The rules: help your family, help your group, return favours, be brave, defer to superiors, divide resources fairly, and respect others’ property, were found in a survey of 60 cultures from all around the world.
Study suggests that humans switch off their automatic inclination to share in dealings with strangers. We humans, who learned long ago to instinctively be generous and fair to others, can quickly unlearn that cooperative behavior when encountering strangers if we know we won't benefit from our actions. our ingrained cooperative spirit is a remnant of our evolutionary past. When we lived in small groups, we knew every person in our social circle -- or someone who knew them -- and we never knew who we might need to help us. Over time, we automatized the decision to be kind out of self-interest.
The assumption that present-day people are directly descended from the people who always lived in that same area -- is wrong almost everywhere. Instead, the view that's emerging is that human populations are moving and mixing all the time.
Researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.
Research shows that hunter-gatherer storytellers were essential in promoting co-operative and egalitarian values before comparable mechanisms evolved in larger agricultural societies, such as moralising high-gods. Storytellers were also more popular than even the best foragers, had greater reproductive success, and were more likely to be co-operated with by other members of the camp.
Recent discoveries show that humans left Africa multiple times prior to 60,000 years ago, and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia.
The anti-natalist philosopher David Benatar argues that it would be better if no one had children ever again.
Prehistoric women had stronger arms than elite female rowing teams do today thanks to the daily grind of farming life. While grinding grain using stone tools was likely to be a key factor in boosting women’s bone strength, the researchers add that other strenuous occupations including pottery making, planting and harvesting crops, and tending livestock could also have contributed.
Rather than being more violent, people from non-states are more vulnerable to lethal warfare compared to inhabitants of states.
How long have humans inhabited the Americas? A lot longer than previously thought, according to a new study. Archaeologists found mastodon bones that may have been processed by human tools, and nearby rocks that may have been hammers and anvils. The site is dated to around 130,000 years old, more than 100,000 years earlier than any confirmed human presence in the Americas.
Scarcity of resources and violence correlates. When people are stressed out and worried about protecting the group, they are willing to be aggressive. Violence is about resources for the group.
Ancient Southwestern Pueblo people, who had no written language or written number system, were able to build sophisticated architectural complexes.
Abri Blanchard and its sister site, Abri Castanet, previously excavated by White's team, have long been recognized as being among the oldest sites in Eurasia bearing artifacts of human symbolism. Over time, hundreds of personal ornaments have been discovered, including pierced animal teeth, pierced shells, ivory and soapstone beads, engravings, and paintings on limestone slabs.
There is nothing inevitable about our domination of the world. With a little bad luck, we can go too.
Men with greater upper body strength feel entitled to better treatment, anger more easily and frequently, and prevail more often in conflicts of interest. Women who see themselves as more attractive behave as stronger men do: They also feel entitled to better treatment, anger more easily, and have more success resolving conflicts in their favor. Stronger men more strongly endorse the use of force as an effective way to settle personal disputes. The system is not designed to be rational in the modern world, but rather was designed to operate in the much smaller social world of our ancestors. In that world, with conflicts among a handful of men, a man’s individual strength was relevant to whether his coalition would win. If our minds are calibrated to the ancestral world, then stronger men should more strongly favor the use of military force to settle conflicts, compared to weaker men. That is what we find. Muscle mass shapes our political opinions.
Nutrients needed for this transition from a primitive ancestor to modern Homo sapiens were (and still are) available in seaweeds. Seaweeds could be found and harvested in abundance on shores, and for a foraging lifestyle, a rich coastal environment would be a significant source of a consistent supply of these nutrients.
A study of people living without electricity or artificial light in a remote farming village in Madagascar finds they get shorter, poorer sleep than people in the U.S. or Europe. But they seem to make up for lost shuteye with a more regular sleep routine. Sticking to a schedule may be just as important as getting a solid night's sleep,
These burials remind us of a basic and long-running motivation: be sure to stop the dead from rising again.
Europe's earliest humans did not use fire for cooking, but had a balanced diet of meat and plants - all eaten raw.
The processing of plants was practiced for over 4,000 years, indicating the importance of plants to the ancient people of the prehistoric Sahara.