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Michael considered fate at 02:13   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

"...the fact that we were, once, mostly a gathering society and not a hunting one..."

depends on what your evidence is. if you're using modern african hunter-gatherers as a proxy for our ancestors, perhaps. but human evolution could not have been possible without the adaptation of relying on a more nutrient-dense food source, i.e., the reason our brains are so friggin big is because we switched our diets to consuming more meat.

hooray for term papers on hunter-gatherer diets. 

Yes, it's clearly true that meat played a role in our evolution. But what I am arguing is that it's silly to think that it always played an important role. In order to evolve, of course, in order to climb the ladder, you have to at some point be at the bottom rung. I'm arguing that, yes, perhaps at some point "our ancient ancestors [were] hunters who conquered all in their way" but that before that happened, there was presumably a time when our ancestors were not so high and mighty.

You ask of evidence? I use no evidence.. my whole argument in this post is that common sense and logical would lead me to this belief whether I was taught it or not. That is, of course, debatable, which makes the whole excercise interesting and open for more discussion. 
Part duex of amazing science here on the blog.. I didn't even have to wait a week for this one to fall right into my lap. Predators drove human evolution:
The popular view of our ancient ancestors as hunters who conquered all in their way is wrong, researchers have told a major US science conference.

Instead, they argue, early humans were on the menu for predatory beasts.

This may have driven humans to evolve increased levels of co-operation, according to their theory.

Despite humankind's considerable capacity for war and violence, we are highly sociable animals, according to anthropologists.
As Guinness would tell us: BRILLIANT! I've got plenty to say on this but I don't think it really needs any commentary. You either get it (i.e. share my opinion) or you don't. If you are amazed that anthropologists have managed to come up with such a mind-blowing theory such as we are highly sociable animals, however, I might suggest you go out and try to get a clue. Apparently these guys have been spending too much time at the dig site huffing in all that dust because, uhh.. if they spent any time in a bar at all I think they'd have come to the same conclusion in, oh, 2000 B.C.

Plus, I'm not sure what all this surprise about predators is. We've been fighting bad apples and sneaky snakes for years.

Okay okay.. I can't leave well enough alone. This frustrates me to no end and I can't just shut up about it. 1) I'm fairly certain that my humble education in the development of man includes the fact that we were, once, mostly a gathering society and not a hunting one, as the misnomer "hunter gatherer" would imply. 2) Based on the (extremely limited) fossil record it seems obvious that there has been many related (and possibly unrelated) species very similar to us sapiens battling for survival over the last 60,000+ years and that, lo and behold, it hasn't exactly been a walk in the park for anyone (except, one could argue, us of the new millenium.. though we deal with our own potentially-larger problems now). And finally, 3) I am fairly confident that I would deduce this even if I had only meager knowledge of the human race (like a) guns have only been around for a short bit, b) it's cold out there, and c) lions think we taste good).

I jest, but this "science reporting" is getting absurd. To be fair, I wouldn't blame the actual sciencetists for this until I heard their story directly. I suspect this is mostly your typical "dumbing down for the masses" media.

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