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Evolution of modern humans is a result of self-amplifying feedbacks beginning in the Miocene and continuing without interruption until now


Henneberg, Maciej; Eckhardt, Robert B (2022). Evolution of modern humans is a result of self-amplifying feedbacks beginning in the Miocene and continuing without interruption until now. Anthropological Review, 85(1):77-83.

Abstract

Humans are a part of the complex system of life. This consists of a multitude of feedbacks among all parts of living systems. In the case of human origins, many feedbacks became positive rather than homeostatic, thus producing self-amplifying effects in basic morphological and behavioural characteristics of emerging humans: erect bipedalism, social structure, tool-making, food procurement and environmental management, symbolic communication, sexuality, extended childhood, and mental capacities. These, plus many other human characteristics, changed gradually, though at varying rates, over the last 6 million years, producing directional variation in extant morphological and behavioural characteristics of what are considered modern humans. The change through time and geographic space of those characteristics is an ongoing dynamic process, thus it is futile to pose essentialist questions about the precise date and place of the modern human origins. Modernity is a process, not an endpoint.

Abstract

Humans are a part of the complex system of life. This consists of a multitude of feedbacks among all parts of living systems. In the case of human origins, many feedbacks became positive rather than homeostatic, thus producing self-amplifying effects in basic morphological and behavioural characteristics of emerging humans: erect bipedalism, social structure, tool-making, food procurement and environmental management, symbolic communication, sexuality, extended childhood, and mental capacities. These, plus many other human characteristics, changed gradually, though at varying rates, over the last 6 million years, producing directional variation in extant morphological and behavioural characteristics of what are considered modern humans. The change through time and geographic space of those characteristics is an ongoing dynamic process, thus it is futile to pose essentialist questions about the precise date and place of the modern human origins. Modernity is a process, not an endpoint.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Health (social science)
Social Sciences & Humanities > Anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Anthropology, Health (social science)
Language:English
Date:18 March 2022
Deposited On:12 Jan 2023 08:18
Last Modified:23 Jun 2024 03:32
Publisher:Versita Open
ISSN:1898-6773
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.18778/1898-6773.85.1.05
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)