IMSA 1990

Class of 1990 at the Illinois Math & Science Academy (IMSA)

East Randolph Street, Chicago

[Allalum-l] February Great Mind Speaker

February 11th, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

As part of the IMSA Great Minds ProgramĀ®
Dr. Anna Roosevelt, Professor of Anthropology at The University of Illinois, Chicago:

“The Ecology in Early Human Evolution: The Role of the Tropical Forests”

Widely accepted theories of early human evolution hold that human
ancestors developed when Ice-Age climate change created huge savannas
in the tropical forest belt of Africa. The idea is that a rainforest
ape species ventured out in the savanna, developing stone tools and
big-game hunting to survive there. In fact, all Paleolithic humans
are assumed to have been big-game hunters adapted to the savannas,
steppes, and tundras throughout the world.

However, careful paleoecological and bioarchaeological research now
show that early human ancestors mainly lived in tropical forests.
Tropical savannas are rare until later, after humans had developed
fire and began to deforest in some areas. Furthermore, most
Paleolithic humans lived by broad-spectrum foraging, not by big game
hunting, which is dangerous, costly in effort, and of low and
unreliable returns.

Since a lot of assumptions about human nature derive from the old
evolutionary consensus, we can now significantly revise our ideas
about ancient and modern human behavior.

Thursday, February 18, 2010
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
IMSA Pearson Lecture Hall


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