Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ancient dog domestication was the start of artificial selection by humans

This puts the use of deliberate actions for selective breeding for dog domestication from wolves some time after 100,000 years ago and some time earlier than 32,000 years ago. This would have been after the leaving of Africa but before the great expansion of AMH from the Middle East. This leads me to place the earliest deliberate breeding of selected traits – both by culling and by selective mating – in the domestication of dogs at some 50 – 60,000 years ago in the Middle East. Continue reading

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Posted in AMH, Evolution, Origins of dog domestication | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

What genetic characteristics are effectively being “selected for” today?

Evolutionary selection is a result not a cause. Today both “natural” selection and “artificial selection” are in play. The race will – I think – become much healthier with a lower propensity to disease. But I doubt – in the next few hundred years – that we will get noticeably much stronger or faster or taller or more intelligent. I do not expect either that we will have less bald people or more blue-eyed blondes. Continue reading

Posted in Ancestors, Evolution | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The origins of hominins eating meat and plants

One recent paper dates the eating of grasses by Australopithecus bahrelghazali to about 3 -3.5 million years ago ( about 1 million years earlier than previously thought) while another paper dates regular meat eating to about 1.5 million years ago. Continue reading

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What led humans to counting and when?

I speculate that the need to communicate to others lies not only behind speech but also behind the development of counting. I further speculate that the increasing complexities of co-operation and their requirements for communication was what drove the parallel – and inter-linked – development of speech and numerology starting some 150,000 years ago. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Ancestors, Evolution | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Out-of-Africa” is morphing into “Out-of Africarabia” as genetic and archaeological time-lines converge

There has been a gap of 50-65,000 years between the genetic time-line of the Out-of-Africa theory and archaeological indications of the earlier presence of anatomically modern humans outside of Africa. But the genetic evidence is now going back in time and approaching the archaeological time-line. Continue reading

Posted in AMH, Evolution | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments