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Saturday 24.02.2018 | Name days: Diāna, Dina, Dins

Anthropologist: Conflict has allowed humans to evolve faster than other species

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A cranium of hominid species dating back two million years found in South Africa

Science still struggles to explain, what allowed humans to develop faster and further than other mammal species. After we climbed down from trees and begun discovering the insecure space on land, the impulse for our evolution came from the ability to survive mutual conflicts, a distinguished anthropologist considers.

Speaking at Calpe conference in Gibraltar Ian Tattersall from the American Museum of Natural History explained: «I think it’s fair to say that our species Homo sapiens and its antecedents have come much farther, much faster than any other mammalian group that has been documented in this very tight time-frame».

Among our ancestors, brain size doubled twice in last two million years. The increase in brain size seems to have taken place along with developing a modern physique characterised by a linear shape, long legs and relatively narrow hips.

BBC reports that certain evolutionary psychologists have popularised a model in which culture and brain complexity pushed each other on to greater heights in humans.

But Prof Tattersall noted this is not supported by archaeological and fossil records. To his mind, aggression between small, distinct human groups in the past is one of the major remaining agents of such changes.

«If we were somehow able to implicate conflict among groups as a selective agent for increasing intelligence within groups, this might explain the otherwise quite mystifying independent increases in brain size that we see in several different lineages within the genus Homo», anthropologist explains the theory.

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