abilities of Physical Structure: Metal and Elasticity have been found, but further study needs to be done before a definite answer can be drawn.
Another source of information for the history of extraordinary traits and abilities are through ancient stories and legends. However, they aren’t reliable sources of information due to the very nature of the stories and legends themselves. This is due to the stories being developed over time, making it hard to determine where myth and story stop and where scientific fact begin. Some of the stories and myths are not even based upon extraordinary traits and abilities but upon past events and individuals. Just through the storytelling process itself led to exaggerations and over indulgences. In addition to this, the separation of time between the storyteller and the actual facts and events add to this storytelling process. But there are occasions where the story or myth was made out of whole cloth. Even determining stories and legends surrounding medical oddities and abnormalities, or even misinterpreting the bones of dead animals, can be a challenge and can actually add to the illusion of it being about individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities.
The best way to determine roughly how long extraordinary traits and abilities have been in existence is through genetic research and analysis. To determine the history of extraordinary traits and abilities, research needs to begin with those who already possess them and work backwards from there. Despite the genetic basis for extraordinary traits and abilities and the popular misconception stemming from it, there is no genetic evidence that separates an individual or population of individuals that possess extraordinary traits and abilities from the rest of the population. The mutations that occur and allow for the manifestation of extraordinary traits and abilities fall within the same standard deviation range as that of mutations seen in the average human population. Genetically speaking, individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities are still a part of Homo sapiens. Some claims have even been made that individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities constitute a subspecies of Homo sapiens. However, this is incorrect because there isn’t enough genetic variation within these individuals to constitute a subspecies of Homo sapiens.
In addition to this, claims have been made that individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities simply, and all of a sudden, appeared one day within human history. But this is wrong. What allow extraordinary traits and abilities to manifest themselves in individuals in the first place are mutations that occur within the human genome. Due to the very nature of evolution, it takes time for mutations to buildup and eventually manifest themselves. Mutations are the changes that occur within the genetic material of an organism due to cell replication errors during mitosis or through environmental pressures that act upon any given species. In addition to this, it takes time for these mutations to gather within any genetic pool. The vast majority of mutations that occur are neutral, thus they don’t provide any form of benefit or hindrance to the survival of the organism. But on occasion, there are mutations that occur that can be classified as either positive or negative. With a positive mutation, it will increase the individual’s chances of reproducing and allow that mutation to be passed on to the next generation. With a negative mutation, it will decrease that individual’s chances of reproducing and prevent that mutation from being passed on to the next generation.
An example of a positive mutation occurring within a human population is the continued consumption of milk into adulthood by individuals within that population. Within the human genome, there is a gene that prevents an individual from continuing to draw nutrients from milk once the individual progresses out of infancy. But through the act of dairy farming, populations in Europe and Africa developed a mutation that allowed them to continue to draw nutrients from milk and other dairy products into adulthood, opening up another food supply that allowed them to better survive in their environment. This is known as pedomorphosis, or the retention of infantile traits into adulthood. And with the new food supply available to these individuals as adults, this mutation proved itself to be more valuable to the population than it would to lose it.
Even though mutations can’t be directly controlled through external means or processes, they can be manipulated and selected for, a fact that humanity has been doing for millennia on numerous occasions. This can be seen with the increased size of corn and the curved shape of the banana, both obtained through selective breeding activities by agricultural means where farmers selected plants that they deemed to possess favorable traits. The same processes can be seen with some species of roses, where the plants lack certain traits like thorns also caused the rose to lose its pleasant smell. And the creation of such a large variety of different dog breeds were achieved through the same selective processes which humanity used in agriculture. But an unforeseen consequence of dog domestication was the loss of the wolves’ ability to bark. This was due to the fact that humanity found that barking individuals were more favorable for their ends than individuals who didn’t, removing the ability to bark from the wolf population.
These aforementioned examples of artificial selection are just a few clear examples of how mutations are passed down from one generation to the next through sexual reproduction and demonstrate how the process as a whole works. And it is through this process of sexual reproduction that allows genetic material to become mixed and provide the framework for the development of new genes so that it can be entered into the gene pool. And with this new genetic material available, new traits and characteristics are able to be developed and allowed to succeed, fail, or do nothing at all. It just depends upon the situation and environment that the population finds itself in.
With the development of extraordinary traits and abilities within Homo sapiens, they developed out of what can best be described as improvements upon already existing traits and characteristics of the species. And it is from these improvements that allowed extraordinary traits and abilities to build upon and develop further than what would be normally expected from evolution. And on occasion, a mutation would manifest itself that some people would consider extraordinary but would actually be nothing more than an atavism. It wasn’t until different populations began to interact and exchange genetic material that extraordinary traits and abilities of an exotic bent began to develop and manifest themselves. But even then, it took awhile for the genetic material and resulting mutations to accumulate before such traits and abilities were able to be fully achieved.
From the research that has been conducted, extraordinary traits and abilities developed entirely within Homo sapiens. However, some have suggested that they developed earlier within the hominina line, possibly with Homo ergaster or Homo erectus, and then were passed down to Homo sapiens. But if this was the case, then extraordinary traits and abilities would be more prevalent in Homo sapiens then they currently are. It’s much more likely that extraordinary traits and abilities developed after the appearance of Homo sapiens. If this wasn’t the case, then it would be much more likely that more members of Homo sapiens would possess extraordinary traits and abilities then what can be found in the current population.
In addition to this, if the extraordinary traits and abilities were common among Homo sapiens, the traits and abilities in question would no longer be considered extraordinary. They would just be considered traits and characteristics of the species, nothing more. If given enough time, and allowed to continue to develop and spread throughout the population, that is exactly what would happen; the extraordinary traits and abilities will become a part of the genetic makeup of the human genome and would manifest themselves throughout the entire species. If this were going to occur, then the traits and abilities most likely to stay are those that are improvements and alterations to naturally occurring characteristics of the species. This is due to the fact that they are simple improvements to an already existing genetic sequence whereas the exotic traits and abilities require too much of an alteration to the genetic sequence for them to be sustainable over time. In addition to this, the genes that allow for some of the exotic traits and abilities to occur behave more along the lines of negative mutations then positive ones and will have a detrimental effect upon the individual. If these exotic traits and abilities do continue to manifest themselves throughout the generations after the natural occurring traits and abilities are incorporated into the population, then they will be sporadic at best.
Even though the exact origins of when extraordinary traits and abilities first begin to appear in Homo sapiens will never be known, the search for an answer should not be deterred. Seeking the truth is better than remaining in ignorance, for that is where true power lies, with knowledge, and that is what any and all people should strive to obtain. That is why I study those who possess extraordinary traits and abilities, so that I can find the truth behind what they are.