Thanks for your thought provoking reply (as usual ;-). Because of the many interesting points you raised, I'll make a separate response to each one that piqued my interest.
> The hunting and gathering society was not pervaded by idea of prevarication
I may have misunderstood your intent but -- taking prevarication to mean evasion of the truth; deceit, evasiveness -- it is widely accepted that prevarication was indeed common and widespread in hunter-gatherer communities ... and among many other Ape species too!
Stronger, lying and bluffing is rife throughout the animal kingdom (not just in Apes), deception conferring strong evolutionary advantages. See for example:
- Those Lying Apes (Psychology Today)
- Why some monkeys are better liars (newscientist)
- Do Animals Lie? (University of Rochester)
- The Evolution of Lying (ABC)
I'd also like to highlight, by quoting Sapiens, that the time scales involved indicate that the ancient hunter-gatherer era is the dominant influence on our genes today:
For nearly the entire history of our species, Sapiens lived as foragers. The past 200 years, during which ever increasing numbers of Sapiens have obtained their daily bread as urban labourers and office workers, and the preceding 10,000 years, during which most Sapiens lived as farmers and herders, are the blink of an eye compared to the tens of thousands of years during which our ancestors hunted and gathered ...
The flourishing field of evolutionary psychology argues that many of our present-day social and psychological characteristics were shaped during this long pre-agricultural era. Even today, scholars in this field claim, our brains and minds are adapted to a life of hunting and gathering.
Why, for example, do people gorge on high-calorie food that is doing little good to their bodies? Today's affluent societies are in the throes of a plague of obesity ... If a Stone Age woman came across a tree groaning with figs, the most sensible thing to do was to eat as many of them as she could on the spot, before the local baboon band picked the tree bare.