Chapter 20 Cultural and Social Evolution. Figure CO: A lion and her cubs . © George Lamson / ShutterStock , Inc. Overview. Unlike most other animals, humans transfer information from generation to generation through genes and culture Animal Behavior – Ethology – Sociobiology
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Figure CO: A lion and her cubs
© George Lamson/ShutterStock, Inc.
One of his most recent books is Natural Selections: selfish altruists, honest liars and other realities of evolution (2007)
Figure 01: Caledonian crow tool making
© Behavioural Ecology Research Group, University of Oxford
Could we achieve any of this without language?
Could we even think this without language?
chimp-human common ancestor
5-8 million years ago
Australopithecus africanus Australopithecus robustus
gorillas common chimpanzees bonobos ArchaicHomo sapiens sapiens
Many buffalo there
Don’t attack until I say
Let’s take the kill back to the others
Let’s spend the winter here. It’s more sheltered and there are many animals to hunt
Because out language skills got better we survived better. But it all happened slowly and gradually.
I have seen herds of antelope over the hill. I think we should move there.
Language: symbols that convey meaning, plus rules for combining those symbols so that they can be combined to generate infinite variety of messages
Language is ‘vocal grooming’
Figure B02: Views of how adult humans produce three vowel sounds by positioning the tongue
Figure B01A: Upper respiratory system of humans adult
Adapted from Aiello, L., and C. Dean. An Introduction to Human Evolutionary Anatomy. Academic Press, 1990.
Figure B01B: Upper respiratory systems of chimpanzee
Figure B01D: Upper respiratory systems of australopithecine
Figure B01C: Upper respiratory systems of human infant
Adapted from Conroy, G. C., G. B. Weber, H. Seidler, P. V. Tobias, et al., Science 280 (1998): 1730-1731; and Lieberman, P. The Biology and Evolution of Language. Harvard University Press, 1984; and Lieberman, P. Uniquely Human: The Evolution of Speech, Thought, and Selfless Behavior. Harvard University Press, 1991.
Various investigators have suggested that the Neandertal vocal anatomy is intermediate and, perhaps, less efficient for making the variety of sounds of modern human speech
The modern human palate is arched which gives greater variety to tongue shapes to articulate speech
The attachment of the tongue behind the chin allows for more varied tongue movements necessary to articulate speech sounds
Act as resonating chambers,
giving distinct timbre to
each human voice
Perhaps the most important synapomorphy in all of human evolution!
"Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons...then let them die and decrease the surplus population.“ — Ebenezer Scrooge
Figure B03: Survival curves for populations of hunter-gatherers versus citizens of a modern industrialized society
Adapted from May, R. M., Nature 327 (1987): 15-17
Figure 04: Nucleus in pipette
© Antonio Petrone/ShutterStock, Inc.
Dolly (1996 –2003) was a female domestic sheep, and the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer
Figure 03A: Doctor retrieving eggs from ovary using vaginal ultrasound
© Monkey Business Images/ShutterStock, Inc.
Figure 03B: Illustration of a 12 cell embryo within membrane
Figure 02: Ultrasound
© attem/ShutterStock, Inc.