The Form of Man presents a new interpretation, consonant with Darwinian evolutionary theory, recent evidence of human evolution, and the realities of cultural life.
The exploration begins with the study of the form of life, traversing the tentative gropings of intelligent organic matter in its long struggle to establish itself as life's major adaptation. Seymour Itzkoff explains how intelligence as an adaptation is the slowest and most complex of life's vehicles to escape the degradation of energy predicted by the second law of thermodynamics.
Dr. Itzkoff proposes that two evolutionary processes were keys to shaping human nature along its own particular path. Paedomorphosis (infantilization) explains many of man's unique anthropoid features. Orthoselection (evolution in a straight line) allows us to complete a picture of mankind's rapid catapult in brain size expansion almost into our own day. Both concepts reveal how man could have escaped the close selective honing that would have made him a far more practical creature. The final dramatic moment came with the sudden icy extrusion of a super sapient, Homo sapiens sapiens, sometime after 100,000 B.P. It ransformed the structure of all existing transitional hominids and created the conditions for both the growth of civilization and the paradoxical dilemmas and tragedies in our present polyglot humanity.