Category: Evolution

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

Mismatch Illnesses — Why We No Longer Fit the World in Which We Live

What can save us from ourselves? A giraffe wandering the plains of the African Savanna reaches high into the lush foliage near the top of the tree. An impala – a small antelope – is left tugging at the few remaining leaves on the much lower branches. It strains to get higher but fails to…
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The Body Has Evolved To Run, So Why Not The Brain?

2 million years to run an ultra-marathon Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were, in effect, on a camping trip that lasted a lifetime, and they had to solve many different kinds of problems well to survive and reproduce under those conditions […] — Cosmides and Tooby, 2013 Chris McDougall’s epic book “Born to Run” has been an inspiration…
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“Our Hunter-gatherer Ancestors Were, In Effect, On A Camping Trip That Lasted A Lifetime”

Has the brain evolved to run? Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were, in effect, on a camping trip that lasted a lifetime, and they had to solve many different kinds of problems well to survive and reproduce under those conditions […]— Cosmides and Tooby, 2013 Chris McDougall’s epic book “Born to Run” has been an inspiration to many runners…
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Is our psychology adapted for endurance?

According to evolutionary psychologists, at birth the human mind is neither a blank slate, nor a general-purpose computer, but is instead a set of highly specific, and evolved adaptive programmes (Cosmides & Tooby, 2013). Each mechanism within the brain has been shaped through natural, and sexual, selection, to solve the problems encountered within the environment…
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Are we truly born to run?

Based on evidence from evolutionary biology, physiology, and anthropology, it has been hypothesised that endurance running historically is important in the pursuit of prey, with key physiological adaptions evolving over millions of years to benefit long distance running, from early hominins through to modern homo sapiens (Brooks, 2012; Hawley, Hargreaves,  Joyner, & Zierath, 2014; Schulkin, 2016).…
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3.67 million-year-old – first to walk?

It’s taken twenty years to fully uncover ‘little foot’, and an impossibly rare, almost complete, australopithicus skeleton. The work was performed, painstakingly, by Ronald Clarke and team, who are well aware of the huge importance of this small hominin believed to walk bipedally (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/11/29/481556). Hard data is likely to follow, and potentially shed light on a hominin…
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