Re: Social evolution of hominids
15 Jan 1997 22:52:27 +0200 wrote: wrote:
> >include better care of children. Monogamous cultures have been the
> >most successful. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> ??? Do you have some evidence to back this up? Off the top of
> my head, I can't think of a single monogamous human culture in which
> the monogamy wasn't *enforced* by religious and/or legal strictures, o
> moderated by economic realities. That is, it is not "natural", but cu

Well, I'm not well informed of the terminology. I mean by monogamous
cultures the equivalent of ceramic cultures, in other words, cultures
where monogamy is practiced. They have been succesful, since there
are but odds and ends of other types of cultures.

> >Did monogamy appear when new weapons made hunting more efficient,
> >so that it began to have importance in providing food for the group?
> >Men were more efficient in protecting, too, with this new power,
> >and the importance of the 'gang' behaviour diminished a bit. So it
> >allowed pairing?
> >
> >Is the beginning of such efficient hunting seen in the stone tools?
> >In rapid spread of Homo s?
> >Did erectus hunt?
> >Were Neanderthals monogamous?
> I'm confused. I got the impression in earlier posts that you didn't
> think that monogamy was natural. Now it seems that you do. Could
> you clarify your position,

I still believe that modern humans are not naturally monogamous - you
point the importance of culture in your post, and I agree. But what
was before these succesful monogamous cultures? We can not ever know
it, but there are not too many chances, either :

1. Prehuman non-cultural societies were already monogamous, and
developed to monogamous human cultures. (I don't know the terms, and
how the beginning of 'culture' is determined.) With this time table,
we would expect more genetic support - in gibbon style - for monogamy
than what we see. We also have to explain the origins of the
scattered promiscuous H. sapiens cultures.

2. The pre-cultural society was promiscuous, and the change to
cultural society meaned a change to monogamy. That might better
explain our difficulties in adaptating to monogamy (depending on when
we put the origin of 'culture') but not the existence of promiscuous
cultures of H. sapiens.

3. The pre-cultural societies were promiscuous, and developed to
promiscuous cultures. With the spread of H. sapiens and changes of
economy, the basic culture got different local forms. Such variations
we see when we look the existing native cultures. These cultural
forms included also monogamous types, and for one or other reason,
they proved to be the most successfull, as it is. Short time spent
in monogamous cultures would explain our difficulties, and the
existing promiscuous cultures would be relics from the original
state. This is the most logical scenario, to what I know (not much).

The point is, at which level we put the origin of culture and the
origin of monogamy. My scenario (no references) suggests, that
culture appeared before monogamy, and monogamy appeared at H.s
level and has always been a cultural phenomenon. And I believe, that
economy cause(s)d differences in sexual relations, and something
allowed - or demanded - some populations of H.s. to give up the
protection provided by the promiscuous group. I believe this happened
after the !kung san line had departed, not so long ago, and thought,
if some change was seen in the tool kit.

I am not aware, if monogamous cultures are 'monofyletic' or if
they appeared locally in many places. Maybe also before H.s.?
Monogamous Neanderthals, like the modern arctic people? :)

BTW, did erectus and neanderthals have 'culture'?

> or have I missed some posts (which is entirely
> possible--they seem to be falling off my newsfeed with startling rapid
> these days)?

No, you haven't but I have been locked away for server problems.

> Deb

Aila Korhonen in Finland