Darwinism Intelligent Design

The Darwinian grandmother hypothesis makes a comeback

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From the “Oh, not this again,” files, an American tourist researcher weighs in:

The seeds of an idea were planted as Kristen Hawkes watched older women collecting vegetables. Hawkes, a professor of anthropology at the University of Utah, has extensively studied the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania who eat a lot of wild foods such as berries and tubers. While young children can pick berries themselves, older women in the community are the ones pulling up the bulbous root vegetables, which would be difficult for young kids.

Hawkes found a correlation between how well children grew and their mother’s foraging work, until the mother had another kid. Then, their growth correlated with “grandmother’s work,” she says. “There were the data right in front of us.”

These observations, which Hawkes and collaborators began in the 1980s, have helped fuel the Grandmother Hypothesis, the idea that grandmothers step in to feed young children and perform other motherly duties so that mothers can focus their own energy and resources on having more children at shorter intervals. The result is that a grandmother enables the birth of more descendants, leaving more copies of her genes in subsequent generations. In prehistoric times, the theory goes, grandmothering led to the spread of genes corresponding to slower aging in women relative to their predecessors, which increased expected lifespans in general.

Elizabeth Landau, “How Much Did Grandmothers Influence Human Evolution?” at Smithsonian Magazine

There are a great many “why do grandmothers exist” theories spawned by Darwinism, none of which owe anything to the effect of human intelligence or the recognition of relationships. The Darwinists are getting closer (to nothing) all the time.

See also: Some scientists struggle with why there are grandmothers. Why do humans live to be old when most animals don’t? Pop psychology weighs in

3 Replies to “The Darwinian grandmother hypothesis makes a comeback

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    How miserable Darwinists must be when they search for evidence of being without purpose.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    I think they’re really looking at this all from the wrong angle evolution likes to use it or lose it if it’s dangerous for her grandmother to have a child late and her age we probably didn’t use it and after many many many years we lost it

    Many male and female mammal animals share the same lifespan and if you noticed humans are no different it is more likely that we just stopped trying to reproduce at that age or anything older then 40

  3. 3
    Fasteddious says:

    It’s a good thing grandmothers survive. Otherwise, grandfathers would live alone. 🙂
    Was this a sexist article in talking only about grandmothers?

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