Campus Units

Anthropology

Document Type

Editorial

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

6-2015

Journal or Book Title

Current Anthropology

Volume

56

Issue

3

First Page

343

Last Page

345

DOI

10.1086/681217

Abstract

The authors outline the evolutionary origins of a sociopolitical human niche that is largely dependent on material culture, events such as control of fire and cooking and the consequences of these developments (biological as well as cultural). They use a phylogenetic perspective to anchor their premise, so that their hypothesis is based on the available data on nonhuman primate behavior. However, detractors may find their scenario—which includes, in addition to those traits listed above, active sharing, cooperative hunting and breeding, lethal weapons and bipedal running—as another “just so” story in paleoanthropology. Beginning with the section on the control of fire, their premise becomes more speculative and rests on multiple levels of inference. Regardless, I find it provocative, and I anticipate it will lead to further refinement of the various hypotheses.

Comments

This is a response to an article from Current Anthropology 56 (2015): 343, doi:10.1086/681217. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

University of Chicago Press

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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