Author Topic: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat  (Read 96689 times)

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Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #75 on: March 11, 2014, 06:39:26 am »
I think it is reasonable to assume that Neanderthals never wore fur. For one thing, the notion of fur-wearing cavemen only ever got started with Hollywood films like that 10,000,000 BC film starring Raquel Welch. I somehow doubt that cavewomen wore furs purely designed to cover  breasts and private parts..
I've personally never watched a whole movie about cavemen, except the very beginning of J-J Annaud's La Guerre Du Feu and the cult french parody movie RRRrrrr!!!!  :P.
I'm quite conscious that if cavemen did wear animal skin, covering his "private parts" would be the least of his concern. I imagine Paleolithic humans would wear their fur as a cape, or in a rudimentary poncho kind of way, keeping their torso warm.
Maybe they acquired advanced sewing technique quite early in Nordic exploration, and could assemble clothing parts that leave a wider range of motion to the wearer, while keeping him warm. In a similar way Inuits make their clothes, but with fewer layers.

  The Neolithic era was the era in which humans got started developing the tools of civilisation, so, clothes would likely only have been invented then.

Tools of civilization perhaps, but not elementary tools, fabricated by Homo in much more remote times.
Have you forgotten the trimmed stones, already known to Homo Habilis some 2,5million years ago? And what about the musical instruments carved out of bones, the teeth necklaces, and of course the rock paintings, all done by both Neanderthals and Cro-magnons?
If they had the necessary level of skill and intelligence to create such things, they certainly had the capacity to conceive clothing items with fur and cord.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:58:16 am by JeuneKoq »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2014, 03:44:12 pm »
The trouble with the above mentions is that hominids only produced very primitive tools such as sharpened flints for most of the Palaeolithic period. It was only c.60,000 years ago when hominids started inventing spears, bows and arrows and complicated  traps, for example. So, things like clothes re sewing/weaving etc. are highly unlikely to have been invented prior to Neolithic times.
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Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2014, 05:16:33 pm »
It seems Neanderthals were not really well adapted to their environment and/or diet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_anatomy#Degenerative_disease
Most relevant excerpts:
Quote
Arthritis was common in the older Neanderthal population.

A study of 669 Neanderthal crowns showed that 75% of individuals suffered some degree of hypoplasia.

Evidence of infections on Neanderthal skeletons is usually visible in the form of lesions on the bone, which are created by systemic infection on areas closest to the bone. Shanidar I has evidence of the degenerative lesions as does La Ferrassie 1, whose lesions on both femora, tibiae and fibulae are indicative of a systemic infection or carcinoma (malignant tumour/cancer).
Most of us probably have some Neanderthals' DNA, but not that much — 1 to 4%, perhaps 20% maximum.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_interaction_with_Cro-Magnons#Rapid_extinction_by_parasites_and_pathogens
Quote
Modern humans may have first migrated to Europe 40–43,000 years ago,[4]

An alternative to extinction is that Neanderthals were absorbed into the Cro-Magnon population by interbreeding. This would be counter to strict versions of the Recent African Origin, since it would imply that at least part of the genome of Europeans would descend from Neanderthals, who left Africa at least 350,000 years ago.
350,000 only? Then wouldn't even Neanderthals perhaps have had the fire from the start of their spreading into cold climates? 
Quote
Genetic studies indicate some form of hybridization between archaic humans and modern humans had taken place after modern humans emerged from Africa. An estimated 1 to 4 percent of the DNA in Europeans and Asians (e.g. French, Chinese and Papua probands) is non-modern, and shared with ancient Neanderthal DNA rather than with sub-Saharan Africans (e.g. Yoruba and San probands).[25]

Although modern humans share some nuclear DNA with the extinct Neanderthals, the two species do not share any mitochondrial DNA,[31] which in primates is always maternally transmitted. This observation has prompted the hypothesis that whereas female humans interbreeding with male Neanderthals were able to generate fertile offspring, the progeny of female Neanderthals who mated with male humans were either rare, absent or sterile (in line with Haldane's rule).[32]

While interbreeding is viewed as the most parsimonious interpretation of the genetic discoveries, the authors point out they cannot conclusively rule out an alternative scenario, in which the source population of non-African modern humans was already more closely related to Neanderthals than other Africans were, due to ancient genetic divisions within Africa.[29]

Neanderthals went through a demographic crisis in Western European that seems to coincide with a period of extreme cold in Western Europe

Although it is believed that Neanderthals had clothing,[34] it has been proposed that failure to adapt their hunting methods caused their extinction when Europe changed into a sparsely vegetated steppe and semi-desert during the last Ice Age.[
35]

« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 05:30:02 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2014, 05:36:50 pm »
It would actually be fairly easy to skin an animal with just a sharpened flint. The result wouldn't come out as nice as with a special knife, but cutting through the skin at specific places and then detaching the fur coat from the animal's body would not be an impossible task, even to hominids like Homo Erectus.
To make more advanced clothing items paleo men could just use some tree fiber, plant stem, climbing plant or even the animal's tendons and guts to wrap the fur around their waist, for example.

Here's a video of a guy skinning a deer with a modern knife. I just picture the same work with a sharp flint being rougher and less precise.

http://youtu.be/Ze9tQANKB2g
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 06:03:56 pm by JeuneKoq »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #79 on: March 11, 2014, 07:08:03 pm »
Arthritis is common among all species which eat cooked foods as AGEs in cooked foods exacerbate arthritis. Even wild animals get arthritis to some extent, though not as bad as cooked-eating humans.  Infections were common long before the advent of penicillin and would have been greater in frequency among cooked-eating populations like the Neanderthals as cooked foods lower the immune system over time. So, the comment is meaningless re Neanderthals and disease.

The comment re amount of Neanderthals'  DNA in modern humans is meaningless, too. I had already given an example where Dr James Watson was incorrectly cited by some genetics laboratory as having c. 16% Sub-Saharan African DNA in him, when the reality was that he had less than 0.1% sub-Saharan African DNA in him. So,if they can get a simple genetic test  this far wrong, it would not surprise me if the proportion of Neanderthal DNA in us eventually turns out to be much, much higher.

350,000 years ago as a date is wrong. Neanderthals have  been shown to have been in Europe since  at least 400,000 years ago.

Whatever the case, Neanderthals were far better at adapting to the cold than modern humans due to better genetic adaptation etc., so would certainly have had much less need for clothes. Also,  complicated things, derived from civilisation,  such as sewing needles etc. would not have been invented until the neolithic era.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:56:35 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #80 on: March 11, 2014, 09:06:19 pm »
Arthritis is common among all species which eat cooked foods as AGEs in cooked foods exacerbate arthritis. Even wild animals get arthritis to some extent, though not as bad as cooked-eating humans.  Infections were common long before the advent of penicillin and would have been greater in frequency among cooked-eating populations like the Neanderthals as cooked foods lower the immune system over time. So, the comment is meaningless re Neanderthals and disease.
It means they had some diseases… and that was likely due to cooked food, and mostly meat as far as we know. To eat cooked meat, they must logically have controlled the fire, and if they used fire, it could logically have helped them to withstand the cold.
Quote
350,000 years ago as a date is wrong. Neanderthals have  been shown to have been in Europe since  at least 400,000 years ago.
Wikipedia says “at least 350,000 years ago”, so it can be 450,000 years ago as well. This is about the era at which the first fireplaces have been discovered, thus it’s coherent with the above.

A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder shows clear evidence of the continuous control of fire by Neanderthals in Europe dating back roughly 400,000 years, yet another indication that they weren't dimwitted brutes as often portrayed.

"Until now, many scientists have thought Neanderthals had some fires but did not have continuous use of fire," said Villa. "We were not expecting to find a record of so many Neanderthal sites exhibiting such good evidence of the sustained use of fire over time."
Fires would have contributed to lowering the endurable temperature during sleep. A family hut would have had one fireplace, a cave several, and additional fires were lit in the open.
Quote
The comment re amount of Neanderthals# DNA in modern humans is meaningless, too. I had already given an example where Dr James Watson was incorrectly cited by some genetics laboratory as having c. 16% Sub-Saharan African DNA in him, when the reality was that he had less than 0.1% sub-Saharan African DNA in him. So,if they can get a simple genetic test  this far wrong, it would not surprise me if the proportion of Neanderthal DNA in us eventually turns out to be much, much higher.
20% perhaps, but could be 0% as well. And even if it were 30 or 35% would it matter? Since even Neanderthals appear to have commonly used fire for cooking and heating, we can’t say that they would have survived nude in the coldest climates without any help from fires and probably clothing.
Quote
Whatever the case, Neanderthals were far better at adapting to the cold than modern humans due to better genetic adaptation etc., so would certainly have had much less need for clothes. Also,  complicated things, derived from civilisation,  such as sewing needles etc. would not have been invented until the neolithic era. 
Isn’t that consistent with JeuneKoq stance? Yes, much less need for clothes but it doesn’t mean they were always completely nude. 

What is most relevant for us is that since Neanderthals routinely used fire, their largely carnivorous cooked diet and their habitat in cold regions can not be taken as a model for raw paleo dieters.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 04:02:38 am by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2014, 04:56:10 am »
Neanderthals are  likely to have eaten a lot of their meat raw like all Arctic tribes have done prior to modernisation.

The issue of Neanderthals controlling fire is also rather meaningless. I have used fires a lot in the outside when camping and I can  tell you from experience how difficult they are to set up and keep going, especially if one is in a wet climate. They are not a reliable method to keep warm, on the whole, especially when one considers that palaeo-era humans routinely migrated for months on end so obviously had no source of fire while travelling, only when resting. More to the point, hominids lived in the Arctic long before fires were invented(ie c.800,000 to c.2,000,000 years ago) and still survived just fine.
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Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #82 on: March 12, 2014, 05:22:36 am »
More to the point, hominids lived in the Arctic long before fires were invented(ie c.800,000 to c.2,000,000 years ago) and still survived just fine.
...The Arctic?
Info please? That doesn't seem very likely...to me at least.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #83 on: March 12, 2014, 05:55:25 am »
There has been info on lower paleolithic remains in Europe:-

http://history-world.org/stone_age1.htm

Given the Ice-Age, Europe was effectively in an arctic environment at the time.

And there is evidence of hominid occupation in Northern Asia?Siberia during the Lower Palaeolithic era:-
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00974881#page-1
"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.
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Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #84 on: March 12, 2014, 06:17:13 am »
Thanks again for the info Tyler!

Looks like you're talking about Homo Erectus, an advanced hominid specie that apparently lived in socially organized groups, built shelters, wore fur, and probably fabricated rafts to travel oceans. Some archaeologists believe Homo Erectus may have used fire some 1,5 million years ago!

Wikipedia: "East African sites, such as Chesowanja near Lake Baringo, Koobi Fora, and Olorgesailie in Kenya, show some possible evidence that fire was utilized by early humans. At Chesowanja, archaeologists found red clay sherds dated to be 1.42 Mya.[46] Reheating on these sherds show that the clay must have been heated to 400 °C (752 °F) to harden. At Koobi Fora, sites FxJjzoE and FxJj50 show evidence of control of fire by Homo erectus at 1.5 Mya, with the reddening of sediment that can only come from heating at 200–400 °C (392–752 °F)"

...and to reassure our fellow raw dieters  ;):

Still Wikipedia: "There is no evidence that Homo erectus cooked their food. The idea has been suggested,[49] but is not generally accepted.[50][51] It is known, from the study of microwear on handaxes, that meat formed a major part of the erectus diet. Meat is perfectly digestible without cooking, and is sometimes eaten raw by modern humans. Nuts, berries, fruits are also edible without cooking. Thus cooking cannot be presumed: the issue rests on clear evidence from archaeological sites, which at present does not exist."

Even if Erectus did not yet control fire at the time he traveled to colder regions it is demonstrated that this homo sub-specie possessed the necessary mental capacity and skill to build shelters and wear fur, in order to protect itself against the harsh northern environment in those times (Ice-Age).

Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #85 on: March 12, 2014, 06:53:02 am »
The article I quoted excerpts above says:
Villa and Roebroeks, who together speak and read six languages, have visited or worked at dozens of the Neanderthal excavation sites in Europe. They also combed libraries throughout Europe and the United States for research papers on evidence for early fire use in Europe, contacting researchers involved in the excavations when possible for additional information and insight.

As part of the study they created a database of 141 potential fireplace sites in Europe dating from 1.2 million years ago to 35,000 years ago, assigning an index of confidence to each site. Evidence for the sustained use of fire includes the presence of charcoal, heated stone artifacts, burned bones, heated sediments, hearths and rough dates obtained from heated stone artifacts. Sites with two or more of the characteristics were interpreted as solid evidence for the control of fire by the inhabitants.

The second major finding in the PNAS study -- perhaps even more surprising than the first -- was that Neanderthal predecessors pushed into Europe's colder northern latitudes more than 800,000 years ago without the habitual control of fire, said Roebroecks. Archaeologists have long believed the control of fire was necessary for migrating early humans as a way to reduce their energy loss during winters when temperatures plunged below freezing and resources became more scarce.

"This confirms a suspicion we had that went against the opinions of most scientists, who believed it was impossible for humans to penetrate into cold, temperate regions without fire," Villa said.

Recent evidence from an 800,000-year-old site in England known as Happisburgh indicates hominids -- likely Homo heidelbergenis, the forerunner of Neanderthals -- adapted to chilly environments in the region without fire, Roebroeks said.

The simplest explanation is that there was no habitual use of fire by early humans prior to roughly 400,000 years ago, indicating that fire was not an essential component of the behavior of the first occupants of Europe's northern latitudes, said Roebroeks. "It is difficult to imagine these people occupying very cold climates without fire, yet this seems to be the case."
...
Recent findings have even indicated Neanderthals were cooking, as evidenced by tiny bits of cooked plant material recovered from their teeth.


Anyway, it's not even sure that modern humans have some Neanderthals DNA, and if they (we) have, the percent is generally thought to be 1 to 4%. Cro-magnon (modern humans) are said to have appeared first between the Red sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, expanding rapidly to what is now Egypt,  Israêl, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Southern Turkey.

Then they would have moved West to Europe, North and East in a period of warmer climate — the climate changed very quickly at this epoch, within a lifetime I read. They also settled South in Africa.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 02:59:48 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #86 on: March 12, 2014, 07:14:26 am »
The claim that homo erectus travelled oceans, let alone the claim re wearing furs is so laughable one cannot take it seriously! I mean, it was difficult enough for humans to cross from island to island in the Pacific in the tail-end of the Palaeolithic era.

Incidentally, ALL the scientific evidence re fire from c.500,000 years ago or earlier is universally viewed by scientists as being flawed and likely wrong. This is either due to evidence being contaminated by other evidence from different layers(and therefore different epochs) or simply false scientific evidence  turning up previous  actual bush-fires. Up to about c. 250,000 years ago, evidence for fires is extremely rare, it is only after that point, that fires became common.

Here is some data from wikipedia:-

"All evidence of control of fire during the Lower Paleolithic is uncertain and has at best limited scholarly support. In fact, definitive evidence of controlled use of fire is one of the factors characteristic of the transition from the Lower to the Middle Paleolithic in the period of 400,000 to 200,000 BP." The reference you gave to those shards of yours  are mentioned in the control of fire wikipedia  article as likely resulting from bush-fires not from human action at all. Too bad.

There is, of course,  no evidence whatsoever existing to suggest that hominids wore fur in the palaeolithic era, just some vague, uneducated guesses. I have already shown that adaptations to the cold such as different body shapes, different fat-layers etc. could easily lead to cold-adpatation without ever needing furs.

Incidentally, I once viewed a reconstruction of a  simple "palaeo" dwelling made up of endless logs etc. It was bloody cold and not much use in warding off the very cold weather outside  at the time!
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Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #87 on: March 12, 2014, 07:34:47 am »
Ok, I agree. Maybe some Neanderthals or rather Heidelbergensis moved North before having the fire and could survive the cold. Nevertheless, most of the remains have been found South of the frost line.  Isn't it likely that they moved North in summer and either died, barely survived  or came back before the winter?

About 55,000 years ago, the weather began to fluctuate wildly from extreme cold conditions to mild cold and back in a matter of a few decades. Neanderthal bodies were well suited for survival in a cold climate—their barrel chests and stocky limbs stored body heat better than the Cro-Magnons. However, the rapid fluctuations of weather caused ecological changes to which the Neanderthals could not adapt; familiar plants and animals would be replaced by completely different ones within a lifetime. Neanderthals' ambush techniques would have failed as grasslands replaced trees. A large number of Neanderthals would have died during these fluctuations, which peaked about 30,000 years ago.[114]

 mtDNA-based simulation of modern human expansion in Europe starting 1600 generations ago. Neanderthal range in light grey (below, from Wikipedia).
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 07:47:11 am by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #88 on: March 12, 2014, 04:28:33 pm »
There is, of course,  no evidence whatsoever existing to suggest that hominids wore fur in the palaeolithic era, just some vague, uneducated guesses. I have already shown that adaptations to the cold such as different body shapes, different fat-layers etc. could easily lead to cold-adpatation without ever needing furs.
Yes, but there’s no evidence either that Heidelbergensis and Neanderthals never wore animals’ furs. Some Heidelbergensis may also have had much more hair than us all over their body, perhaps enough to form a real fur, who knows? They probably slept closely packed together to minimize their body area in contact with the cold surroundings. And they may have pushed up North during an interglacial era just before 800,000 years ago or during short warmer periods.

We now know that the cold stages were not uniformly cold, nor were the warmer spans continuously warm. In fact, there is evidence that at least two dozen warm-cold cycles have occurred during the past 1.6 million years, and that some of the changeovers occurred within the period of a century or so.
Anyway we are not Neanderthals, but 80 to 100% Cro-magnon: our origin is in Africa and then Middle East, where there are currently some of the hottest temperatures on Earth in summer, such as 50° C in Kuwait, and our ancestors began to settle in Europe about 43,000 years ago only.
There is no reliable evidence of modern humans elsewhere in the Old World until 60,000-40,000 years ago, during a short temperate period in the midst of the last ice age.
Even Heidelbergensis mostly remained in tropical and relatively warm or temperate areas.
http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_1.htm
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 04:55:08 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #89 on: March 12, 2014, 04:34:22 pm »
I apologize Tyler, I should've made it more clear that I posted the -1,5million years old fire as a kind of joke  :P. Of course these could just have been bush fires or events of the sort, archaeologists tending to jump to wild conclusions quite easily, when it comes to their own discoveries...

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #90 on: March 12, 2014, 06:36:06 pm »
Bush fires are actually quite frequent in east Africa, being started by lightning, which is why there have been a few errors made by scientists. The real test is that fire became widespread after hearths were invented c.250,000 -300,000 years ago - before that point, evidence re fires is extremely rare - one would expect an explosion in the number of fires made  relatively soon  after the very first  discovery of fire.
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #91 on: March 12, 2014, 06:44:26 pm »
Iguana, scientists view heidelbergensis as having little body hair:-

http://www.localhistories.org/homoerectus.html

Again, you are spouting the out of africa nonsense re claims of 43,000 years: Not only is 43,000 years more than long enough to adapt to cold climates(eg:- the Inuit) but the multiregional hypothesis, a far more likely scenario, posits that ancient hominids left Africa in a period between 800,000 to 2,000,000 years ago and became separately  hominised, with no  massive influx from Africa  occurring later on. The other point is that genetics studies are very new - and already there has been proof shown that modern humans are descended, variously, from anywhere up to 3 different hominids, not just Neanderthals. The likelihood, therefore, is that we find eventually that we are all a hodgepodge mixture of  numerous hominids such as homo erectus, Neanderthal Man, homo heidelbergensis etc. etc. So we many humans are indeed well cold-adapted.
"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.
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Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #92 on: March 12, 2014, 06:45:22 pm »
Bush fires are actually quite frequent in east Africa, being started by lightning, which is why there have been a few errors made by scientists. The real test is that fire became widespread after hearths were invented c.250,000 -300,000 years ago - before that point, evidence re fires is extremely rare - one would expect an explosion in the number of fires made  relatively soon  after the very first  discovery of fire.

True, perhaps in a hundredth monkey effect kind of way.

Oops I forgot the true meaning of that effect. What I meant is that hominids having discovered the use of fire would share their discovery with clan members and outsiders with which they would come in contact with, and so on...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 07:01:33 pm by JeuneKoq »

Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #93 on: March 12, 2014, 08:04:53 pm »
Tyler, you may well be right concerning body hair, but there are still large variation between individuals — and at fortiori between populations — and it seems there’s no way to be sure about it. You link says:
Quote
Obviously it is impossible to tell from a skeleton how hairy someone was. However scientists believe Homo erectus had little body hair and controlled their body heat by sweating.

From about 500,000 onward a slightly different species called Home Heidelbergensis lived in Europe. At that time it was a very different place from today. Animals like elephants, lions, bear and wolves lived there. Homo Heidelbergensis had a larger brain than Homo erectus and they hunted animals like horses and deer with spears.

It is believed that Homo Heidelbergensis gave rise to the Neanderthals.
Another page of the same website says:
Quote
Modern humans entered Europe about 35,000 BC at a time when the Earth was in the grip of an last ice age (which ended about 8,000 BC).
I don’t know (and I don’t realy care) whether it is the multiregional hypothesis or the "Out of Africa" model which is nearest to what actually happened, but anyway, both models place our origin in Africa. Does the “Multiregional hypothesis” questions the spreading of Co-Magnons to Europe some 43,000 years ago? If it does I couldn’t find any indication of that.

In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, frequently dubbed the "Out of Africa" theory, is the most widely accepted model describing the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans. This model has incorporated the 2010 discovery of genetic evidence for some archaic human admixture with modern Homo sapiens.[1] The theory is called the (Recent) Out-of-Africa model in the popular press, and academically the recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), Replacement Hypothesis, and Recent African Origin (RAO) model. The concept was speculative until the 1980s, when it was corroborated by a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens .
Re our adaptation to cold climates, the Inuit don't live nude, as nobody else has ever been known to permanently do in temperate and cold regions. Thus, someone pretending that we are perfectly adapted to temperate and cold climates has the burden of the proof, exactly as for our alleged adaptation to cooked food and dairy.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 08:18:39 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #94 on: March 12, 2014, 08:55:46 pm »
Not only is 43,000 years more than long enough to adapt to cold climates(eg:- the Inuit)
Is that what you call adapted to the cold? Inuits live in often heated shelters and wear fur clothes from head to toe, face excepted. More like used to cold...

https://www.google.be/search?q=inuits&client=firefox-a&hs=gT3&rls=org.mozilla:fr:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=40EgU53BNsKL7Ab7kYHgDw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1600&bih=794

The likelihood, therefore, is that we find eventually that we are all a hodgepodge mixture of  numerous hominids such as homo erectus, Neanderthal Man, homo heidelbergensis etc. etc. So we many humans are indeed well cold-adapted.
I don't really see the link there. It would mean that Erectus, Neanderthal, etc were somehow adapted to cold, which at this moment is only an evidence to you.

When you suggest that hominids were adapted to (great) cold, you explain that humans possessed a certain body shape, enhanced blood vessels near the skin and a special fat layer that made them capable of withstanding challenging temperatures.
First of all, I don't see how an upright position could be an asset in protecting oneself against cold; quite the contrary, as you become more vulnerable to cold air currents like winds, the torso being highly exposed. However it is a great body shape for particularly sunny regions, the head being the only part of the body directly exposed to the burning sun when at its highest point.

It leaves us with the enhanced blood vessels and the special fat.
Both great to deal with situations humans could've faced in warmer regions, such as swimming or immersing themselves in cool water, or sleeping through some chilly nights without consuming an excessive amount of energy in the process. Sufficient if hominids migrated in milder regions for a season or two, and came back in warmer climates prior to wintertime (in a similar way how birds migrate from North in Spring-Summer to South in Fall-Winter) ; But to think that hominids' defense against variating temperatures is a match to the ones of species indigenous to the freezing northern environments: woolly rhino, mammoth, wolf, deer, and others with their thick layer of fur, fat, and sometimes both...that is simple fiction, until proven otherwise.

Either those hominid sub-specie were able to advance further into colder regions with the use of exterior protection such as fur clothing and fabricated shelters; Or they inevitably died out at some point during the several winter months or Ice-Ages from hypothermia or any other causes of death related to (inability of withstanding) great cold...
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 12:29:17 am by JeuneKoq »

Offline JeuneKoq

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #95 on: March 12, 2014, 09:21:29 pm »
Or maybe these human sub-species weren't so furless after all!!  :P

http://evoandproud.blogspot.be/2012/01/were-neanderthals-furry.html

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #96 on: March 13, 2014, 01:31:27 am »
Most of the above is easily debunked. The Inuit are adapted to the cold to some extent, sure nowhere near as much as their palaeo equivalents, obviously.

This study should make clear that Europeans, for example, are adapted to the cold not to hot environments, with the Inuit being foremost  among the cold-adapted:-

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19927367

I have already pointed out that homo heidelbergensis migrated to arctic regions and is thought by scientists to have never had fur. Since homo heidelbergensis  performed these migrations well before the advent of fire(ie before c. 250,000 to 300,000 years ago) and well before the advent of clothes(supposed to be no more than c.70,000 years ago or so), it is reasonable to assume that they did so without fur, with the burden of proof being on others to cite clear evidence that fur was needed.

Here is scientific proof that clothes could not possibly have been invented prior to 170,000 years ago:-

http://forwhattheywereweare.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/clothes-lice-homo-sapiens-and-neanderthals/

Note that, in the text of that link above, it is mentioned that loss of hominid body hair already happened c.1.2 million years ago, in the  "homo ergaster"  phase. So no furs were worn prior to 170,000 years ago, and no natural fur was grown after 1.2 million years ago - yet various hominids did indeed migrate to arctic climates. Looks like I've  rather made my point!   :P :-* ;D ;)

Lastly, Iguana, just because wikipedia cites the out of africa theory as being the most popular model does NOT make it the correct one. For example, there are now thousands of studies showing the harm done by cooking yet cooking stubbornly remains more popular than eating all foods raw. Similiarly, until very recently, the out of africa theory used to bluntly claim that there was NEVER any admixture between modern humans and other apemen such as neanderthals. Indeed it was one of its 2 main tenets that they fanatically spouted for many years. For them to suddenly switch round and claim that, well, OK, there was some admixture but ONLY when humans came out of Africa c.43,000 years ago is a major bluff and shows just what is so wrong about the theory as a whole. I am also amused at how often the out of africa "theorists" constantly change their minds on an individual basis as to the rough dates when humans supposedly left Africa. Some claim the date to be c. 200,000 years ago, the more loony politically-correct quasi-Creationist bunch cite a date of  only c.20,000 years ago, but the dates are all over with no real concensus.

Oh, one last thing:- Iguana, you are quite wrong. The fact that humans came out Africa which is a warm environment does NOT support your argument if humans left there 800,000 to 2,000,000 years ago. That time is MORE than enough for hominids to adapt to a cold climate.  Come to think of it, I have just cited various data to show that one can adapt to a cold climate in a much shorter time-period as well.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 04:02:32 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline Iguana

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #97 on: March 13, 2014, 08:17:12 am »
Thanks to you and JeuneKoq for this instructive debate.

As I understand it, your first reference says that Europeans and Inuit are equally (not differently) adapted to cold. An “adaptation” which is better than that of Africans — as we would all have expected.
 
Not sure if I grasp correctly the meaning of the text of your second link, but I understand that animal skins were worked with hide scrapers as far back as 780,000 years ago. It says “In Europe the need for clothes was much more urgent obviously and the ancestors of Neanderthals got to work on it out of need.” Also “a more likely age of at least 250,000 years for the coalescence of modern clothing lice and hence use of clothes by our ancestors (excepting probably Neanderthals). At that time (all of them) we were still living in Tropical Africa. Why would people begin to use clothes then? I am hunching here that maybe there was some need in order to colonize or otherwise exploit the Ethiopian highlands.”

Seems to me he means that Neanderthals probably had clothes before 250,000 years ago.  If so, it doesn’t match your figure of 170,000 years ago, which on the graph is labeled “Median head — clothing louse divergence”

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…no natural fur was grown after 1.2 million years ago - yet various hominids did indeed migrate to arctic climates.
Yes, that’s what that article says. But the anthropologist in the link given by JeuneKoq says the contrary: according to him, Neanderthals would likely have had a fur!
 
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Lastly, Iguana, just because wikipedia cites the out of africa theory as being the most popular model does NOT make it the correct one.
I agree, but it doesn’t necessarily make the “multiregional hypothesis” correct either! Arguments for or against each theory is a task for top experts in anthropology and since I’m far from being one, I’m totally unable and unwilling to say which one of these hypothesis is most correct — as even these experts disagree between them.   

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For example, there are now thousands of studies showing the harm done by cooking yet cooking stubbornly remains more popular than eating all foods raw. Similiarly, until very recently, the out of africa theory used to bluntly claim that there was NEVER any admixture between modern humans and other apemen such as neanderthals. Indeed it was one of its 2 main tenets that they fanatically spouted for many years. For them to suddenly switch round and claim that, well, OK, there was some admixture but ONLY when humans came out of Africa c.43,000 years ago is a major bluff and shows just what is so wrong about the theory as a whole. I am also amused at how often the out of africa "theorists" constantly change their minds on an individual basis as to the rough dates when humans supposedly left Africa. Some claim the date to be c. 200,000 years ago, the more loony politically-correct quasi-Creationist bunch cite a date of  only c.20,000 years ago, but the dates are all over with no real concensus.
It shows that no one really knows, the paleo-anthropology still being in its infancy and thus extremely unreliable.

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Oh, one last thing:- Iguana, you are quite wrong. The fact that humans came out Africa which is a warm environment does NOT support your argument if humans left there 800,000 to 2,000,000 years ago. That time is MORE than enough for hominids to adapt to a cold climate.  Come to think of it, I have just cited various data to show that one can adapt to a cold climate in a much shorter time-period as well.
An adaptation to a new environment is not always possible or it may take longer than that. It doesn’t seem so difficult for a species to adapt to a new environment, but what do we know?   

Anyway, there’s still fact that no modern human on this planet have been known to permanently live without any clothing  in cold and even temperate climate. It seems to show that adaptation to these climates is very partial for modern men while it seems to have been much better for Heidelbergensis and Neanderthals. So what? Isn’it logical to conclude that we, homo sapiens sapiens, have not inherited much DNA from those subspecies? Why do so many people go to warm and tropical regions for their holidays? Granted, some like to go to cold places, but they’re clearly a tiny minority.
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #98 on: March 14, 2014, 01:01:10 am »
Thanks to you and JeuneKoq for this instructive debate.

As I understand it, your first reference says that Europeans and Inuit are equally (not differently) adapted to cold. An “adaptation” which is better than that of Africans — as we would all have expected.
OK, so they are equally cold-adapted, I should have checked more closely. The POINT is that they are said to be adapted to  cold climates , NOT warm climates.  So it is moronic to go on claiming that we are all adapted to warm, African environments.

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Not sure if I grasp correctly the meaning of the text of your second link, but I understand that animal skins were worked with hide scrapers as far back as 780,000 years ago. It says “In Europe the need for clothes was much more urgent obviously and the ancestors of Neanderthals got to work on it out of need.” Also “a more likely age of at least 250,000 years for the coalescence of modern clothing lice and hence use of clothes by our ancestors (excepting probably Neanderthals). At that time (all of them) we were still living in Tropical Africa. Why would people begin to use clothes then? I am hunching here that maybe there was some need in order to colonize or otherwise exploit the Ethiopian highlands.”

Seems to me he means that Neanderthals probably had clothes before 250,000 years ago.  If so, it doesn’t match your figure of 170,000 years ago, which on the graph is labeled “Median head — clothing louse divergence”
The whole point is that the general concensus is that the date for the invention for clothes is 170,000 years ago. Sure, this guy thinks that the real figure is 250,000 years ago, but this is a minority opinion formed by just one lone guy! Highly unlikely to be correct, whereas the 170,000 year figure is commonly accepted. And, NO, he definitely does NOT mean that Neanderthals had clothes prior to 250,000 years ago. He even makes a clear EXCEPTION for the Neanderthals. What weakens his argument re the Ethiopian highlands is that clothes are not really suited to the generally warm  African climate. But clothes are admittedly more likely to have been used for much colder climates outside Africa. If that is the case, then the advent of clothes 170,000 years ago outside Africa is just one more nail in the coffin of the absurd out of africa hypothesis. And my main point, which was that Neanderthals and previous hominids were easily able to survive in cold climates without any need for clothes is still solid and proven.



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Yes, that’s what that article says. But the anthropologist in the link given by JeuneKoq says the contrary: according to him, Neanderthals would likely have had a fur!
The general concensus, is , however, that hominids lost their fur as far back as homo ergaster. The only vaguely valid argument put forward  is the finger-ridge one. What is a clincher is that a dna analysis of a neanderthal woman's body showed that she did not have fur on her:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1058538/Meet-Wilma-The-face-Neanderthal-woman-revealed-time.html

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I agree, but it doesn’t necessarily make the “multiregional hypothesis” correct either! Arguments for or against each theory is a task for top experts in anthropology and since I’m far from being one, I’m totally unable and unwilling to say which one of these hypothesis is most correct — as even these experts disagree between them.   
It shows that no one really knows, the paleo-anthropology still being in its infancy and thus extremely unreliable.
Not really. What I have demonstrably shown is that one of THE key tenets of the out of africa theory has been disproven(the one that stated that humans never interbred with the Neanderthals or other apemen). The multiregional hypothesis is therefore in a stronger position.
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An adaptation to a new environment is not always possible or it may take longer than that. It doesn’t seem so difficult for a species to adapt to a new environment, but what do we know?   
Pure equivocation. Plenty of other wildlife has adapted to big extremes of temperature in a much smaller period of time. The point being that  many hundreds of thousands of years/1 or 2 millions of years  is more than enough to adapt.
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Anyway, there’s still fact that no modern human on this planet have been known to permanently live without any clothing  in cold and even temperate climate. It seems to show that adaptation to these climates is very partial for modern men while it seems to have been much better for Heidelbergensis and Neanderthals. So what? Isn’it logical to conclude that we, homo sapiens sapiens, have not inherited much DNA from those subspecies? Why do so many people go to warm and tropical regions for their holidays? Granted, some like to go to cold places, but they’re clearly a tiny minority.
  The above claim isn't quite true. For example, the Gauls in ancient France were well known to  routinely fight stark naked in battles. So far, despite primitive dna technology, we are estimated to have anywhere up to 20% Neanderthal dna and that does not even include many other possibilities re admixture with other types of "apemen", so we are likely to have a much higher percentage of hominid dna than you would like to think.

The claim re  "most" people wanting to go to warm climates for their holidays is rather bogus. For one thing, we live in a modern environment where most of us have access to central heating so that we may simply be used to warmer temperatures out of lifelong habit, nothing else. Then there is the issue of all those immigrants from the 3rd world looking for a better life, but, interestingly, always seeking out colder climates when possible.

From my own experience, I can safely state that my parents were much better adapted to the cold than I ever was, simply because they had no access to central heating so were more prone to frostbite so their bodies were forced to adapt much harder in order to survive.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 03:59:11 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Humans Natural/Optimal Habitat
« Reply #99 on: March 14, 2014, 01:08:52 am »
Incidentally, I have just come across a fascinating naked tribe, the "Yaghan" who lived at the tip of  South America, Tierra del Fuego, which is a pretty cold place and very wet. They managed to survive as they had evolved a higher metabolic rate. Which is what I have been saying all along, that if you plonk modern humans into Siberia  or some other cold place, without clothes,  they will simply adapt to the colder climate through depositing more body fat etc. etc.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 04:04:38 pm by TylerDurden »
"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.

 

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