Brain expansion (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Friday, July 31, 2020, 00:52 (423 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You keep talking as if the Moroccan sapiens meant an overnight change from pre-sapiens to sapiens. This has always seemed absurd to me. The whole human evolutionary process is shrouded in mystery, and the five Moroccans do not solve it, as this article shows:

World’s oldest Homo sapiens fossils found in Morocco ...

The team doesn’t propose that the Jebel Irhoud people were directly ancestral to all the rest of us. Rather, they suggest that these ancient humans were part of a large, interbreeding population that spread across Africa when the Sahara was green about 300,000 to 330,000 years ago; they later evolved as a group toward modern humans. “H. sapiens evolution happened on a continental scale,” Gunz says.

Support for that picture comes from the tools that Hublin’s team discovered. They include hundreds of stone flakes that had been hammered repeatedly to sharpen them and two cores—the lumps of stone from which the blades were flaked off—characteristic of the Middle Stone Age (MSA). Some researchers thought that archaic humans such as H. heidelbergensis invented these tools. But the new dates suggest that this kind of toolkit, found at sites across Africa, may be a hallmark of H. sapiens.[/i]

The role of the stone tools and H. sapiens is con fused by this discovery in India:

A new discovery of stone tools from about 385,000 years ago has anthropologists rethinking the history of technology. The stone tools, found at a site in southern India, were sophisticated blades chipped from chunks of quartz, which is a technique that experts previously thought came to India only about 125,000 years ago.


Today’s findings reveal that Levallois tools emerged in India roughly 385,000 years ago — right around the same time they started showing up in Africa and Europe. That means “India is part of this network of cultural innovation that included Neanderthals and Africans,” Hawks says.

Over the past 20 years, archaeologists from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in India have unearthed a treasure trove of tools from a creekside site in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There are no bones at the site, so the research team doesn’t know which ancient human species lived there. But these stone tools can provide another window into the lives of ancient hominins during this key period of technological change. “India is often ignored,” says Shanti Pappu, one of the archaeologists who led the study.


Then, after a period with few artifacts, there was an abrupt shift: between 449 and 321 thousand years ago, Levallois points and flakes — and the cores they came from — took over, although a few of those earlier, clunky stone tools persisted. Over the next 200,000 or so years, these hominins improved their technique, as they got even better at making Levallois flakes, blades, points, and scrapers.

While the new timeline means the old story about technology isn’t as convincing, it’s not clear what replaces it. One possibility is that there were earlier hominin migrations out of Africa that brought the technology with them. But it’s also possible that the discovery emerged simultaneously in Africa, Europe, and Asia, as hominins riffed on their standard stone tool-making strategies.

Comment: This research tells us we have no idea when the Moroccans learned their skill, since there were places where the skill was already present. We can agree that bigger brains are consistent with better made tools. What caused the bigger brains is our dispute. I'll stick with God running evolution. Proof of your theory requires as much faith as mine as there is no direct evidence. This article of findings 70,000 years before the Moroccans, with no fossil evidence shows the tools were around, and some of our homo ancestors were doing it. We have no proof if this new homo idea created sapiens brains.

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