Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers have found new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process.
Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers from a team of the UB led by Cedric Boeckx, ICREA professor at the Department of Catalan Philology and General Linguistics and member of the Institute of Complex Systems of the University of Barcelona (UBICS), found out new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process.
The study, published in the science journal PLOS ONE, compared the genomes of modern humans to those of several domesticated species and their wild animal type, in order to look for overlapping genes that were associated with domestication traits, such as docility or a gracile physiognomy. The results showed a statistically significant number of genes associated with domestication which overlapped between domestic animals and modern humans, but not with their wild equals, like Neanderthals.
According to the researchers, these results reinforce the human self-domestication hypothesis and “help to shed light on one aspect that makes us human, our social instinct.”
But how do we know Neanderthals lacked a social instinct? Is there any good reason to believe so?
“One reason that made scientists claim that humans are self-domesticated lied within our behavior: modern humans are docile and tolerant, like domesticated species, our cooperative abilities and pro-social behaviour are key features of our modern cognition,” says Cedric Boeckx. “The second reason is that modern humans, when compared to Neanderthals, present a more gracile phenotype that resembles the one seen in domesticates when compared to their wild-type cousins,” added the expert. Paper. (public access) – Constantina Theofanopoulou, Simone Gastaldon, Thomas O’Rourke, Bridget D. Samuels, Angela Messner, Pedro Tiago Martins, Francesco Delogu, Saleh Alamri, Cedric Boeckx. Self-domestication in Homo sapiens: Insights from comparative genomics. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (10): e0185306 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185306 More.
So if modern humans are less heavy-set than Neanderthals, they are more social? What about all the recent research that is narrowing the supposed differences between Neanderthal ancestors and other ancestors of the current human race?
The idea that humans domesticated ourselves makes no sense. We think what we are is domestic. So, presumably, do wolves. What is the standard, apart from loss of bone mass, against which the claim is measured?
See also: Max Planck Institute: Neanderthals thought like we do. So what’s with the theistic evolutionists insisting that Neanderthals are a different species? How come they are going to the wall for Darwin when no one else is?
Making human brain evolution look gradual by ignoring enough data… Unless, of course, evolutionary biology isn’t really a science anymore. More a form of Darwinian storytelling where the preferred narrative is chosen…