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Showing posts with the label anthropology

What Can Sharks, Bees and Humans Teach Us About Urban Development?

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Torrey Pines Sharks, Bees and Humans forage and explore in many of the same ways.  Researchers at University of Arizona studied the foraging and exploring patterns of a number of creatures in their habitats ( 1 ). In particular, they looked at the Hadza people of Tanzania who still forage and hunt in the same way that our ancestors did. To their amazement, they found similar patterns of activities among broad species. The pattern is known as the Levy walk and is based on mathematical principles. The same patterns exist when foraging for food or walking around an amusement park ( 2 ). It entails short movements around a particular area and then longer movements into newer areas. Co-author and anthropologist Brian Woods from Yale states, “ Detecting this pattern among the Hadza, as has been found in several other species, tells us that such patterns are likely the result of general foraging strategies that many species adopt, across a wide variety of context s” ( 3 ).  They

Communication in Ancient African Societies Created Innovation

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It is hard to imagine that climate change and innovation have something to do with each other.  However, new research into archaeological innovation and climate change indicates that there are important similarities in history between changes in the environment, cultural interaction, and an explosion in societal innovation.  Africa was once a hot bed of human adaptation and change and sets a historical example that modern innovators may find useful. Africa around 60,000 to 80,000 years ago began to experience higher environmental changes forcing humans to adapt their practices. Martin Ziegler, an earth scientist from Cardiff University in Wales, believes that early humans adapted when parts of Sub-Sahara Africa experienced conditions that were more hospitable for humans.   As the global temperature shifted cooler, based upon ocean activity, the world found that some areas were more lush while others more dry. In the study environmental activity was compared against archeolo

Book Review: Wired for Culture by Mark Pagel

Wired for Culture by Mark Pagel moves deeply into the undiscovered nature of human biology and how this influences societal development. Rooted in our biology is the deep desire for all human beings to work within social groups. This biology manifests itself into altruistic actions that further the survival needs of that group. Without the use of social mirroring and individuals showing their societal worth through altruistic actions society would eventually dissipate into chaos.  To him culture is a domestication tool that helps individuals find a place that furthers their self-attainment and the overall development of society. Through this specialization of effort the entire economic chain is developed that contributes to each other by providing specific products and services that benefits the group of most. This benefit comes to individuals in the form of wages and financial security. It keeps the chain bound together. Religion is seen as a cultural enhancer that help