Robert L. Kelly


On his book The Fifth Beginning: What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us about Our Future

Cover Interview of April 25, 2017


Ever since the fourth beginning, humanity has been trying to figure out how to integrate a world of cultural differences.

The need to resolve that difficulty accelerated after A.D. 1500, when Europe began to “discover” the rest of the world. We tried empire, slavery, and colonialism but none of those worked (thankfully). Today we are trying nationalism, and breaking into separate entities that will madly negotiate with one another to secure an advantage. I predict this will be as successful as empires and colonialism. Why? Because archaeology, while it is hard to interpret, it doesn’t lie. And humanity’s material signature of the past 500 years points to world unification. Cables that literally tie the continents together, and material goods that circle the globe undercut any story that we are not integrated, that we don’t have to cooperate.

Archaeology tells us that unification is inevitable. The only question is whether we achieve it the easy way or the hard way. Right now, it looks like we’ve chosen the hard way. We shouldn’t. We should use the past six million years of human history to see the future. As I conclude in the book, “For the first time since primates dropped out of the trees and flaked a stone into a tool, human evolution could be, should be, must be up to us.”