Author Topic: Peking Man Older, Colder  (Read 8276 times)

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Satya

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Peking Man Older, Colder
« on: March 12, 2009, 07:59:55 am »
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That suggests he was probably the oldest cold weather inhabitant in human ancestry, said study co-author Darryl Granger, an atmospheric scientist at Purdue University whose research appears in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature. The average yearly temperature at the time in that part of China — at Zhoukoudian near Beijing — hovered around the freezing mark, but it was too dry for an ice sheet, he said.

Think of living in a "dry windy cold" much like winters in Calgary, Canada, without warm close-fitting clothes and well-made buildings to keep you warm, he said. And these inhabitants may not have even been able to warm up with a fire whenever they wanted either.

"They may have been freezing their buns off," said Rick Potts, a Smithsonian Institution human origins expert who wasn't part of the research. The research also demonstrates just how "wimpy" modern humans are, he said.

This raises a fundamental question. How did Peking Man survive the cold weather?

Potts raised three possibilities:

_Fire. Early findings showed signs of a fire in Peking Man's cave. But there has been debate about whether the fire was accidental or controlled, and evidence doesn't point conclusively either way.

_Fur. There is no evidence that this human ancestor used crude tools to make more form-fitting clothes. Loosely worn animal fur is more likely.

• Homo erectus had evolved to handle the cold.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311/ap_on_sc/sci_old_cold_humans

Just goes to show you that our ancestors were not drinking Mai Tais in some tropical paradise.  Most recent times were colder until about 10kya when plants and agriculture exploded.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2009, 08:29:33 am »
Interesting. They're implicitly describing a raw paleo diet by suggesting the fire may not have been controlled, or controlled well. The barren landscape itself suggests the paleo diet.

Satya

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 08:56:17 am »
Oh, the whole idea that fire was controlled at the Zhoukoudian site has been dismantled pretty thoroughly (and Tyler, isn't this one of Wrangham's favorite arguments for such a long use of fire by humans, and thus cooking?).  One of my favorite articles is this one, a long piece about:
Was the Emergence of Home Bases and Domestic Fire a Punctuated Event? A Review of the Middle Pleistocene Record in Eurasia
http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/106631/was_the_emergence_of_home_bases_and_domestic_fire_a/

It's long, but really well worth the time to sit back and read it.  Anyone wanting to speculate about human evolution in eras past would do well to consider these types of arguments from experts in the field.  From this piece and in conjunction with the ambiguity of anthropogenic fire at Zhoukoudian comes:

Quote
Recent studies, however, question the part played by the erectus groups in the accumulation of artifacts, animal bones, and even fossil human remains, as well as their being the agency for fire traces. Among these recent findings are the arguments that (1) ungulate bones bearing tool marks were actually from scavenged prey carried into the cave by carnivores (Binfbrd and Stone 1980); (2) the absence of ash and charcoal, indicated by micromorphology and FTIR analyses, makes the evidence for anthropogenic fire ambiguous; spontaneous guano combustion from inside the cave, or spreading bush fires, are viewed as more likely agencies of fire production (Uinfbrd and Ho 1985; Chaline 1972:281; Weiner et al. 1998, 1999, 2000); (3) the tool assemblages reveal rudimentary skills, without progressive technical mastery throughout the Locality 1 sequence (Binford and Ho 1985); and (4) most of the human skeletal remains bear hyena crushing or chewing traces and rodent gnawing marks which, along with the scarcity of postcramal elements, point to H. erectus being preyed upon by carnivores and carried into the cave (Boaz et al. 2000).

These studies conclude that distinct natural agencies, such as stream or colluvial transport, spontaneous natural fires, and carnivores combined independently to associate fortuitously these various archaeological and fossil human remains. The only significant Locality 1 use is argued to be the recurrent presence of the short-nosed hyena. H. erectus remained at a possibly "pre- cultural" level of behavioral adaptation, relying on scavenging, lacking fire-making skills, and possessing a merely expedient tool- using capability. These behavior\al limitations may account for this lineage's evolutionary stasis in East and Southeast Asia and its eventual replacement by incoming modern humans. These findings and far-reaching interpretations were reviewed critically (Aigner 1988; Jia 1989; Keates 2000, 2001; Leng 1998; Olsen 1986; Wu 1999, 2000). These debates have implications reaching beyond Locality 1 for evaluating Middle Pleistocene hominid behavioral capabilities and repertoires, and beyond concerns with the record for fire technology and hominid site use. They make it appropriate, therefore, to comment on these alternative conclusions and evidence from the perspective of comparative observations on the Middle Pleistocene across Eurasia.

Offline rafonly

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java man as well
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 09:06:33 am »

1 thing to keep in mind is that there is also the java man (a homo erectus)

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_Man:
"The current consensus of anthropologists is that the direct ancestors of modern humans were African populations of Homo erectus (possibly Homo ergaster), rather than the Asian populations exemplified by Java Man and Peking Man"

incidentally, "african populations" does not sound like a cold climate scenario, does it?

"time & gradient precede existence", me

Satya

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Re: java man as well
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 09:31:54 am »


incidentally, "african populations" does not sound like a cold climate scenario, does it?



It depends on when you are looking at African populations.  Africa was a different place then.  The entire globe was colder than now.  Plus, out of Africa, while a sound theory, is not the only theory of human migration.

William

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 10:27:04 am »
There is NO EVIDENCE that Peking man was an ancestor of humans.
In fact, there is no evidence that the human race had any ancestors, so for us, the story of evolution is just a popular fiction which has sunk so deeply into minds that it has become accepted as fact.

There are those who believe movies are true. I've met them.

Offline Dan

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 01:59:53 pm »
There is NO EVIDENCE that Peking man was an ancestor of humans.
In fact, there is no evidence that the human race had any ancestors, so for us, the story of evolution is just a popular fiction which has sunk so deeply into minds that it has become accepted as fact.

There are those who believe movies are true. I've met them.

Evolution could very well be fiction.  To me it just seems like the least fictional of all possibilities.

Why I believe in evolution (despite being taught something different) ---- Which hunter is more likely to pass on his genes, the one who sees a bear and takes the appropriate actions, or the one who says "I see and hear a bear, but actually what I learn from my senses could be wrong.  Maybe bears are popular ficAAARRRGGGHHH!!!"

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 06:05:26 pm »
Interesting, Satya. I'll consider adding that reference to the Wrangham article.

As regards the out of africa theory it's totally flawed. The multiregional hypothesis is far more likely.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Satya

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 01:59:15 am »
Why I believe in evolution (despite being taught something different) ---- Which hunter is more likely to pass on his genes, the one who sees a bear and takes the appropriate actions, or the one who says "I see and hear a bear, but actually what I learn from my senses could be wrong.  Maybe bears are popular ficAAARRRGGGHHH!!!"

Hi Dan,

It would be very helpful if you would state that you either accept or reject the theory of evolution.  Belief can sometimes mean something that you hold as true, without any evidence.  And so when you use a term like belief or faith in something concerning science, it provides ammo for creationist types to whittle a theory - an entity based on observations from the natural world - to the same level as a story in a book (William called evolution a story). 

For instance, I accept the heliocentric theory of the solar system.  It matters not whether I believe the earth will rotate into the view of the sun (ie. the sun will rise).  I can accept the FACT that this theory offers a very valid explanation of natural occurrences, or I can reject it and hold to pre Copernican type views, or some other view altogether.  Same with evolution.  I can accept the fact that species evolve over time through natural selection, or I can reject such a notion.  Belief, and especially faith belong in the realm of the supernatural; for which, at least presently, there is no evidence whatsoever.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 02:10:52 am by Satya »

Satya

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2009, 02:08:45 am »
As regards the out of africa theory it's totally flawed. The multiregional hypothesis is far more likely.

I agree.  I like the multiregional theory better, and I think the recent genetic data has been very supportive of it.  And quite frankly, having consensus for a theory, such as out of Africa by scientists tells us absolutely nothing about its validity.  Popularity counts for nothing!  That said, I still like the oscillating theory of the universe, which states that we have big bangs and big crunches preiodically.  I feel almost sad when I see the new evidence which suggests that the universe is open or flat (infinite).  It's natural to feel a loss when an idea one holds dear is shown to be incorrect. :)

Satya

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2009, 03:17:39 am »
I agree.  I like the multiregional theory better, and I think the recent genetic data has been very supportive of it.

Wrong, it's the fossil record that really blows the holes in the Out of Africa theory. 

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~earth/Earth_Part2/Multiregional%20Evolution.pdf
"We are troubled by the allegations that beginning about 200,000 years ago one group
of hunter-gatherers totally replaced all others worldwide. Although it is not uncommon for one animal species to re-
place another locally in a fairly short time, the claim that a replacement could occur rapidly in every climate and envi-
ronment is unprecedented.

"We would expect native populations to have an adaptive and demographic advantage over newcomers. Yet accord-
ing to the Eve theory, it was the newcomers who had the upper hand. How much of an advantage is necessary’
for replacement can be measured by the survival of many hunter-gatherer groups in Australia and the Americas;
they have persisted despite invasions by Europeans, who during the past 500 years arrived in large numbers with
vastly. more complex and destructive technologies.

"If a worldwide invasion and complete replacement of all native peoples by Eve’s descendants actually. took place,
we would expect to find at least some archaeological traces of the behaviors that made them successful. Yet examin-
ing the archaeology of Asia, we can find none. For instance, whereas the hand ax was a very common artifact in Africa,
the technologies of eastern Asia did not include that tool either before or after the Eve period. There is no evidence for
the introduction of a novel technology..

"Geoffrey G. Pope of the University of Illinois has pointed out that six decades of research on the Asian Pa-
leolithic record have failed to unearth any indication of intrusive cultures or technologies. Types of artifacts
lithic assemblages continue to appear into the very late Pleistocene. If invading Africans replaced the
local Asian populations, they must have adopted the cultures and technologies of the people they re-
placed and allowed their own to vanish without a trace.

...

"Putting aside the idea of a clock, one can interpret the genetic data in a much more reasonable way: Eve, the ultimate
mitochondrial ancestor of all living humans, lived before the first human migrations from Africa at least one million years ago.
The spread of mitochondria would then mark the migration of some early human ancestors into Eurasia when it contained no other hom-
inids. Such an interpretation can fully reconcile the fossil record with the genetic data. We propose that future research might more
productively focus on attempts to disprove this hypothesis than on attempts to recalibrate a clock that clearly does not work."

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2009, 03:21:39 am »
I agree.  I like the multiregional theory better, and I think the recent genetic data has been very supportive of it.  And quite frankly, having consensus for a theory, such as out of Africa by scientists tells us absolutely nothing about its validity.  Popularity counts for nothing!  That said, I still like the oscillating theory of the universe, which states that we have big bangs and big crunches preiodically.  I feel almost sad when I see the new evidence which suggests that the universe is open or flat (infinite).  It's natural to feel a loss when an idea one holds dear is shown to be incorrect. :)

Err, I've been reading recent data in science-related mags which states that more and more people are favouring the repeated, infinite big bang/big crunch theory.

As for the out of africa theory, it's, IMHO< basically a quasi-creationist argument by people who don't like the idea of our ancestors having mated with neanderthals or homo erectus etc.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 08:43:57 am »
I like big bang/crunch too! When I was in middle school I actually thought of the big crunch on my own after learning about the big bang. Then of course I found out it was the generally thought thing and was kind of disappointed that I didn't think anything new there.

Offline Dan

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2009, 04:02:55 pm »
It would be very helpful if you would state that you either accept or reject the theory of evolution.  Belief can sometimes mean something that you hold as true, without any evidence. 


You are right about using the word belief that way.

I accept evolution as a working theory.  I do have some minor issues, which is why I said it could be fiction.  But even so, everything I have experienced has been evidence for that explanation for our existence.
I was trying to say that creationism (at least the versions I've been exposed to,) means discarding what our senses tell us.  It would mean discarding science, logic, and philosophy.  To me, this type of irrationality explains why the world is as messed up as it is today.

On the other hand, I can't even begin to wrap my brain around some of the theories about the universe, or why we have yet to contact anyone else.


Offline Dan

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2009, 04:09:10 pm »
I've been kind of curious, has anyone seen any credible numbers on how many people the world could support purely with a hunter-gatherer lifestyle?  I've only seen estimates based on very specific geographical regions.

William

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2009, 12:44:36 am »
IMHO both evolution and creationism are red herrings.

Z. Sitchin in "The Twelfth Planet" quotes the Sumerian record which seems to show that we were a result of gene splicing; this is always ignored/swept under the carpet by estalblishment blowhards who sell beliefs.

And there's Rudolf Steiner (or someone else with a German name) who thought we created ourselves from a spirit form.

I won't vote for any of these.

JaX

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2009, 05:19:14 am »
I've been kind of curious, has anyone seen any credible numbers on how many people the world could support purely with a hunter-gatherer lifestyle?  I've only seen estimates based on very specific geographical regions.

Good questions.. Something I've considered myself.. The human population density of earth, if spread as an average over all land area, is 44.7 people per km² (115.5 per sq mi). I would say that's pretty dense. And it's much more dense if you only consider the land mass where it is possible to live.

It's tough to calculate.. If a person eats zero carb that might amount up to 1 cattle per person per year (considering a cow is 1000 pounds or more/not all parts are eatable/some parts might go to waste or be eaten by other animals/zero carbers eat around 2 pounds of meat per day or more, correct me if I'm wrong).... but cattle or buffalo would not be available in the wild in all climates... and tropical climates would produce more fruit.. and the grass needed for the animals.. You do the calculations lol

What is important to remember is that going back to hunter-gatherer lifestyle would not mean humans just living with some friendly buffalo and fresh fruits.. there would have to be room for a ton of different wild animal species, which would inevitable compete with humans for food and survival. And then humans would use their brains to out-smart the wild animals: invent cars, corporations and apartments, leading us to where we are today. lol. It's a cycle.

If you don't like it where you live, or it is too dense, MOVE! :)
Just be happy that there's still the possibility of moving to the country side if you want to. Create your own little paleo paradise. Be positive that we have evolved to the point where we are today and we still have the freedom to choose. Natural selection is still going on, on some levels. Take the studies that show people with higher IQ live longer. No surprise there.



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The world population is 6.7 billion [1], and Earth's area is 510 million square kilometers (197 million square miles). Therefore the worldwide human population density is 6.7 billion ÷ 510 million = 13.1 per km² (34.0 per sq mi), or 44.7 per km² (115.5 per sq mi) if only the Earth's land area of 150 million km² (58 million sq mi) is taken into account. This density rises when the population grows. It also includes all continental and island land area, including Antarctica. Considering that over half of the Earth's land mass consists of areas inhospitable to human inhabitation, such as deserts and high mountains, and that population tends to cluster around seaports and fresh water sources, this number by itself does not give accurate measurement of human population density.

Offline Dan

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2009, 01:45:42 pm »
I guess I was thinking of how many the world could have supported.  You know, wondering if agriculture was really necessary for civilization, crazy stuff like that.

But now you have me doing math...

William

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2009, 10:53:56 pm »

If you don't like it where you live, or it is too dense, MOVE! :)
Just be happy that there's still the possibility of moving to the country side if you want to. Create your own little paleo paradise.




But paleoman did not live in the countryside, they were in a true wilderness.
None left in Europe, and in places like northern Canada even the Indians are no longer willing to live without electricity and other services - life was just too hard.

Looks like a true paleo life is not possible with the present overpopulation.

JaX

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Re: Peking Man Older, Colder
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2009, 12:56:29 am »
But paleoman did not live in the countryside, they were in a true wilderness.
None left in Europe, and in places like northern Canada even the Indians are no longer willing to live without electricity and other services - life was just too hard.

Looks like a true paleo life is not possible with the present overpopulation.

Sure it is.. there are still a few "true" tribes out there. Or you could just move to the rain Forrest, Anartica, the jungle or the desert and live paleo "truly" paleo by yourself. But would you?

Offline rafonly

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raf & wild utopia
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2009, 01:16:36 am »

~ raf will most likely remain as an elite foodstyle

~ in his the tender carnivore & the sacred game paul shepard outlines his own version of utopia for an overpopulated planet:

all human population planet-wide would have access to a basic diet made of bacteria; this food, produced in labs, could be eaten raw or cooked & flavored in various ways

as a result, the farming land thus freed would be devoted to wildlife

high school & college students, as well as others interested, would spend several months per year in small groups led by a teacher living & hunting in the wild areas
the surplus meat they would have hunted would be made available to the older or otherwise more sedentary population nearby

"time & gradient precede existence", me

 

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