Tag Archives: evolution

An evolutionary timeline of Homo Sapiens

The long evolutionary journey that created modern humans began with a single step—or more accurately—with the ability to walk on two legs. One of our earliest-known ancestors, Sahelanthropus, began the slow transition from ape-like movement some six million years ago, … Continue reading

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Cultural transmission and ecological opportunity jointly shaped global patterns of reliance on agriculture

The evolution of agriculture improved food security and enabled significant increases in the size and complexity of human groups. Despite these positive effects, some societies never adopted these practices, became only partially reliant on them, or even reverted to foraging … Continue reading

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How social structure might drive the evolution of cumulative culture

Humans accumulate knowledge over generations, building vast bodies of expertise—a quality that scientists have long suggested helps make humanity unique. In order to explore how such “cumulative culture” arose, anthropologists examined the way in which hunter-gatherers known as the BaYaka … Continue reading

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Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality

Despite evolutionary musicology’s interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is … Continue reading

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The evolutionary origins of human cultural capacities and their implications for understanding human behavior

Humans are unique in their range of environments, and the nature and diversity of their behavioral adaptations. While a variety of local genetic adaptations exist within our species, it seems certain that the same basic genetic endowment produces arctic foraging, … Continue reading

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An evolutionary life history explanation of sexism and gender inequality

Predisposed to differences in parental investment, men and women are expected to enact different reproduction-oriented, accelerated life-history strategies when facing high extrinsic risks or resource insecurity. Sexual selection processes would strengthen the sex differences in support of such accelerated life-history … Continue reading

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The Origins and Evolutionary Effects of Consciousness

Evolution cannot be conscious, just as it cannot be unconscious, silly, clever, or anxious. However, conscious, sentient animals, including reflectively thinking humans, are one of the most amazing products of evolution. So while the question “Can Evolution be Conscious?” has … Continue reading

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Evolution, Culture, and the Human Mind

An enormous amount of scientific research compels two fundamental conclusions about the human mind: The mind is the product of evolution, and the mind is shaped by culture. These two perspectives on the human mind are not incompatible, but, until … Continue reading

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The emergence of hierarchical structure in human language

We propose a novel account for the emergence of human language syntax. Like many evolutionary innovations, language arose from the adventitious combination of two pre-existing, simpler systems that had been evolved for other functional tasks. The first system, Type E(xpression), … Continue reading

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Neanderthal genes influence brain development of modern Humans

A characteristic feature of modern humans is the unusually round skull and brain, in contrast to the elongated shape seen in other human species. By studying Neanderthal DNA fragments found in the genomes of living Europeans, scientists have now discovered … Continue reading

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