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Thread: How did the human form develop?

  1. #1 How did the human form develop? 
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    Homo habilis, despite being the earliest known stone tool maker, had a very ape-esque morphology.

    But it evolved into homo erectus, and erectus (bodily anyhow) had a very modern human-esque body frame.

    How is this so? I'm thinking that maybe homo habilis had reached an advanced state in which it not just scavenged but hunt small and medium sized game. So those habilis were naturally selected for this lifestyle developed bigger and more robust frames, as this involved a lot of running, walking, etc.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    First thing I would note is that tool use dates back much further then Homo habilis. Palaeoanthropology: Australopithecine butchers : Nature : Nature Publishing Group And is found in many non-primates, thus there were other driving factors.


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    But specially crafted stone tools is attributed to habilis. Birds use tools, but don't pound stones per a given template. It's not arrogance, but humans are the only known species to do this.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Tool selection is not limited to humans, and tool crafting is found in many primates. The material the tool is made of is a moot point.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Tool selection is not limited to humans, and tool crafting is found in many primates.
    And other animals. Corvids have been shown to be able to make tools to solve complex problems.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Apes hunt small game too. Chimps are even organized enough to conduct deliberate wars against neighbouring tribes of chimps.

    Maybe the biggest difference between humans and other apes is our use of writing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Maybe the biggest difference between humans and other apes is our use of writing.
    Which, in turn, depends on our use of spoken language...
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Maybe the biggest difference between humans and other apes is our use of writing.
    Which, in turn, depends on our use of spoken language...
    Yes, and even though other animals can make sounds that have meanings the fact we record it makes a big difference too. So far as I know only humans do that and it might be tied to our ability to return to seasonal resources.
    According to Louis Binford both modern humans and neanderthalers used salmon in Europe, but the humans returned to the same salmon runs at the right time year after year while the neanderthalers only exploited the yearly run by accident.

    I have no idea what would have caused writing to start though.
    Last edited by dan hunter; March 1st, 2014 at 09:56 AM.
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    Humans had language prior to writing, and probably has as such since we became behaviourally modern. Writing only was invented due to pragmatism as society became more complex (just like money or governments).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Tool selection is not limited to humans, and tool crafting is found in many primates. The material the tool is made of is a moot point.
    But not in the same proven sense as homo habilis. Are you contributing to the discussion, or do you need to brush up on your paleoanthropological knowledge?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarnamluvu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Tool selection is not limited to humans, and tool crafting is found in many primates. The material the tool is made of is a moot point.
    But not in the same proven sense as homo habilis. Are you contributing to the discussion, or do you need to brush up on your paleoanthropological knowledge?
    Your premise has been put into question by a number of other posters (and I'd add to it--stone use as well as hunting is done by many other species.).

    Rather than getting personal about people's knowledge you should probably tighten up your original question.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 1st, 2014 at 11:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I have no idea what would have caused writing to start though.
    We need to distinguish between making marks/symbols and writing language. The former ("X marks where the food is cached", or even painted images) could in principle precede language (I don't know if they do), but writing can only come after language - all written language is a representation of a spoken language.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sarnamluvu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Tool selection is not limited to humans, and tool crafting is found in many primates. The material the tool is made of is a moot point.
    But not in the same proven sense as homo habilis. Are you contributing to the discussion, or do you need to brush up on your paleoanthropological knowledge?
    Your premise has been put into question by a number of other posters (and I'd add to it--Stones use as well as hunting is done by many other species.).

    Rather than getting personal about people's knowledge you should probably tighten up your original question.
    Er. even though you didn't answer the question fully nor the , but i don't mind. We can all contradict, but then you get offended when I do it. lol....

    But yes, kindly cite some evidence that chimps use Oldowan tools? That is chipping existing stone tools for a given purpose to get a fine edge?

    Whatever, you'll just complain that I'm not being nice to you, when you haven't been nice to me...wow what an ego...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I have no idea what would have caused writing to start though.
    We need to distinguish between making marks/symbols and writing language. The former ("X marks where the food is cached", or even painted images) could in principle precede language (I don't know if they do), but writing can only come after language - all written language is a representation of a spoken language.
    That is a good point. Especially since writing seems to come much later than the spoken word does. The oldest examples of tallies are about 30,000 years old and the oldest written languages seem to be about 35,000 years old too. Whether that is just because the artifacts disappeared over time or if they didn't exist before then I don't know but I tend to assume if there is no evidence something exists then it likely does not exist, or in this case likely didn't exist.

    It certainly throws my earlier comment into doubt. I appreciate that.
    It is useful to question assumptions because if a person doesn't do that there is no way to develop better ideas.
    Maybe having a spoken language along with an oral tradition was enough to start us on the evolutionary path we are on compared to our primate relatives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    First thing I would note is that tool use dates back much further then Homo habilis. Palaeoanthropology: Australopithecine butchers : Nature : Nature Publishing Group And is found in many non-primates, thus there were other driving factors.
    Define "driving factors" please?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarnamluvu View Post
    Whatever, you'll just complain that I'm not being nice to you, when you haven't been nice to me...wow what an ego...
    Moderator Action: Lose the smart ass attitude. It doesn't work with the dumb ass persona. Have a think about that while you take a day or two off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarnamluvu View Post
    But yes, kindly cite some evidence that chimps use Oldowan tools? That is chipping existing stone tools for a given purpose to get a fine edge?
    You could have mentioned them in the OP and would have perhaps gotten better responses because of the improved clarity of your question.

    Whatever, you'll just complain that I'm not being nice to you, when you haven't been nice to me...wow what an ego...
    I'm not complaining and we've seldom crossed paths on this forum so we have little to base and anticipate one's response to each other. Your forum tactics, based in this and other reported threads, are however, becoming a distraction.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; March 1st, 2014 at 11:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    First thing I would note is that tool use dates back much further then Homo habilis. Palaeoanthropology: Australopithecine butchers : Nature : Nature Publishing Group And is found in many non-primates, thus there were other driving factors.
    Define "driving factors" please?
    Weather, automobile make and model, road size, road texture, state of automobile, ingested substances, etc.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarnamluvu View Post
    Homo habilis, despite being the earliest known stone tool maker, had a very ape-esque morphology.

    But it evolved into homo erectus, and erectus (bodily anyhow) had a very modern human-esque body frame.

    How is this so? I'm thinking that maybe homo habilis had reached an advanced state in which it not just scavenged but hunt small and medium sized game. So those habilis were naturally selected for this lifestyle developed bigger and more robust frames, as this involved a lot of running, walking, etc.
    That's a pretty broad question, and I would think one would have to take a particular morphological feature of the human form and look at individually over time. What are you primarily interested in? Arm length? Leg length? Hands? Arches in feet? Skull shape, jaws, brow ridges and teeth?

    I would doubt that tool making alone determined the entire human form, but hands freed up from climbing may have changed to become more dexterous. More refined hand movements probably became more important, and the strength to suspend your weight by them less so.
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