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Long-term trends in Paleolithic cultural and biological evolution - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Summary
Up to the era of the Homo sapiens, humans- through evolution gradually developed larger brains, which led to better reasoning, introspection and language abilities. Gradual changes in the anatomy of the early hominin were critical in the cultural evolution of the Paleolithic…
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Long-term trends in Paleolithic cultural and biological evolution
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Long-term trends in Paleolithic cultural and biological evolution

Download file to see previous pages... Most commentators agree that early humankind’s views on science and religion are associated with an improved growth of the cognitive process and reasoning abilities. In what is perhaps humans’ earliest attempt at trying to figure out the meaning of their existence and the presence of a higher deity, the upper Paleolithic era witnessed the emergence of spiritual activity in the form burial and rituals. As the human brain developed and gradually became sophisticated, so did the ability to develop a wide variety of tools. Some commentators argue that earlier gradual human adaptation to bipedal (two-footed) movement was instrumental in the Paleolithic cultural evolution since hands, previously used to aid locomotion were thus freed to serve other purposes. A better developed human brain allowed for innovation geared towards tool specialization and other advances in art, agriculture and industry. Eating habits evolved with the availability of hunting tools such as harpoons, bows and arrows. Much later, the capacity for language proved instrumental in the sharing of information towards development of more effective tools.
Ambrose (4) notes that burned bones retrieved from the Swartkrans cave in South Africa suggest systematic use of fire by hominins beginning 1 to 1.5 million years ago. Fire invention also had a enormous impact on the pre-historic eating culture. On the other hand, the development of canoes influenced migration and settlement thus leading to the colonization of new areas and eventually the emergence of varied cultural habits.
Ambrose (1) argues that technological innovations are closely linked to the evolution of human biology and culture and that the history of evolution points to the fact that technological evolution occurred hand in hand with an increase in brain size, size of population and geographical range. This shows that as the number of hominins with developed language skills in an area ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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