HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Laziness May Have Driven ...

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 11:10 PM

Laziness May Have Driven Homo Erectus to Extinction

By Yasemin Saplakoglu, Staff Writer | August 10, 2018 03:25pm ET

It turns out laziness existed long before couches and takeout. The "why bother?" attitude not only existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, but may also have led to the decline of an ancient human ancestor.

Homo erectus first appeared 2 million years ago and went extinct some 50,000 to 100,000 years ago. But compared with other hominins, like Neanderthals, this species may have been quite lazy and more reluctant to adapt to a changing environment, according to new study published July 27 in the Journal PLOS One.

Archaeologists from Australian National University analyzed thousands of newfound and previously unearthed artifacts from an excavation site in the Arabian Peninsula in modern-day Saffaqah, Saudi Arabia, in 2014. Their findings suggested that the Homo erectus species in that area exerted the minimal effort necessary to make tools and find supplies. [Top 10 Mysteries of the First Humans]

Instead, these early humans lived in places that had easy access to stones and water, the study found.


3 replies, 1061 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Laziness May Have Driven Homo Erectus to Extinction (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 2018 OP
braddy Aug 2018 #1
Judi Lynn Aug 2018 #2
Iterate Aug 2018 #3

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Aug 11, 2018, 11:31 PM

1. A lack of females probably killed them off.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Aug 12, 2018, 10:43 PM

2. Did laziness kill the 'cave man'? Scientists think so.

By George Roberts on AM

Laziness is now thought to have contributed to the extinction of cavemen about 300,000 years ago.

Australian researchers have found evidence at archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia that Homo Erectus used the "least effort" in making tools.

They didn't change their methods over a million years and wouldn't travel far from their homes, even when food and water ran out.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Aug 13, 2018, 05:07 AM

3. Laziness May Have Driven Science Writers to Extinction

At a minimum it's led some of them to clone the same nearby meme without more effort.

I don't see the word "lazy" in the original paper. Those authors don't speculate. Besides the faint whiff of racism, there seems to be some self-congratulation in the LS writer's answer to the "why" question, because, after all, they're on staff and some one else isn't.

It's not much work to speculate more plausible reasons, more plausible because it's rooted in the local conditions at that time -but all still without evidence: high risk aversion, real high risk, selection against novelty, super strong proto-cultural transmission through the generations, lack of language or cognitive ability to imagine alternatives, high selection against individual action. I don't even like the assumption that those Homo Erectus groups could "decide" to move in the way we think of it.

Or maybe we've found the original climate change deniers. No evidence for that either, other than their extinction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread