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Human ancestors started to live in groups 52 million years ago – mathematical model says

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The tarsier is a carnivorous nocturnal primate whose social arrangements vary by island.

In “Why we gave up prehistoric night life for social life” (MSNBC, November 9, 2011), Wynne Parry reportsm “Research indicates search for food drove us into daytime living 52 million years ago,”

Researchers from the University of Oxford delved into our evolutionary history by building a family tree for 217 primate species whose social habits are known. Working backward from the present, they found that early primates were nocturnal animals that lived solitary lives until about 52 million years ago. Our early ancestors apparently transitioned to life in large groups at the same time they shifted to becoming active during the daytime.

From here, other social structures evolved, such as isolated pairs and harems, in which a single male lives with multiple females.

If there is any evidence for this historical transition in lifestyles, the researchers do not say what it is. We also learn, they ran into problems because

… it became trickier when focusing on the great apes — chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and us — because each organizes itself differently, she said.


Humans are the most flexible of all. Human societies have social structures resembling, at least to some degree, those found throughout the primate world, including living in pairs or harems or, in some traditional societies, in families structured around related members of one sex — sisters, mothers and daughters or brothers, fathers and sons.

In other words, beyond the obvious, we have little or no idea what a protohuman group’s social structure would be. It took two minutes for news staff to find an example of a still nocturnal primate, the tarsier, within whose species social arrangements vary between group and solitary living. Humans, as such, have pretty much organized their societies in ways that they believed, rightly or wrongly were best. And the fact that they believed that is no demonstration that it is best. Those ancient peoples would turn up again, if they ever do, as fossils, whether their choices were was good for them or not.

A mathematical model convinced the researchers that group living coincided with a move to daytime living, which presumably settles the matter. If there is anything to settle.

3 Replies to “Human ancestors started to live in groups 52 million years ago – mathematical model says

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    This ‘mathematical’ from Oxford finding must be from the newly hired mathematical ‘wizard’ at Oxford, trying out his new wings, who was hired to ‘fix the mathematical problems’ within neo-Darwinism:

    Oxford University Admits Darwinism’s Shaky Math Foundation – May 2011
    Excerpt: However, mathematical population geneticists mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind. This fifty-year old schism is intellectually damaging in itself, and has prevented improvements in our concept of what fitness is. – On a 2011 Job Description for a Mathematician, at Oxford, to ‘fix’ the persistent mathematical problems with neo-Darwinism within two years.

    My best wishes for the new hire at Oxford, for it seems he may just have to fix to foundation of mathematics itself in order to fix the problems with neo-Darwinism;

    Bernard d’Abrera on Butterfly Mimicry and the Faith of the Evolutionist – October 5, 2011
    Excerpt: For it to happen in a single species once through chance, is mathematically highly improbable. But when it occurs so often, in so many species, and we are expected to apply mathematical probability yet again, then either mathematics is a useless tool, or we are being criminally blind.,,, Evolutionism (with its two eldest daughters, phylogenetics and cladistics) is the only systematic synthesis in the history of the universe that proposes an Effect without a Final Cause. It is a great fraud, and cannot be taken seriously because it outrageously attempts to defend the philosophically indefensible.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    correction; This ‘mathematical’ finding, from Oxford,

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    But then again something tells me that the ‘final cause’ for the ‘effect’ of mathematics (the foundation of mathematics) needs no ‘fixing’, and that it is neo-Darwinism itself which must go;

    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.

    Random Chaos vs. Uniformity Of Nature – Presuppositional Apologetics – video

    Blackholes- The neo-Darwinists ultimate ‘god of chaos/randomness’ which can create all life in the universe (according to them)

    Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011
    Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says.

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