Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Evolved ApprenticeHow Evolution Made Humans Unique$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kim Sterelny

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016797

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016797.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see http://www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 24 November 2017

Adapted Individuals, Adapted Environments

Adapted Individuals, Adapted Environments

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Adapted Individuals, Adapted Environments
Source:
The Evolved Apprentice
Author(s):

Kim Sterelny

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016797.003.0003

This chapter exploits the apprentice learning model developed in chapter two to give an account of two very puzzling features of human evolutionary history: the appearance of behaviourally modern humans perhaps between 100,000-80,000 years ago (long after the evolution of our species) and the extinction of the Neanderthals, our sibling species. The chapter argues that both phenomena are to be explained by the conditions that allow critical cognitive capital to be retained or expanded. Behavioural modernity is a signature of expanding cognitive capital, as our ancestors crossed a social and demographic threshold. Neanderthal extinction was the result of ecological and demographic stresses so serious that they eroded the capacity to transmit core competences at a time when the external environment was becoming ever less forgiving.

Keywords:   Human behavioural modernity, Neanderthal extinction, symbolic behaviour, Upper Palaeolithic Revolution

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.