Re: Early human families and childrearing

John Waters (
Sat, 27 Jul 1996 20:25:47 +0100

Jane Andrews wrote:
> On 21 Jul 1996, JOHN DUNCAN WATERS wrote:
> > It is estimated that the first kind of multi-age brood (i.e. the L.B.I. brood)
> > developed approximately 1.5 million years B.P. The other kind of multi-age brood
> > (the S.B.I. - short birth interval - brood) developed about 15k to 20k B.P. This
> > latter brood is the normal multi-age brood in agrarian and industrial
> > communities.
> >
> This sounds interesting, could you possibly let me know where this work is
> to be found. Also, are you sugessting that S.B.I. broods are associated
> with agrarian and industrial communitees? If so, how does this fit with
> the fact that 15-20k B.P. is a very long time before the origins of
> agriculture?
> Jane Andrews

The S.B.I. multi-age broods are associated with the development of
sedentary agriculture. The dates given are only approximate. This kind
of agriculture may have developed later than 15k B.P. I'm not a
paleontologist, so dates are not my forte.

I believe the earliest reference to the Multi-age Brood characteristic
of the human specie was in Spec. Sci. Tech. 1.2. p 157-163.(1978)

As far as I know, all other references are unpublished. There was an
early account of the L.B.I. and S.B.I. multi-age brood characteristics
in a paper titled The Physiological and Cultural Evolution of the Human
Specie. (1980) But this was not published. A detailed account of the
evolution process which led to the multi-age brood characteristic is
contained in a book titled "Helpless as a Baby"(1986) However, this was
not published.

This is a chronic problem of scientific activity. Potentially important
information is not made available to concerned professional scientists,
because of difficiences in the review system and publication criteria.

If you want a brief outline of the multi-age brood characteristic of the
human specie and its relationship with the evolution of speech and
language, this can be supplied.

John Waters