Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Researcher: Running marathons made us human

arroba Email
Arecibo message re humans to ET, from 1974/Arne Nordmann (norro) (CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Add this one into the (by now, surely) thousands of little things that are said to have made us human:

The role of running in human evolution has been most intensely investigated by Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard University evolutionary biologist and 9-time Boston Marathon runner. Lieberman and others hypothesize that roughly 2 million years ago Homo erectus ancestors, armed with sharpened sticks and stones, were able to kill prey by persistence hunting. This strategy, practiced in some recent forager societies, entails pursing a tasty herbivore in midday sun until the animal collapses from exhaustion and heat stroke. Hunters can then finish it off with simple weapons.

This scenario could solve a major puzzle in human evolution: how did Homo erectus get meat? Researchers assume these hominins hunted because archaeological sites, between 2 and 1 million years old, have yielded plenty of butchered animal bones. Yet stone tools back then were hefty implements, like the Acheulean handaxe — technology better suited for processing carcasses than impaling moving targets.Bridget Alex, “Running Made Us Human: How We Evolved to Run Marathons” at Discover Magazine

All that tinkering sure sounds like a plan.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

See also: Eating fat, not meat, led to bigger human type brains, say researchers. Theories of the evolution of the human brain are a war of trivial explanations that no one dare admit are too trivial for what they purport to explain. It’s like blaming World War II on indigestion, only monstrously bigger.

Earlier discussion of the fat theory.

Starchy food may have aided human brain development

Do big brains matter to human intelligence?

Human evolution: The war of trivial explanations


What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

We were MADE human. We could always run, and some guys (and gals) in the manpack were better at it than others. But watch "Gods Must Be Crazy". A Bushman, with only a loin cloth and a sharp stick, discovers a cobra in his path. He does NOT then run 26 miles to get away from the snake. Using the stick as a DEFENSIVE weapon, he maneuvers to a position where he can grab the snake's tail, and SNAP! He kills the deadly snake with a flick of his wrist, producing lunch for his wife and kiddies. And rather than running 26 miles to the nearest waterhole and back, Bushmen get water by collecting INDIVIDUAL DEW DROPS from the underside of leaves just after dawn. I gotta wonder how long it took the Product Introduction Team to teach humans THAT trick. Running as a stunt is one of those things that the young men (and women) do in the cool of the evening as entertainment for the manpack, including Ol' Uncle Thog, who don't run much himself since that pre-historic sabre-tooth cave wombat stepped on his toes. vmahuna

Leave a Reply