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Did we domesticate crops or did they domesticate us?


A recent paper prompts the question:

Emerging evidence of plant domestication as a landscape-level process

The evidence from ancient crops over the past decade challenges some of our most basic assumptions about the process of domestication. The emergence of crops has been viewed as a technologically progressive process in which single or multiple localized populations adapt to human environments in response to cultivation. By contrast, new genetic and archaeological evidence reveals a slow process that involved large populations over wide areas with unexpectedly sustained cultural connections in deep time. We review evidence that calls for a new landscape framework of crop origins. Evolutionary processes operate across vast distances of landscape and time, and the origins of domesticates are complex. The domestication bottleneck is a redundant concept and the progressive nature of domestication is in doubt. Robin G. Allaby, Chris J. Stevens, Logan Kistler, Dorian Q.Fuller Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Month 2021, Vol. xx, No. xx https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2021.11.002

The paper is open access.

Aren’t domestic plants better cared for than weeds? How do we know it was all on our side? We assume that – but then, we would, right? No, not crazy here. Just wondering if it’s as simple as we thought.

Polistra has a point there. Dogs trained humans to understand ethical qualities we associate with humans, abstracted from the humans. There are some things we only associate with humans - nuclear physics, for example. But loyalty? https://nerdnomads.com/hachiko_the_dog News
The jargon in the paper is way over my head, but it seems to be saying that we changed our tools and methods of processing the grain, more than we changed the actual grain to match our tools and methods. Not quite the same thing as the dog/human symbiosis, where dogs actively train humans toward empathy and politeness. polistra
I’m pretty sure cats have domesticated us as much as we have domesticated them.
Are you joking?! Cats obviously have the upper hand. :) Joe Schooner
Asking questions is good. Maybe plant domestication can be viewed as a symbiotic process. I'm pretty sure cats have domesticated us as much as we have domesticated them. Seversky

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