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Built for Speed: Pleistocene Climate Variation and the Origin of Human Culture

  • Peter J. Richerson
  • Robert Boyd
Part of the Perspectives in Ethology book series (PEIE, volume 13)

Abstract

The evolution of humans is a major event in the Earth’s biotic history. Never before has a single species of organism so dominated the planet. Hunting and gathering people penetrated to nearly every habitable scrap of the Earth’s surface by the end of the Pleistocene. Beginning about 10,000 years ago, food plant production, and its evolutionary sequelae, have made us a geochemical and geophysical force to be reckoned with. Most accounts of human origins take this ecological dominance as a sign of a qualitatively new and superior form of adaptation and ask, what evolutionary breakthrough led to the unique human adaptive complex—tool making, language, complex social organization, and other aspects of culture.

Keywords

Social Learning Individual Learning Brain Size Human Culture Stone Tool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Richerson
    • 1
  • Robert Boyd
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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