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Human evolution: Agriculture may have spurred innovation

Horns fashioned into early agricultural tools - Wikimedia Commons

An apparently reasonable thesis re the origin of human societies is offer by an archaeology team that argues (Science 22 April 2011),

Early Farmers Went Heavy on the StarchRecent evidence shows that agriculture began in fits and starts in the Near East, more than 10,000 years ago. Now a U.S.-German team is gathering the first comprehensive evidence that the earliest farmers in the Levant ate a wide variety of plants, including starchy tubers, which may have allowed them to experiment with grain cultivation without fear of starvation, the team reported at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.

Their interpretation dovetails with the observation that hunter-gatherer societies do not, as a rule, innovate much over millennia. Innovation happened rapidly, by comparison, in agricultural societies.

Contrary to optimistic Darwinian claims (new finch species every 200 years), animals and plants do not change much by themselves over millennia. So if humans do not breed them, humans can’t change much either. Hence, “We’ve always done it this way, millennially.”

Farming: intelligently redesigning a food source for better service in a given location


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