Evolution made humans compassionate before intelligent: York University researcher Penny Spikins

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Evolution made humans compassionate before intelligent: York University researcher Penny Spikins Empty Evolution made humans compassionate before intelligent: York University researcher Penny Spikins

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:08 pm

Evolution led early humans to develop compassion and kindness before intelligence, a scientist has said.
Penny Spikins, from York University, has said normally we think of human evolution as being driven by intelligence – but this is not the case.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, she said three groups of early human show behaviours relating to kindness and compassion, and that these behaviours developed long before early man started to show signs of intelligence and speech, which started as late as 150,000 years ago.
"Human evolution is usually depicted as driven by intelligence, with empathy and deeper emotions following," Spikins said. "However, the evidence suggests it happened the other way round. Evolution made us sociable, living in groups and looking after one another, even before we had language. Our success since then, including the evolution of intelligence, all sprang from that."
Australopithecines, which lived about three million years ago, carried around pebbles that resembled babies' faces. The Makapansgat pebble, which had pits and markings that looked like a face, was found in a South African cave in 1925.
This group of ancestors to the genus homo (humans) had brains about a third of the size of modern humans and have previously been described as the "killer ape" – a name considered unfair by Spikins.
"What is remarkable is that this pebble was carried several miles back to its cave by an australopithecine. Did it remind them of a baby? It is impossible to tell for sure but this is not the only tantalising sign of something perhaps approaching tenderness."

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/evolution-made-humans-compassionate-before-intelligent-york-university-researcher-penny-spikins-1489096

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Post by Ben Reilly on Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:57 pm

Really interesting, and it makes total sense. Why would a solitary, non-cooperative species (like tigers) or a species with a simple herd-survival strategy, like bison, need to develop the intelligence for sophisticated communication?

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Post by veya_victaous on Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:15 pm

http://www.livescience.com/24800-animals-emotions-morality.html

Compassion is also a trait in elephants and rodents. so it is probably evolved pre-simian or there are paralleled evolutionary paths to compassion. But as we do share common ancestors it is more likely to have started back when we were the same species.

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