Three types of human evolution accounts
There are three broad types of explanation for human emergence, evolutionary psychological, religious, and New Age.
The religious myths have fallen by the way side, despite hints of ancient understandings in the Adamic corpus. The New Age/Indic accounts are highly suggestive. Consider:
The attempts by evolutionary psychology to explain human evolution are almost more mythological than anything in religious or New Age speculative literature. This area is a void on all sides. But the evolutionary psychologists may well have insights into the microevolutionary adaptations of already existing ‘man’, often inducing decline of real potential. The suggestions in Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence (Lynch and Granger) are that at some point homo sapiens was more intelligent than he is now. The regime of adaptational natural selection is under strong suspicion as an eroder of human intelligence.
The design argument lurks over the void of science: J. G. Bennett, in The Dramatic Universe, Vol. 4, gives an interesting if near science fiction account of the emergence of man via homo erectus/sapiens, and is unique in its suggestion that the dimension of consciousness (beyond animal awareness), creativity, and mind, as the foundations of language, purposive action, and ethical agency, are the breakthrough stages that jumpstart erectus to a new speciation. And Bennett, in a unique argument about demiurgic agencies, suggests that early man could only have achieved the passage with help from evolutionary guides, appearing as ‘avatars’ inside the species zone. Avatars, a quite obscure category (!), are well-known in the Indic tradition, most accounts being now myth. That the phenomenon of jump-started self-consciousness, well-known in Indic religion, resembles that relation (too often in superstitious decay) of guru and disciple, is a possible clue to the conundrum of human emergence.