[ExI] Paleo lifespan

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 15:39:33 UTC 2011

On Sun, Apr 3, 2011 at 2:18 AM, J. Stanton <js_exi at gnolls.org> wrote:
> http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/gurven/papers/GurvenKaplan2007pdr.pdf
> "The average modal age of adult death for hunter-gatherers is 72 with a
> range of 68-78 years. This range appears to be the closest functional
> equivalent of an "adaptive" human lifespan."
> [...]
> "Illnesses account for 70 percent, violence and accidents for 20 percent,
> and degenerative diseases for 9 percent of all deaths in our sample."
> [...]
> "Post-reproductive longevity is a robust feature of hunter-gatherers and of
> the life cycle of Homo sapiens. Survivorship to grandparental age is
> achieved by over two-thirds of people who reach sexual maturity and can last
> an average of 20 years."

Err...grandparental age ain't 68-78 years back in paleo times.  Even
accounting for later average sexual maturity than we see today, people
would have babies ASAP in that era - which means parent around 15
and grandparent around 30.

Moreover, that article seems to say near its beginning that, with modern
infectious diseases (which are around the globe regardless of where and
who you are) and other interactions, even modern people living the paleo
lifestyle (say, the remaining uncontacted tribes) don't get the same
lifespan as their ancestors.

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