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Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:32 PM

Modern humans found to be fittest ever at survival, by far

Modern humans have gotten incomparably good at survival, doing more to extend our lives over the last century than our forebears did in the previous 6.6 million years since we parted evolutionary ways with chimpanzees, according to a new study.

In fact, humans in societies with plentiful food and advanced medicine have surpassed other species used in life-extending medical research in stretching our longevity and reducing our odds of dying at every point along our ever-lengthening life spans, the study finds.

The research, published online Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, touches upon the hotly debated question of whether an upper limit to longevity is inscribed in our genes. It makes clear that life extension begins at birth, with a child born in the last four generations standing a better chance of being alive during infancy, adolescence, the reproductive years and after than in any of the 8,000 human generations that came before.

The study authors, from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, began by comparing people who have lived or now live in primitive hunter-gatherer societies around the globe in which life spans have been well documented with citizens of industrialized countries in Europe and Asia. A typical Swede, for instance, is more than 100 times more likely to survive to the age 15 than a typical hunter-gatherer. And a hunter-gatherer who has reached the ripe old age of 30 is about as likely to die in the following year as the world's champion of longevity a 72-year-old woman in Japan.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-aging-biology-20121016,0,2921588.story

6 replies, 1003 views

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Reply Modern humans found to be fittest ever at survival, by far (Original post)
bemildred Oct 2012 OP
msongs Oct 2012 #1
pscot Oct 2012 #2
bemildred Oct 2012 #3
AverageJoe90 Oct 2012 #4
bemildred Oct 2012 #5
bloomington-lib Oct 2012 #6

Response to bemildred (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 02:29 PM

1. poisoning the planet is a survival strategy? gee, who knew? nt

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Response to bemildred (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 03:55 PM

2. Confusing individual longevity with species survival?

Beyond stupid.

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Response to pscot (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 04:06 PM

3. Well, babble, scientifically speaking, for sure.

But I see it as a non-sequitur. Everybody paying attention knows we live a lot longer, but to infer from that that we are "better at survival" or "fitness" is a non-sequitur, it means nothing of the sort.

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Response to bemildred (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 06:37 PM

4. Very interesting, thanks.

Just one small quibble: we didn't actually branch off from chimps(did they even exist 6 million years ago?). That is the ONLY thing wrong with this article.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 07:44 PM

5. Wiki says:

7 Ma Sahelanthropus tchadensis

Hominina speciate from the ancestors of the chimpanzees. The latest common ancestor lived around the time of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, ca. 7 Ma ; S. tchadensis is sometimes claimed to be the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, but this is disputed. The earliest known human ancestor post-dating the separation of the human and the chimpanzee lines is Orrorin tugenensis (Millennium Man, Kenya; ca. 6 Ma). Both chimpanzees and humans have a larynx that repositions during the first two years of life to a spot between the pharynx and the lungs, indicating that the common ancestors have this feature, a precursor of speech.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_human_evolution#Primates

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So maybe they were not chimps yet, but they had left us behind. Anyway, it explains the number.

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Response to bemildred (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 07:44 PM

6. I understand what they're saying but we did it mainly by changing our environment, not by being more

fit to survive. Take off your clothes and stay outside tonight and see how fit you are in the morning.

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