This page contains the footnotes for Human Cultural Evolution, a chapter in the book Taking ADvantage.
grams of venison yields 572 calories; 100 grams of most fruits and vegetables
yields well under 100 calories.
This six to one differential in the concentration of nourishment in meat versus
vegetation made meat an extremely valuable element in the survival of earlyhumans. (White, 1973)
5 A theory on why the zebra's stripes evolved supports this idea.
Although on the individual zebra the stripes are striking and obvious, making
the animal quite visible, when a herd of zebras run, the constantly shifting,
flickering a nd confusing patterns of stripes makes
it much more difficult to discern, and thus attack, an individual animal.
6 Bear in mind that the life-spans of animals vary considerably, usually
based on their size. For example, the mouse lives for months while the elephant
lives for decades. Nonetheless, the relative proportion of that lifespan that
the young spend in childhood is a good indicator of the animal's intelligence
and social complexity.
7 Undoubtedly, the men trained the boys in male skills such as hunting,
while the women trained the girls in female skills such as plant identification
and child rearing. Nonetheless, the females would have given the children the
basics in fitting into the society, including, as it evolved, language.
8 In fact, humans are not born capable of speech. An infant's larynx
doesn't alter to the form that will allow speech for months. This means it can
suckle and breathe through its nose at the same time with no fear of choking.
9 It might be argued that wars aren't fought that way,
that armies depend on the group mentality. This is true to an extent.
However, modern warfare that uses the group approach is just that, modern. Until
about 2500 years ago, battles were basically two mobs beating on each other
until one mob ran away. The Greeks, especially the Spartans, really began the
group approach. The Roman army was so successful against the Gauls, Germans and Scots because the latter fought as mobs
against the Roman's disciplined group approach. However, this is an artificial
rather than an evolved approach. In fact, what the Greeks and Romans did was to
take the male approach of independent reaction to conditions, and have many men
do it at once: each Roman century (80-100 men) was simply one very powerful man
with lots of arms, legs, spears and swords -- the brain was the centurion. Even
today's armies depend on each soldier's independent work. A platoon has an
objective, but each man, depending on what the enemy and his fellow soldiers
are doing, selects his own targets, moves when he thinks right, takes
initiative to achieve the objective in the most efficient, least fatal way. His
training is designed to improve his ability to act this way: independent, but
in concert with the other members of his team.
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