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Comment Re:I'll stay in my sofa (Score 5, Interesting) 376

As an anthropologist, I have to say that this is basically a false picture of human development. As far as archaeologists can tell, even the earliest homo sapiens lived in complicated symbolic worlds oriented towards all kinds of social issues and conflicts. At least some anthropologists have suggested that hunter-gatherers were basically better off than contemporary workers -- obviously they consumed less, but also, so goes the argument, wanted less and wanted different things than we would want. And at the very least, the image of early homo sapiens living in a world that consisted of nothing but sex and hunger is false: these people lived in radically different symbolic worlds than us, and, if you want to judge by the huge monuments in Stonehenge or Easter Island, obviously put a ton of effort into keeping these worlds in motion. The human brain has always been more than mere instinct and reflex.

I agree, of course, that we deal with many current problems quite badly, but that seems more like a failure in our collective organization than a failure of our biological circuitry. Suppose we take the people in Haiti who have to dig their loved ones out of collapsed buildings with their bare hands, for lack of heavy equipment to work with. Is that a failure of evolution? No, just a failure of logistics (and politics and economics...) What, exactly, is insightful about complaining about our insufficient evolution in the face of problems that need much more local and immediate solutions?

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