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History of Humans & Primates

humans primates cro magnon neanderthals proto-human evolution hunter-gatherer human evolution australopithecus primate evolution

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#181
sorcerer

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Shoot, there are places in California where all I have to do is walk to the beach to find non-human mammals using stones as tools.  They are called sea otters and use the stones to break open abalone shells. 

 

Still, it is interesting to find that ancestors to humans and not just humans were using stone tolls. As sorcerer indicated, thanks for the link.

That would be Californians you're watching....



#182
wjfox

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The coming merge of human and machine intelligence

For most of the past two million years, the human brain has been growing steadily. But something has recently changed. In a surprising reversal, human brains have actually been shrinking for the last 20,000 years or so. We have lost nearly a baseball-sized amount of matter from a brain that isn't any larger than a football.

The descent is rapid and pronounced. The anthropologist John Hawks describes it as a "major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink." If this pace is maintained, scientists predict that our brains will be no larger than those of our forebears, Homo erectus, within another 2,000 years.

The reason that our brains are shrinking is simple: our biology is focused on survival, not intelligence. Larger brains were necessary to allow us to learn to use language, tools and all of the innovations that allowed our species to thrive. But now that we have become civilized—domesticated, if you will—certain aspects of intelligence are less necessary.

Read more: http://medicalxpress...telligence.html



#183
Yuli Ban

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It's almost spooky to see exponential progression occur in so many places.  Going back to the beginning of time.  Exponential progression is there

To be honest, that one is more fibonacci than exponential.


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#184
sorcerer

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Just looked back at the graph and realised that our brains have been shrinking for a few thousand years - I wonder if this is beneficial to us or not?

It would be beneficial to the ladies, on account of childbirth.....



#185
sorcerer

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Strange how it gradually creeped up for millions of years then suddenly shot up, the same way the population shot up in the 20th century - we really are living in times of massive change.

Did it coincide with the controlled use of fire, and therefore cooking? Cooking food has a triple wammy effect, more energy, easier to digest and quicker to eat so hence more time for hunting. All that protein to power our brains.


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#186
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Just looked back at the graph and realised that our brains have been shrinking for a few thousand years - I wonder if this is beneficial to us or not?

 

It is. Human brain size has always been something that makes childbirth unusually difficult, and occasionally lethal.

 

If our brains are shrinking it doesn't mean that they're becoming less powerful, it just means that they're becoming more compact.


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#187
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Just looked back at the graph and realised that our brains have been shrinking for a few thousand years - I wonder if this is beneficial to us or not?

 

It is. Human brain size has always been something that makes childbirth unusually difficult, and occasionally lethal.

 

If our brains are shrinking it doesn't mean that they're becoming less powerful, it just means that they're becoming more compact.

 

*Denser. It's better to have an extremely dense brain than just an extremely large one. The Neanderthals (and blue whales) certainly knew this.


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#188
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It could be that the Neanderthals' larger brains were a factor in their extinction. Their brains were not as complex as ours, it probably took more energy to keep them going, and childbirth would have been even more fatal.  Very inefficient, in a word, kind of like nature stumbling around trying to find the first sapient computer to make.  Of course it's going to be big and inefficient.


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#189
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Of course... a huge and dense brain is always best.

Our brains will almost certainly move to the cloud, so we technically won't need physical brains. Those who do will probably be the ones who look like Greys— also only possible through augmentation.

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#190
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Of course... a huge and dense brain is always best.

Our brains will almost certainly move to the cloud, so we technically won't need physical brains. Those who do will probably be the ones who look like Greys— also only possible through augmentation.

 

ayy lmao

 

We don't want HUGE brains, even if they are dense, because as always, the head size should be limited by the size of the mother's pelvis unless we want a 100% mother fatality rate and something like 75% for the babies. And if the brain is denser/more complex, it makes absolutely no sense to keep it large.

 

Now that mother fatality rates have declined thanks to modern science and medicine though, head sizes could vary widely if our current evolutionary trends were to continue without human intervention. But would it have any impact on intelligence? Now that would be interesting to see.


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#191
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We don't want HUGE brains, even if they are dense, because as always, the head size should be limited by the size of the mother's pelvis unless we want a 100% mother fatality rate

 

One of evolutionary solutions (theoretically) is shortening of pregnancy time and the birth of less developed babies (something like a kangaroo) so their huge brains would grow outside, and not inside, of mother's body.



#192
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7HIif0q.gif



#193
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Of course... a huge and dense brain is always best.

Our brains will almost certainly move to the cloud, so we technically won't need physical brains. Those who do will probably be the ones who look like Greys— also only possible through augmentation.

 

ayy lmao

 

We don't want HUGE brains, even if they are dense, because as always, the head size should be limited by the size of the mother's pelvis unless we want a 100% mother fatality rate and something like 75% for the babies. And if the brain is denser/more complex, it makes absolutely no sense to keep it large.

Hence the "only possibly through augmentation" line.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#194
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Humans definitely killed off mammoths, giant armadillo, sabretooth tiger, scientists claim

New research settles argument about whether whether humans or climate change was responsible for the end of ‘megafauna’, it is claimed, and ‘debunks the myth of early humans living in harmony with nature’
 


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#195
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New human-like species discovered in S Africa

Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa.

The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa.

The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.

The studies which have been published in the journal Elife also indicate that these individuals were capable of ritual behaviour.

The species which has been named naledi has been classified in the grouping, or genus, Homo to which modern humans belong.

 

The researchers who made the find have not been able to find out how long ago these creatures lived - but the scientist who led the team, Prof Lee Berger, told BBC News that he believed they could be among the first of our kind (genus Homo) and could have lived in Africa up to three million years ago.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-34192447

 

 

_85448683_01-homo-naledi-bone-table-vert

 


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#196
Yuli Ban

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Looks like I have a new character for Mother Meki III! Damn, and after all that time refining my Human Carnival bank...  Ah well, cheers to Homo naledi— shine on, you wonderful diamond, and thank you for kickstarting our great species!


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#197
Raklian

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Looks like I have a new character for Mother Meki III! Damn, and after all that time refining my Human Carnival bank...  Ah well, cheers to Homo naledi— shine on, you wonderful diamond, and thank you for kickstarting our great species!

 

When I read across Homo naledi, I thought Homo nailed.

 

I think it's fitting since this species might've nailed the whole Homo genus branch thing.  :)


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What are you without the sum of your parts?

#198
nomad

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Now, see, THIS is news. It is so complete for being so old. Just fantastic.


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Cats.


#199
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Another human-like  species to add to the history books.


“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don't throw it away.”

 

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#200
Yuli Ban

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Earliest evidence of controlled fire making in Europe found

Charred bone, heat-rippled stone in Spanish cave date back 800,000 yrs. Cave has 2,300 heated or charred bones. Fossils of extinct animals also found with the tools. Some argue the the tools are some 600,000 yrs old

Prehumans living around 800,000 years ago in what’s now southeastern Spain were, literally, trailblazers. They lit small, controlled blazes in a cave, a new study finds.
Discoveries in the cave provide the oldest evidence of fire making in Europe and support proposals that members of the human genus, Homo, regularly ignited fires starting at least 1 million years ago, say paleontologist Michael Walker of the University of Murcia in Spain and his colleagues. Fire making started in Africa (SN: 5/5/12, p. 18) and then moved north to the Middle East (SN: 5/1/04, p. 276) and Europe, the researchers conclude in the June Antiquity.
If the age estimate for the Spain find holds up, the new report adds to a “surprising number” of sites from deep in the Stone Age that retain evidence of small, intentionally lit fires, says archaeologist John Gowlett of the University of Liverpool in England.
Excavations conducted since 2011 at the Spanish cave, Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar, have uncovered more than 165 stones and stone artifacts that had been heated, as well as about 2,300 animal-bone fragments displaying signs of heating and charring. Microscopic and chemical analyses indicate that these finds had been heated to between 400° and 600° Celsius, consistent with having been burned in a fire.
Walker’s group doubts that sparks from a brush fire near the cave’s entrance could have triggered fires five to seven meters inside the cave. Dry brush probably didn’t grow near the cave anyway, the researchers add. Geologic evidence suggests that around 800,000 years ago, the cave bordered a river and a swamp.

 
"Prehumans"? Please. These were humans, full stop. Almost certainly Homo erectus.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: humans, primates, cro magnon, neanderthals, proto-human, evolution, hunter-gatherer, human evolution, australopithecus, primate evolution

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