File Size: 1745 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (January 27, 2009)
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Cochran and Harpending give a much-needed antidote to this completely inaccurate view of human biology and history. They earn a strong case that not even close to cultural development circumventing the forces of natural selection and neurological evolution, cultural changes assist as a powerful impetus for genetic changes in human populations. Obvious good examples include the independent roots of adult lactose patience among cattle herding people in both Africa and the Middle East. Less clear but nonetheless convincing examples include potentially strong selective pressures leading to changes in cognitive and personality traits consequently of sociocultural circumstances. In a sense, none of these findings should come as a great surprise, since individual society and culture certainly creates the environment in which people differentially endure and reproduce, implying that the forces of natural selection have been and remain as active as ever.
I hope that Cochran and Harpending's publication is widely read (particularly by social scientists and the general public) and helps to refute the stubbornly held view that only culture and surroundings matter as the generating forces of modern individual history.., I have now read this book 2 times on Kindle and then ordered the hardcover version, which is easier to tea leaf back and forth and make notes in. It really is incredibly thick and detailed with information that has been pressurized and given almost in outline form. I want to work my way through the references and do more reading. I have been struggling to learn Lewin's Gene XI and will spend renewed effort with this book as inspiration. I used to be also pleased to see that it agrees quite much with the initial section of my own medical history book, in which I actually attempted to summarize human development technically form. My own book is called " The Brief History of Illness, Science and Medicine, " http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Disease-Science-Medicine/dp/0974946656.,Really indispensable for anyone who would think about the uncontrolled demographic changes occurring mainly within the West. If you read it carefully it removes the politically-correct blinders. Likewise gives you an idea of how positive qualities can rapidly spread in a population (adult lactose tolerance is the example), and hints at the way the oncoming juggernaut of hereditary engineering will spread like lightning! He doesn't discuss CRISPR but anyone who is interested should look it up right now.
Hickory, NC, A great special primer on recent human development. The authors stress the co-evolution of genes and culture, and argue against the politically motivated but scientifically untenable thesis that evolution has sculpted the bodies but not the brains of different groups of people. The writers clarify how major ethnic changes, like the farming revolution, have produced hereditary consequences that condition who we are today, and help clarify why different groups of people exhibit different characteristics., This book makes the astounding claim that our development has sped up 100 times faster during the past 10, 1000 years than the prior six million years. Actually people 4, 000 years ago were genetically and culturally different from all of us.
How do we know this? One way is from looking at both human and chimpanzee DNA. We all know we split off from chimps about 6 million in years past, so we can compare the genetic variations and therefore the long-term rate of genetic change. The rate of replace the past few thousand years is a hundred times greater than the long-term rate over the past few million years. If we'd always progressed at such a fast rate, the difference between chimp and human DNA would be much greater than it is.
In case evolution this fast seems impossible, then consider how different dogs are from wolves. It took less than 15, 000 years to go from wolf to a Chihuahua. There is other mammal on world with additional varied forms and sizes than dogs. Canines also vary widely in behavior. For example, some can learn much faster than others. Border collies just need 5 practice of a new command to learn it and follow the command properly 95% of times, but a beagle hound will need 70 to 100 repetitions and only obey properly 25% of the time.
And it isn't just a puppies appearance, dogs are much better at understanding our commands and gestures than wolves are.
Russian science tecnistions Dmitri Belyaev developed domestic fox in just 4 decades by selecting the most tame foxes in each generation.
As far as humans go, it's quite clear evolution happened the past 50, 000 years - just look at all the varieties of skin, eye, and curly hair color. Such skin-deep appearances were all we could see until recently, but with genetic testing you observe more than superficial variations - we also fluctuate in bones, liver and brain function, disease resistance, etc from the other person considerably. All of us can speak and also have evolved better hearing as well to understand complex language and perhaps to better bug.
For some time scientists have recently been baffled about why humans made a very abrupt shift about 50, 1000 years ago - abruptly advanced, complex art, culture, tools, and weapons emerged on the scene. Regarding several decades now scientists have been trying to determine what happened.
This is different from the general "prime mover" - of why we are the way our company is. Recent evidence helps the thermal hypothesis, other proposals include Man the Hunter, tool making, speech, social intelligence, taming fireplace, a constantly changing weather, etc and most likely of all, a synergy of these and many factors not listed as Peter Corning explains perfectly in "Nature's Magic".
When our amazing culture progressed, we were no longer bound by natural selection - we didn't need to evolve fur when we moved into chillier climates, because we could make warm clothes, and we didn't need to evolve strong muscles to hunt large animals - we could build better weapons.
And once there were better weapons, like the long distance spear throwing atlatl, humans didn't have to be muscular heavy hulks risking their lives every time they hunted. We became smaller, needed less food, and perhaps that's why we out-competed Neanderthals.
But how do we have evolved so rapidly 50, 000 years ago? Here's the bombshell theory - we interbred with Neanderthals!
This publication came out before the recent discovery we have one to four percent Neanderthal DNA. But not one of the articles about this discussed the implications - that this is why we underwent such an explosive cultural change roughly fifty, 000 years ago and became fully modern humans.
The particular authors clarify that a common misconception is that people feel that Neanderthals were closer to apes than people, but that is not at all true. They also had large brains, speech, and cooperated highly with the other person when they hunted with each other.
We had too small a population to have enough mutations to progress quickly, in order it makes sense for this abrupt in order to have happened is for us to have acquired useful genes from Neanderthals. All it could have take is for a few dozen half individual - half-Neanderthal babies over thousands of years for us to gain their utmost genetic strengths.
What would be interesting to know is whether it was mainly male humans and women Neanderthals or the reverse. This kind of analyses were done on the ancestry of Mexicans, and their maternal origins is mainly Amerindian, but their paternal ancestry is Spanish.
Ultimately, the most important result of our recent evolution was our ability to improve. Every new innovation directed to new selective challenges, which caused us to evolve in new ways. The most important innovation, and the one that caused the most evolution the past 10, 000 years, was the invention of agriculture.
Once we had agriculture, the human populace grew enormously, which intended a much larger pool of potentially beneficial mutations taking place - 100 times more than in the Pleistocene.
Agriculture also created diets early farmers weren't adapted to. They ate way more carbohydrates and less protein, didn't get all the vitamins they needed, and lived much reduced and unhealthier lives.
But mutations arose that altered that. Here's just one example (that you may know): About 8, 1000 years ago the capacity to drink milk as an adult arose in Europe, and now about 95% of people in Denmark and Sweden have no difficulties with digesting dairy products, and 80% of the rest of Europeans, typically. A different mutation that did the same thing arose in East The african continent, and now 90% of the Tutsi are lactose tolerant. Densely populated areas evolved disease resistance, the opportunity to drink alcohol, and many other non-skin-deep capabilities that we can now "see" with genetic studies.
From times in the Older World, when war had not been the key source of fatalities, famine and malnutrition limited populations that reached carrying capacity. The poorest were so short on food that they didn't replicate themselves, while the elite had more than the two children required to replace themselves and had twice the amount of surviving offspring as the poor. The particular least successful rich children became the new maqui berry farmers, with the result that after one thousand years or so, everyone was descended from the wealthy courses.
Once the ruling elites existed, they didn't have a hard time controlling farmers, who couldn't leave their land in demonstration, or they'd die, which stuck them with paying whatever taxes, being conscripted into wars and in general endure whatever the elites dished out.
The writers suggest that ultimately, people were finally domesticated by elite rulers, who weeded out aggressive fighting peasants, just as farmers marijuana out their most extreme animals. The elites picked for a population that submitted to authority. Focus deficit disorder doesn't can be found in China - the elites completely bred that behavior out of the population. I discovered the whole idea fascinating and terrifying, the full discussion is on pages 110-113. Probably that explains why Us citizens have allowed the finest disparity in wealth between rich and poor in our nation's history to exist, haven't marched with torches and pitchforks on Wall Street, etc.
The chapter of the publication is devoted to why Ashkenazi Jews are so much brighter than other populations. Even though comprise less than one in six hundred people, they've won one in four of all Nobel science and too many other achievements to list here. Simply the hypothesis is that because we were holding forced to hold difficult white collar jobs for hundreds of years in finance and related areas, and couldn't marry outside their group, development selected for intelligence. Regrettably, this selection comes with genetic disorders of Tay Sachs and other diseases.
Well of course the issue with book reviews is that they're quite short and have no peer-reviewed medical references, unlike the publication, nor can the reasoning and details be explained, if you think any or all of the above mentioned is crazy, read the publication. And if you're at all considering the secret of how we progressed, this fills in a few of the puzzle pieces that I haven't seen explained elsewhere
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