[extropy-chat] Elderly crucial to evolutionary success of humans

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 12:50:25 UTC 2004


Senior citizens played an important role in the dramatic spread of human 
civilization some 30,000 years ago, a study of the human fossil record 
has shown.
Caspari and Lee found a five-fold increase the number of individuals 
surviving into old age in the Early Upper Palaeolithic period - around 
30,000 years ago. This coincides with an explosive population growth of 
modern humans and the spread of archaeological artifacts that suggest 
the development of more complex social organization.
Anthropologists have long suspected that older people may have played an 
important role in the development of early human societies by providing 
extra care for children, helping to accumulate useful information and 
strengthening kinship bonds.
Caspari believes that older people may have giving modern humans an 
evolutionary edge. "There has been a lot of speculation about what gave 
modern humans their evolutionary advantage," Caspari said. "This 
research provides a simple explanation for which there is now concrete 
evidence: modern humans were older and wiser."


So the whole of our modern civilization can be put down to crotchety old 
folk saying "You really don't want to do that" to long-haired youngsters 
wearing flares and playing with matches.  :)

Better be nice to the oldies. Maybe they do talk sense sometimes.


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