If Psychologists Diagnosed the Cavemen
I don't know if the TV series has any plans to include psychologists in its episodes; but if it does, here's what I'm guessing might happen, based on my observations of the behavior of certain psychologists in recent years.
First, someone will notice that the cavemen have several characteristic differences in speech and behavior. They have unusual posture and body language. Although they can speak English, they sometimes prefer to communicate with one another by grunts and gestures. They also have peculiar hobbies, such as carving stone figures and painting on cave walls. And if there are no cavewomen around, they have a really hard time getting girlfriends.
Starting from the assumption that any noticeable behavioral differences must be symptoms of a mental disorder, the psychs will carefully study and document every unusual trait in the speech and behavior of the cavemen that they can find. It won't be long before they develop a new diagnostic category, Caveman Disorder, which they'll describe as a tragic abnormality that causes significant impairment in social and communicative functioning.
There's a bit of a problem with this diagnostic category, however. Some Neanderthals appear to be quite successful in school and in the workplace, and some have found nice compatible cavewomen and are living in suburbia with a houseful of happy cavekids. How to explain that? Well... that's easy enough for the psychs. Just define "caveman" so that anyone who doesn't have significant problems in his life is not really a caveman, no matter how much he looks like one. Then convince successful Neanderthal parents that, although they may be normal, their children are suffering from Caveman Disorder (as shown by the bullying they endure in school, etc.) and must be treated at great expense.
In a few years, after all of the cultural differences of the cavemen have been redefined as hideous symptoms to be eradicated, no Neanderthal will dare to behave like one in public, which will make it easy to convince society that the world is plagued by a dreadful new epidemic and that there were no cavemen in previous generations. Politicians and nonprofit groups will declare war on Caveman Disorder and will allocate huge amounts of money to genetic research to prevent the entire caveman spectrum.
It's a good thing for the cavemen that they're just TV characters.
(Note: this post is not intended to express any opinion on the Neanderthal hypothesis.)
Labels: psych industry