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Thread: Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution

    Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution (excerpt)
    by John Poole [NPR 06/07/2018]


    A hunter with bow and arrow, in a steamy sub-Saharan savannah, stalks a big, exotic animal. After killing and butchering it, he and his hunt-mates bring it back to their families and celebrate.

    This enduring scenario is probably what many of us have stuck in our heads about how early humans lived. It's an image with drama and danger. And it happens to coincide with Western ideas about the division of labor and the nuclear family that were prevalent in the 1960s when this so-called "Man the Hunter" theory first emerged.

    A newer body of research and theory, much of it created by women, has conjured a very different scenario. It probably looks a little more like a quirky indie film than a Hollywood blockbuster. The star of this new film? Grandma...

    Over many extended field visits, Hawkes and her colleagues kept track of how much food a wide sample of Hadza community members were bringing home. She says that when they tracked the success rates of individual men, "they almost always failed to get a big animal." They found that the average hunter went out pretty much every day and was successful on exactly 3.4 percent of those excursions. Which meant that, in this society at least, the hunting hypothesis seemed way off the mark. If people here were depending on wild meat to survive, they would starve.

    So if dad wasn't bringing home the bacon, who was? After spending a lot of time with the women on their daily foraging trips, the researchers were surprised to discover that the women, both young and old, were providing the majority of calories to their families and group-mates.

    Mostly, they were digging tubers – which are deeply buried and hard to extract. The success of a mother at gathering these tubers correlated with the growth of her child. But something else surprising happened once mom had a second baby: That original relationship went away and a new correlation emerged with the amount of food their grandmother was gathering.

    She describes this finding as "mind-blowing." In this foraging society, it turns out, grandmothers were more important to child survival than fathers. Mom and grandma were keeping the kids fed. Not Man the Hunter.

    This finding led Hawkes to completely re-evaluate what she thought she knew about human evolution. Grandmothers were crucial in this environment to childhood survival. So maybe it wasn't an accident that humans are the only great ape species in which women live so long past reproductive age. If having a helpful grandmother increased a kid's chances of survival, natural selection may well have started selecting for older and older women.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsan...uman-evolution
    So much for the Macho Man being the saviour of humankind... while he was out with his buddies getting drunk and pretending to "hunt" Gramma was home feeding the babies...

    Here is a PDF of the article:

    For Human Evolution, Root-Gathering Grandmas May Have Been More Important Than Man The Hunter.pdf


    Steve A.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    3.4%? OK, so once every 30 days or so. Once a month a guy gets a deer. Now if the tribe has 30 guys out, they average one a day, if they send out 10 guys they average one every three days. A large animal like a deer would last a while or feed quite a few. A rabbit, not so much. But protein is important. Tubers are great and all, but like living on rice, you need some beans or meat to go with now and then.

    I think it simplistic to try to boil it down to one factor. Both contributed to society. Maybe women contributed more calories to their diet, but the meat from hunting served them as well.

    Like my amp needs a steady supply of EL84s, but still needs an occasional 12AT7.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I am not sure if evolution was your goal, but here...


    If you fall asleep in bed, or maybe on the couch, you wake up and gather your thoughts. But let us say you are in a meeting or some other place, you nod asleep and instantly like a shock, you jerk and wake up instantly. Ever wonder why the difference? Our simian forebears were arboreal - spent a lot of time in trees. You wanted to rest, you climbed up on some branches where the wolf or bear wouldn't get you. You recline on a branch, and if you start to roll off, you instantly react so you don't fall to your death. We are evolutionarily selected for that behavior.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    3.4%? OK, so once every 30 days or so. Once a month a guy gets a deer. Now if the tribe has 30 guys out, they average one a day, if they send out 10 guys they average one every three days.
    The article mentioned 3.4% of "excursions" which I suspect included more than 1 hunter, perhaps even 10. (If you were tracking down a wild rabbit, you would certainly not do it alone, would you? Safety in numbers!)

    I think it simplistic to try to boil it down to one factor. Both contributed to society. Maybe women contributed more calories to their diet, but the meat from hunting served them as well.
    Well, the dominant view in the 60's evidently overemphasized the importance of the hunters. I need to further investigate this issue...

    Steve A.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    The other point in the article (besides food) was that female humans lived long past their fertile years and that they were able to help rear their grandchildren and great grandchildren while their mothers were busy raising their infants. By comparison female chimpanzees did not live long after menopause.

    Here is a video lecture on the subject...

    https://youtu.be/qZvxu0zVhdA

    Steve A.

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    But even if the actual hunting results of males weren't that successful, when they did get a kill, it enabled a more varied diet and I remember some recent research suggesting this leads to a healthier gut microbiome and enhanced immune system. I seem to remember reading that same hadza people have a gut mucrobiome ~10 times more varied that that of the researchers (who likely had a 'better than average' western diet anyway). When they do get a kill, the internal organs are most prized parts, muscle is secondary.
    The fact that humans require some animal derived vitamins in our diet (B12?) indicates that whatever the kill rate, it must have been consistent to some degree.
    And big benefit of having a sub group that were competent in fighting with weapons immediately available is that they could fight off other predators (inc humanoid) that threatened the group. Perhaps even better that their food contributions were only secondary as then a few could then be expendable in such incidents.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Interesting that you should mention vitamin B12. To properly absorb it your digestive requires what is called "intrinsic factor" (which would be a great name for a rock band!) I read an article about this 15 years ago and thought it might have something to do with the chronic fatigue I had been experiencing. I started taking sublingual B12 from Trader Joes which seemed to make a difference so I have been taking it ever since. Whenever I run out I seem to be more tired... who knows, maybe I am fooling myself but it really seems to make a difference.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsic_factor

    Steve A.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    If an individual lacks intrinsic factor then they need to get B12 injections? I remember it was a popular "thing" in the early 80's. Pop stars I worked with would hire a local "rock 'n roll doctor" to get a shot of the juice. Probably other things too, it's always handy to have a jar of Valium around. Et - - - - cetra.

    As a band name, OK. Only one problem, people have a hard enough time saying let alone spelling "intrinsic."

    I don't doubt B12 is helping prop up your energy situation. Maybe I should invest in some.

    Intrinsically yours, LG. btw you get a virtual "like."

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    There is a great deal about popular thinking on the topic of evolution that is quite simply social Darwinism, sustained by pop culture images. For example, dinosaurs have always been depicted as these brutal ruthless giants. Yes some were carnivores, but look around the world at the largest mammals these days. What do they do? They spend an inordinate amount of time lolling around. Yes they can be aggressive if provoked, but lions and tigers and bears mostly sit around, elephants and hippos and rhinos seem to spend much of their energy flicking their tails at pesky flies, and cetaceans spend much of their energy swimming with little devoted to aggression. Being big is not tantamount to being perpetually aggressive to "stay on top of the food chain". It's social Darwinist mythology perpetuated by those in power, to provide justification of why they hold power. And it works as ideology. Ask anyone what "survival of the fittest" means and the reply you'll receive generally revolves around strength, aggression, dominance, and very rarely around "best fit" to the changing environmental conditions like immunity to emerging pathogens, digestive physiology to available food sources, etc. Darwin's finches evolved as they did to adapt to food sources on the individual Galapagos islands, not because they dominated other finches.

    I suspect that, as we gather enough data to deflate such myths, our notions of what provides/provided selective advantage will gradually change. Not just for non-human species, but for humans and humanoids as well. That said, getting unambiguous evidence of humans' earliest social organization and patterns is tough slogging. Not impossible, but it makes searching for the Higgs-Boson particle look like a cakewalk. The earliest versions of "us" left some clues, but not a lot, and mostly under many layers of earth in unexpected places.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Both the apparently Macho Man theory from the 60īs and the 90īs on Feminist view are flawed, although both contain a grain of Truth, because they focus too much on *one* type of food , depending on Political view, not a path to good Science.

    Fact is that Humans , like their Simian forebears, ate **anything** they could get their hands on and wasnīt poisonous.

    Meat was eaten but it was a rare treat, not on everyday menu and even less "the only" menu, while focusing on tubers alone is ridiculous.

    Humans ate any kind of meat , even carcasses left behind by Lions and such, fish, insects, leaves, sprouts, tubers, fruit, wild grain, wild onions, seeds, eggs, **anything**.

    Calling them "hunters" is incomplete, proper name and what Anthropology books call them is "hunters gatherers".

    I remember a Brazilian Anthropologist going through the Amazonian jungle together with an Indian who spoke Portuguese and had lived in a city, then went back to help his Tribe, and saying:
    - "look around, what do dou see?"
    - "the Jungle"
    - "I see a very well supplied Supermarket"
    "Follow me: this spiderweb is excellent to cover wounds, blood will clot and not catch an infection; these insect larvae are delicious, this shrub leaves make a good tea for stomach cramps, inside that hole lives a rodent which weīll catch and turn into dinner , snakes are edible too, as well as those giant ants ...... " on and on and on.
    He found flexible vines to make strings, huge leaves to be used in roofing, bark which could also used in construction, the works.
    Reducing all that to a "meat vs. potatoes" fight is nonsense.

    Fact is, the traditional "division of work" between Man and Woman is the Biologically sound decision, and has self evolved for, what? ... 500000 years?

    No need to bring hypothetical "Grandmas" into the equation; Women live , say, 15 years beyond Menopause, or seen the other way, "stop making babies 15 years before natural Death" (2 names for the same thing) while, say, Chimpanzees or Gorillas do not, because their and our offspring is VERY different in another way: how long it takes it to be self sufficient to live .

    99.99% species have very fast maturing offspring, reptiles and fish are born from eggs "laid somewhere" and donīt even see their Parents, Crocodiles eat just born ones, even if technically their kids, if they find them.
    Birds and some mammals take care of their own for some time, in a Month or two they become self reliant; a just born horse or cow stands on their own feet in minutes (even if clumsily) and can eat on their own (even if they still use Motherīs milk) after, say, 1 Month.
    Rodents are weaned in days and are sexually mature in 2 months, mating and making more of them (the reason behind rats and such being so difficult to erradicate).
    Not sure abiut baby Simians but it must not take long.

    While on the contrary, the Human Baby ... and *child* .... is absolutely hopeless and will die if left on his own even many years after heīs born.

    So a Human Baby NEEDS a Mother which remains by him, taking care of his needs, for many years.
    Which also means Mom must stay at home with kids, or not wander too far from it.

    So a very natural and funded division of Work appeared, simply because itīs the practical one: Women and Kids stay at Home, which is the SAFE place to be, and do everything can be done around it, within walking distance , which might be even a couple Miles if needed, but not so far away they canīt be back at Home at night, to sleep under cover, while Men take care of anything outside that "safe area", whatever it is.
    Which of course is not just "hunting" by any means but *gathering* stuff, not only food but whatever else is needed: broken branches for fire, rocks, making tools, *maybe* trading stuff with others if they advanced so much, mining, making copper/brass/iron, the works.

    Living 15 years after last birth is consistent with humans reaching basic maturity and self reliance at about that age, which in many Cultures is marked by "becoming of age" rites.
    Just remember Jewish Bar/Bat Mitzvah (at 13 y.o. if I am not mistaken), similar "rites" (acknowledged or not but always there one way or the other) such as oh-so-American "Prom Night Party" and so on.
    While Primate Moms are not *biologically* indispensable after, say, Junior is 1 y.o.

    BOTH are needed, Mom and Dad

    Grandma? not that much, not for strict Junior survival in any case.
    Nice to have her around, of course.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Grandma? not that much, not for strict Junior survival in any case. Nice to have her around, of course.
    Sure, somebody's gotta make the latkes, or cookies, whatever. And show the grandkids how to make their own.

    Grandpas are good to have around too. Though only one was still alive when I was small, I learned how to listen to bagpipe music and drink scotch. I also learned the negative consequences of smoking 4 packs of Pall Mall cigs per day.

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    Getting my doctorate in psychology/gerontology, you can imagine that the topic of biological aging and theories of human lifespan came up often enough. Many choose to frame things in terms of "Why do we die as young as we do? Can we do something aboutthat particular 'mistake'?". I look at it another way: "Compared to so many other species that have been around for millions of years, with fairly brief lifespans, why the heck do we live as *long* as we do? Why do we not die sooner?".

    One of the factors is the manner in which humans have few offspring, with comparatively long childhoods, and the average age at which fertility declines. Human offspring require considerable investment of resources to bring to maturity. Reproductive success demands that not only do we have them, but that we have assistance from others who do not currently have their own child-rearing burden, to assist in the long-term viability of children. In short, grandparents - or rather living to the age of potentially being a grandparent - have been selected for as an evolutionary advantage in species sustainability. It's not the 2nd generation that provides assurances the species continues, but the 3rd generation. So, living to around 70-75, on average is roughly what has been selected for, to make sure that the last kids your own kids have, will have you to help get them through the fragile period.

    I might point out that improving the caregiver-adult-to-offspring ratio has been offered up by some theorists as an explanation for why both asexuality and same-sex-attraction continue to exist, even though they do not directly result in offspring themselves. Adult relatives not busy with their own offspring, and able to assist in the care of young from blood relations, increase the viability of those children. That is, collective reproductive success is increased, despite individual reproduction not taking place. In a sense, gay uncles and never-married aunts fulfill the same helper function as grandparents. Or so the theory goes. This type of I-don't-have-any-but-I'll-help-you-with-yours relationship has been documents in a number of avian species, so it isn't necessarily just us.

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    thought it might have something to do with the chronic fatigue I had been experiencing. I started taking sublingual B12 from Trader Joes which seemed to make a difference so I have been taking it ever since. Whenever I run out I seem to be more tired... who knows, maybe I am fooling myself but it really seems to make a difference.
    B12 helps with iron levels. Low iron can cause fatigue.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Theories aside it does look like with humans, great apes and whales post-menopausal females live a lot longer than other creatures, with grandmothers and great grandmothers helping with child rearing while parents are busy with their own tasks. Sorry if I diverted issue by commenting on food in initial post as that was irrelevant to main premise.

    Steve A.

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    As I understand it, the "r-vs-K" distinction in species is not that strongly held to amongst biologists these days, but as a general interpretation there is some agreement. Some species have wads of offspring, provide little or no assistance to, or protection of, those offspring, and rely on sheer numbers to keep the species going. At the other end of the spectrum, we have species that have few offspring at a time, with protracted childhoods, requiring much higher investment to assure viability.

    Species are also graded along the precocial-vs-altricial dimension. Precocial species are generally mobile and sensorally fully-functional at birth/hatching., where altricial species are not fully-developed at birth, and have lengthy periods of helplessness. In the broader scheme, precocial species are not quite as intelligent or adaptive as altricial species. Even though species like turtles, left to hatch and wander to the ocean on their own, are poster children for a precocial species, r and K are not synonymous with precocial and altricial. Horses don't have many offspring at a time, nurse andprotect them, and the offspring can take a while to mature, they come right out of the amniotic sac with all senses working, and able to trot around within a few hours. So, kinda precocial, kinda altricial, kinda more K than r. One shouldn't confuse typical species lifespan with either r or K, either. Both houseflies and tortoises would count as r and precocial, but have wildly contrasting lifespans.

    Cutoffs for what counts as r or K are vague. For instance, ducks and geese can have litters (?) of half a dozen or more. The hatchlings are defenseless and require protection from both parents for a while, although the parents only show what counts as food while not providing it, and the young are pretty well good to go on their own by the time seasonal migration takes place.

    All of that said, humans are among a select few species that are very clearly well at the K end and the altricial end of those spectrums. Every species' typical lifespan is woven into what makes for species maintenance within their respective ecological niche. As I understand it, non-childbearing grandparents - and particularly older females - are also crucial to the reproductive success of great ape species, often tending to infants and juveniles.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Cool, but please define "r vs k" and "altricial".
    Then Iīll read your post again but with the magic decoder ring in my hand, a distinct advantage
    Thanks.

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    I figured interested parties would just Google it, but here's the short version.

    'r' have lotsa lotsa babies at once, and don't take care of them. Mostly non-mammalian species, but I suppose mice and rats could be considered 'r' by some. 'K' species have few, and generally very few at a time. 'Altricial' is derived from the same word root as altruistic. 'Altricial' species are born helpless and requiring adult or sibling assistance for a lengthy period.

    As noted, r does not equal precocial and K does not equal altricial. Example: rats and rabbits have large litters and frequent litters, but the young are barely able to move at birth, initially blind and largely helpless, except to make it to the nipple, for the first couple of weeks. So, not a lengthy "childhood", but far more dependent on adults at birth than turtles, snakes, or fish.

    Clear enough?

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Yes.

    It would have been better if definitions had been the first two lines of your post,though, just to save time

    Like on most theorems or Math/Chem/Physics/etc. explanations or deductions, which are *often* (and thatīs an understatement) preceded by a set of definitions.

    My posts are usually long, in general the first part defining the game field and rules and only actually playing the game on the second half.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    I googled r & k and just got hits about the rapper R. Kelley...

    Steve A

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Great thread! Being as I've done some research into human evolution I want to say about that article, as eloquently as I can:

    I'm sick of all these power lesbo, gen x, man hater, don't assume my gender, "liberal" feminists looking at statistics with one eye closed while poking the other sideways with a finger and deriving yet another bogus reason to unempower the "man" figure in our culture.

    There. Phew. That feels better.

    I think it's adequately pointed out above that the gender roles in the many diverse cultures around the world are "selected for" by evolution. And that a steady diet of tubers is absurd. And that the things the "hunters" do in a hunter gatherer society aren't limited to hunting. And that the extreme feminist agenda is as absurd as the great and dominant mammoth killer view point. So I won't cover all that again The idea that "men" are in control of most of the world being strictly because 'we're big aggressive brutes and we'll beat you up if you don't let us' is just narrow sighted feminism and not effective to any good outcome. I could counter the article with different statistics about how the animal protein in our diets is probably the most critical factor in humans evolving large brains that allow us to to develop complex social structures and societies at all!!! And the hunter says "How do like me now? No meat, and you're still a chimp!" Then he does a mic drop and walks off stage.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    Great thread! Being as I've done some research into human evolution I want to say about that article, as eloquently as I can:

    I'm sick of all these power lesbo, gen x, man hater, don't assume my gender, "liberal" feminists looking at statistics with one eye closed while poking the other sideways with a finger and deriving yet another bogus reason to unempower the "man" figure in our culture.
    Thatīs what I got from reading that ridiculous unsustained article.
    The most optimistic explanation being that it was written by a Grandmother and certainly sold many copies ... to Grandmothers.
    I could counter the article with different statistics about how the animal protein in our diets is probably the most critical factor in humans evolving large brains that allow us to to develop complex social structures and societies at all!!! And the hunter says "How do like me now? No meat, and you're still a chimp!"
    Funny thing is that Chimps do hunt, do so in groups. are territorial, attack and kill those "invading" (even if they were "just passing by" and in due turn invade other areas to hunt, kill and eat ... other momkeys.
    If that does not meet Army, Country ("here" , "us vs others") and Politics definitions .......

    Just look by yourselves:


    FWIW in my view we are STILL Chimpanzees, just somewhat smarter .
    I read a lot about Chimpanzee Society and was crushed by the similarities.

    That turned me into a very humble Human.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    A chilling, highly coordinated attack:


    and as I see it (and on other related videos), hunter themselves eat the meat (which up to a point is logic) , they donīt carry it back to the tribe, so on average females, offspring ... and even Grannies .... do not get much meat, if at all.

    As a side note, in the original Tribes/Families, before Society Rules evolved, there was not much "family role differentiation", I guess females were not Mothers, Grannies or such labels but simply "available females", period, any and all could be fertilized at any time.

    Yes, shocking to US, today, not so sure way back then.

    And Iīm talking 20000 to 250000 years back, not mere 2000 or 5000 (start of current Civilization inn the Middle East).

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Well, gender roles have existed and evolved for humans for a long time. In your 20,000 to 25,000 year period it wasn't at all uncommon for a woman in a society to be the medicine specialist. Knowing how to find, identify and use medicinal plants. And it's evolution from the "gatherer" aspect, typically managed and performed by women (and sometimes children) that was critical to the eventual development of sedentary communities. And, so, agriculture and the first cities. It was around this time that gender roles were recognized cognitively as pivotal in a social structure. It was also around this time that some cultures chose the practice of having young men leave the community at maturity. Prior to this it was universal that women went to a new community at maturity. Women were revered then very much like today. Probably less so than in modern American cultures but more so than in the middle east. Before that it may or may not have been worse. The evidence isn't clear. Neanderthals OTOH absolutely did use women as sex toys and brood stock. And while Neanderthals are actually considered human now (homo neanderthalensis) I differentiated them from humans in this case only to avoid confusion since in current nomenclature I would have had to stipulate "early modern human" for the time frame involved and if you're not up on the phrasings it can seem unclear.?.

    And yes, we are chimps and chimps are us. Give a chimp a big brain and it'll be ten times as smart and ten times as awful. Just like us.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    FWIW in my view we are STILL Chimpanzees, just somewhat smarter .
    I read a lot about Chimpanzee Society and was crushed by the similarities.
    Even more closely resembling human nature, especially "certain people", the bonobo variety of chimps. Have fun!

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    You beat me to it. Bonobos are a lot closer to humans than chimps, at least in my mind.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    DNA wise I think we're closer to chimps. But bonobos do have a few societal quirks that are closer to human. One thing they have that we DON'T is a proclivity to handle disputes with sexual contact rather than aggression. Including male to male and female to female. This is thought to be the reason for the lower ratio of sexual dimorphism in bonobos which is more similar to humans than chimps are. Some think that this blatant homosexuality and lesser sexual dimorphism is their claim to being more like humans but it's an entirely different mechanism than human homosexuality.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I don't know from DNA similarities. I first decided bonobos were more like us the first time I watched films of them in their natural environment. Their behavior convinced me.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Sure! Now if we could adopt their policy of "make love not war". I don't mind kissing a man if means I don't have to shoot him

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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    What amazes me is all that has occurred since the Cambrian Explosion.

    Before 600 million years ago there was no boney fish.

    598 million years later you have 'Lucy'.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    600 million years is actually a pretty long time.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Say what you want but I find the Hazda people to be fascinating!

    The Hadza's oral history of their own past is divided into four epochs, each inhabited by a different culture. According to this tradition, in the beginning of time, the world was inhabited by hairy giants called the Akakaanebe or Gelanebe, "ancestors". The Akakaanebe did not possess tools or fire; they hunted game by staring at it and it fell dead; they ate the meat raw. They did not build houses but slept under trees, as the Hadza do today in the dry season. In older versions of this story, fire was not used because it was physically impossible in the earth's primeval state, while younger Hadza, who have been to school, say that the Akakaanebe simply did not know how.
    In the second epoch, the Akakaanebe were succeeded by the Tlaatlanebe, equally gigantic but without hair. Fire could be made and used to cook meat, but animals had grown more wary of humans and had to be chased and hunted with dogs. The Tlaatlanebe were the first people to use medicines and charms to protect themselves from enemies and initiated the epeme rite. They lived in caves.
    The third epoch was inhabited by the Hamakwabe "nowadays", who were smaller than their predecessors. They invented bows and arrows, and containers for cooking, and mastered the use of fire. They also built houses like those of Hadza today. The Hamakwabe were the first of the Hadza's ancestors to have contact with non-foraging people, with whom they traded for iron to make knives and arrowheads. The Hamakwabe also invented the gambling game lukuchuko.
    The fourth epoch continues today and is inhabited by the Hamaishonebe, "modern". When discussing the Hamaishonebe epoch, people often mention specific names and places, and can approximately say how many generations ago events occurred.
    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadza_people

    Here is the wikipedia article in PDF format...

    Hadza_people.pdf

    Steve A.

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    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Very cool. Probably as close to reality as any folklore gets. As to the accuracy of their recent (and it seems prehistoric) memories, well, what do you think people did with giant brains 200,000 years ago? Today I can communicate with comrades I've known for 20 (or more) years, though I've never seen them, on my computer from this desk in my home. Then I can turn a valve in another room and enjoy some instant hot water. Then I'll get into my car and drive to the store where food is always available. I may get a call on my cell phone from my wife. That call bounces radiation around in the atmosphere between towers or space and is picked up by me while I try to check out with my beer. So, now that you all know my evening plans, What the hell were people doing with huge brains 200,000 years ago? Consider that nearly all the technology that we revere has been developed in the last 200 years and with a tiny bit more innovation happening between then and 15,000 friggin years ago!?! Before that it was all stone knives and bones baby. Since evolution doesn't make things for no reason, what was the purpose of our big brains? Some speculate that it took a "great leap forward" to rewire our brains into what they are now and all they can do. There's no evidence for this and if anthropologists weren't the ones saying it, it would sound absurd. What I really wonder is, if we have all this technology now because of our brains, what did we have before that we probably lost along the way when it was replaced by new technology.

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    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    600 million years is actually a pretty long time.
    Almost as long as it takes to tune a 12-string, or to wait in line at the motor vehicle bureau.

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    One of the more interesting theories read about during my doctoral program came from sociologist David Gutman at Univ. Wisconsin. He notes that men and women become more alike, personality and motivation-wise, once what he calls "the parental emergency" declines. He suggests that, while the content of gender-roles can vary across cultures and history, gender-differentiated roles exist pretty much always and everywhere. He proposes that gender roles were developed and exist for the division of household labour to face the seemingly constant crisis-state posed by child-rearing. Once that crisis-state dissipates when child-rearing is effectively ended, men and women tend to drift together and overlap more. Not to suggest that nobody clings tenaciously to gender roles into old age, but we see proportionately more blurring of lines. Older broads get tougher, and older dudes lose a lot of their rough edges. As so much of Africa illustrated in the wake of the AIDS crisis: never underestimate the resiliency and integrity of a granny.

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