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Human evolution started all in the continent of Africa.

As a result of these discoveries, a picture of human evolution during the past 4 to 5 million years has emerged.

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Aquatic ape hypothesis - Wikipedia

I think it very reasonable to believe that relatively sophisticated tool use among humanity’s ancestors predates, perhaps by several million years, those stone tools dated to 3.4-3.3 mya. Tools may be hundreds of millions of years old, and , , , and use tools today. The protohuman equivalent of (although it may have been a female) discovered how to bang two rocks together to create a hard edge used for cutting, perhaps with a little inventor’s serendipity. It may not be possible to overstate the significance of that invention. More than a million years of free hands, due to australopithecine bipedal posture, probably led to the most significant tool-making event in Earth’s history to that time. The shortening fingers and lengthening thumbs of australopithecines led to more dexterity, and in training today’s great apes to make stone tools, their relative lack of dexterity has been noted as an impediment. Also, the is linked with neurological changes, from the hands to the brain, as early protohumans took tool-making to a new level, in .

A similar descent of the larynx most likely occurred over the course of human evolution....

Other genetic adaptations happened in the same region around the same time. , and first appeared between six kya and ten kya. The region around the is thought to be the home of blue eyes, as it has the highest blue-eye frequency on Earth. , and first became prevalent around Lithuania about five kya. Those pigment losses are related to light skin, which was an . Lighter skin evolved independently in Europe and East Asia, may have evolved numerous times, and in Europe it seems to . Racism is a relatively recent phenomenon because race itself is recent on the evolutionary scale, as geographically isolated humans began the process of .

Aquatic Ape Theory (AAT): Sink or Swim?

The Nile River's valley made the rise of Egyptian civilization possible, and it had the Old World’s most reliable food supply. Even today, half of Egypt’s population lives on the Nile’s delta. Annual floods brought silt from deforestation and erosion from the highlands to the delta, which kept the fields fertile. Unlike the Mesopotamian disaster, salination was not a major problem for Egyptians, except at and irrigated areas above the flood line. The Egyptian and Harappan civilizations were not pristine, as they were beneficiaries of Fertile Crescent innovations, and arose from hunter-gatherer societies that did not pass through the learning and evolutionary curve for domesticating their plants and animals. Those may have been the only places on Earth where civilization first appear. If not for those regions where people domesticated plants, humanity might still be living like aboriginal Australians did for nearly 50,000 years.

The rest of this chapter will trace many important preindustrial developments which helped set the stage for the Industrial Revolution, which is humanity’s fourth and most recent Epochal Event. But until the last few centuries in Europe preceding the Industrial Revolution, the basics among all civilizations did not appreciably change. Agriculture provided a local and stable energy supply that allowed for sedentism, forests were removed to make way for crops, and domestic animals were used to provide labor and/or flesh products, while their manure helped replenish soil nutrients depleted by agriculture. Virtually everywhere that agriculture appeared, so did civilization, with varying levels of urbanity. Elites dominated all civilizations, and they almost always invoked either a divine nature or divine sanction to justify their status, and they always engaged in conspicuous economic consumption. Cities situated on low-energy transportation lanes, which were almost always bodies of water, exploited forested and agricultural hinterlands, which were worked by peasants and slaves, while cities housed professionals and the elite. Forests and agriculture provided the primary energy supply of all preindustrial civilizations, which was usually supplemented with the products and services of domestic animals. All preindustrial civilizations were steeply hierarchical - economically, socially, and politically – and the means of production provided small surpluses that supported a small elite and professional class. Fighting over resources and plunder has been the primary predilection of all civilizations for all time, except for a very brief interlude at the beginnings of .

Survival of the Sickest Blog- Erdmann: Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

Until the 20th century, people had no idea how their activities impacted a portion of their environment that may end up hastening humanity’s demise more than self-made deserts: the atmosphere. Agriculture and civilization meant deforestation, and there is compelling evidence that the Domestication Revolution began altering the composition of Earth’s atmosphere from its earliest days. The natural trend of carbon dioxide decline was reversed beginning about 6000 BCE. Instead of declining from about 260 PPM at 6000 BCE to about 240 PPM today, which would have been the natural trend, it began rising and reached 275 PPM by about 3000 BCE. At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were about 40 PPM higher than the natural trend would suggest. When a forest is razed and the resultant wood is burned, which is usually wood’s ultimate fate in civilizations, it liberated carbon that the tree absorbed from the atmosphere during . , and human activities began measurably adding methane to the atmosphere by about 3000 BCE, which coincided with the rise of the rice paddy system in China. In nature, methane is primarily produced by decaying vegetation in wetlands, both in the tropics and the Arctic, and human activities have increased wetlands even as they made other regions arid. Domestic grazing animals and human digestive systems also contribute to methane production. Atmospheric alteration by human activities has only come to public awareness in my lifetime, but human activities have had a measurable effect on greenhouse gases since the beginnings of civilization, even though the effects were modest compared to what has happened during the Industrial Revolution, as humans burn Earth’s hydrocarbon deposits with abandon.

Mesoamerica’s Domestication Revolution was one of the two certainly pristine ones known, and the one around today’s Peru may have been another. The other two of the human journey arose there, and they followed the same general patterns as Sumer and China in that they began peacefully with no classes and, as they grew into states, men came to dominate, elites appeared with monumental architecture devoted to them, potentates had harems and divine sanction, and there were other features that seemingly evidenced universal human traits and/or reactions to similar conditions. The development of religion in what became Mesoamerica’s pristine civilization, the , has been documented by archeologists who traced a seven-thousand-year progression from hunter-gatherers to egalitarian early agriculturists to an elite-dominated society to a pristine state. It was similar to how Mesopotamian civilization developed, including the (today’s rock stars have been likened to the new shamans, as their concerts revive pre-civilized gatherings and rituals). Controversial aspects of Mesoamerican societies have included human sacrifice and cannibalism. They definitely happened, and human sacrifice was practiced on a pretty grand scale at times. The question of Western Hemispheric cannibalism has touched on the lack of domestic animals, so it may have had nutritional aspects, or what is called culinary cannibalism. But most seeming cannibalism is of the cultural cannibalism variety, in which eating flesh has symbolic meaning, whether it is eating somebody to keep their spirit in the family/tribe or to gain spiritual dominance over a fallen foe. Cannibalism was a common charge made against peoples that Europe conquered, but was usually a sensational allegation to remove their humanity and justify their bloody treatment by Europe. Columbus made his from whole cloth.

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A New Aquatic Ape Theory | Science | Smithsonian

Since humans began to make advanced tools and valuable goods, they exchanged them, , and cities have always been situated on low-energy transportation lanes. Before the Industrial Revolution, these lanes were almost always bodies of water. Before the Industrial Revolution, it took only about 1-2% of the energy to move goods across a body of water, such as a lake or ocean, as it did overland. A peasant in Aztec civilization, for instance, could as easily and quickly bring more than 40 times the weight of goods by canoe on a trip across the lakes to as he could by carrying a load on his back along the causeways. In 1800, it cost as much to ship a ton of goods more than 5,000 kilometers to American shores from England as it did to transport it 50 kilometers overland in the USA. In England, in the 13th century CE, it cost about as much to transport coal across five hundred kilometers of water as it took to move it across five kilometers of land.

16/04/2012 · A New Aquatic Ape Theory

Only when economic surpluses (primarily food) were redistributed, first by chiefs and then by early states, did men rise to dominance in those agricultural civilizations. Because the rise of civilization in the Fertile Crescent is the best studied and had the greatest influence on humanity, this chapter will tend to focus on it, although it will also survey similarities and differences with other regions where agriculture and civilization first appeared. Whenever agriculture appeared, cities nearly always eventually appeared, usually a few thousand years later. Agriculture’s chief virtue was that it extracted vast amounts of human-digestible energy from the land, and population densities hundreds of times greater than that of hunter-gatherers became feasible. The , but today it is widely thought that population pressures led to agriculture's appearance. The attractions of agricultural life over the hunter-gatherer lifestyle were not immediately evident, at least after the first easy phase, when intact forests and soils were there for the plundering. On the advancing front of agricultural expansion, life was easy, but as forests and soils were depleted, population pressures led to disease, "pests" learned to consume that human-raised food, and agricultural life became a life of drudgery compared to the hunter-gatherer or horticultural lifestyle. Sanitation issues, disease, and environmental decline plagued early settlements, and not long after they transitioned from hunter-gatherers to farmers, but the land could also support many times the people. Another aspect of biology that applies to human civilization is the idea of . Over history, the society with the higher carrying capacity prevailed, and the loser either adopted the winner’s practices or became enslaved, taxed, marginalized, or extinct. On the eve of the Domestication Revolution, Earth’s carrying capacity with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was around 10 million people, and the actual population was somewhat less, maybe . On the eve of the Industrial Revolution in 1800, Earth’s population was , and again was considered to be about half of Earth's carrying capacity under that energy regime. No matter how talented a hunter-gatherer warrior was, he was no match for two hundred peasants armed with hoes.

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