Evolution and humans: all over Africa (Evolution)

by dhw, Saturday, April 28, 2018, 11:09 (171 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: We know that 12,000 years ago marks the beginning of a revolution for humanity. This is when Earth’s climate entered a warm and unusually stable period known as the Holocene, which persists to this day. It seems likely that people have always tried to control and alter their environment, but with climatic stability such experiments were finally able to take off. Farming was born. And this had big implications for human evolution.

QUOTE: "The homogenising effect on humanity was so pronounced that anthropologist Marta MirazÓn Lahr at the University of Cambridge has dubbed it the “Holocene filter”.

DAVID’s comment: During the past 12,000 years we really learned how to use our brains. We had been partially civilized; we had farmed food and lived above a survival existence which allowed us to really start thinking.

dhw: Wow, here we have a possible catalyst! All this time, you have been asking why it took so long for sapiens to use his new capacity. I pointed out that all pre-sapiens stages have involved long periods of stasis, and it was not until the new geniuses came along that the brain had to expand. But it didn’t occur to me that the sapiens stasis might have ended because of a change in the climate. So 12,000 years ago, new environmental conditions allowed a vast range of new possibilities for the sapiens brain to exploit. It also fits in perfectly with my evolutionary hypothesis that advances are caused by the drive for survival and the exploitation of new opportunities provided by environmental change. Many thanks for this vital piece of information!
DAVID: We couldn't do much during an ice age. I've
been saying we lived survival lives until until recently. Survival life is not civilized life.
[…]

I know. And for months you have been asking why sapiens didn’t use his great brain for two or three hundred thousand years, until approx. 12,000 years ago. Now you have an answer: the climate changed. Rejoice!


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