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