Survival of the friendliest? Why Homo sapiens outlived other humans

Survival of the friendliest? Why Homo sapiens outlived other humans
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We once shared the planet and not using a longer decrease than seven other kinds of human. Ironically, our success might presumably fair were attributable to our deepest vulnerability: being depending on others


24 November 2021

By Kate Ravilious

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Simon Pemberton

HUMANS at the moment time are uniquely alone. For the vast majority of the existence of Homo sapiens, we shared the planet with many other kinds of human. At the time when our lineage first evolved in Africa some 300,000 years within the past, there were no longer decrease than five others. And whenever you were going to position of dwelling a bet on which of those would live grand longer than the full leisure, you would no longer private set up your money on us.

The percentages would private gave the affect more favourable for the Neanderthals, who had already adapted to live in colder conditions and expanded to inhabit grand of Eurasia. Or Homo erectus, who had made a success of living in south-east Asia. By distinction, our insist Homo sapiens ancestors were the unique youngsters on the block, and wouldn’t successfully establish out of doors of Africa until more than 200,000 years later. But, by 40,000 years within the past, or presumably barely more fair no longer too lengthy within the past, we were the most attention-grabbing humans left standing. Why?

Many explanations were set up forward: brainpower, language or factual success. Now, a brand unique conception is constructing momentum to tell our dominance. Ironically, it can per chance be a pair of of our apparently deepest vulnerabilities – being depending on others, feeling compassion and experiencing empathy – that can even private given us the brink.

This present day, surrounded by pc programs, telephones and the full other sparkling things we private got invented, it is easy to pin our success on our cognitive talents. However the more we obtain out about other kinds of human, the more they seem the same to us on this regard. In the case of Neanderthals, and presumably the mysterious Denisovans, this entails the flexibility to perform refined …

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