The Dawn of Human Culture

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His primary thesis is that modern humans evolved in East Africa.


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He is a critic of the idea that behavioral modernity arose gradually over the course of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years or millions of years, instead supporting the view that modern behavior arose suddenly in the transition from the Middle Stone Age to the Later Stone Age around , years ago. In , he enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Chicago to study with the Neanderthal expert, Francis Clark Howell.

Of the two theories in vogue then, that Neanderthals had evolved into the Cro-Magnons of Europe or that they had been replaced by the Cro-Magnons, Klein favored the replacement theory.

These visits influenced him into believing the shift from Neanderthal to modern humans 40, to 35, years ago was sudden rather than gradual. Klein also visited Russia to examine artifacts.

The Dawn of Human Culture

Klein briefly held positions at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee , Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois , and the University of Washington, Seattle , before becoming a professor at the University of Chicago in Twenty years later, he moved to Stanford University. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section is empty.


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You can help by adding to it. November 1, Every day, information washes over the world like so much weather. From casual conversations, tweets, texts, emails, advertisements and news stories, humanity processes countless discrete pieces of socially transmitted information. Anthropologists call this process cultural transmission, and there was a time when it did not exist, when humans or more likely their smaller brained ancestors did not pass on knowledge. Luke Premo, an associate professor of anthropology at Washington State University, would like to know when that was.

Writing in the October issue of Current Anthropology , he and three colleagues challenge a widely accepted notion that cultural transmission goes back more than 2 million years. Exhibit A in this debate is the Oldowan chopper, a smooth, fist-sized rock with just enough material removed to make a crude edge.

The Dawn of Human Culture - Richard G. Klein - Google книги

Writing in Nature in , the prominent paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey connected the tools with what he said was the first member of the human genus, Homo habilis , or "handy man. More than half a century later, Premo and colleagues at the University of Tubingen, George Washington University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology are asking for better evidence that the technique for making early stone tools was culturally transmitted.

Writing in the journal Current Anthropology , they say the tools could have been what lead author Claudio Tennie calls "latent solutions" that rely on an animal's inherent skill rather than cultural transmission.

Dawn of Humans - 538 Johnson 2014

Homo habilis could have learned to make the Oldowan tool on his or her own, much as wild chimps use sticks to fish for termites. The Oldowan tool may look "cool and new and like it would require a lot of brain power. This type of tool also changed little for more than 1 million years, suggesting that the individuals who made them had the same mental and motor abilities. Techniques that are culturally transmitted, said Premo, tend to undergo at least slight changes, if not the more frequent churn of innovations we see in contemporary society.

Some hominin technologies, like the Mousterian stone tools used by Neanderthals and others , to 40, years ago, require many steps to prepare, increasing the likelihood that they had to be passed on. If cultural transmission is so recent, said Premo, it could explain why too much information can overwhelm us. Clearly, our ability to transmit our culture has helped us pass on the techniques we need to thrive in a wide range of environments across the planet.

The Dawn of Human Culture — Book Review

Moreover, the human system of transmitting information "can be hijacked. If you've got this system in which you receive information that can affect your behaviors And if you're getting hundreds of messages every day, it can be difficult to discern what is important for you from what is important for somebody else. More from Earth Sciences. Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions.

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The Dawn of Human Culture

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The dawn of human culture

Paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey suggested in the s that the Oldowan chopper, a crude stone tool, was the result of humans sharing information with each other. Researchers are now challenging that assumption. Explore further. DOI: Provided by Washington State University. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.