Re: A Point for Calvin

David Sierra (
Wed, 2 Oct 1996 22:25:59 -0500

> I read an article in todays newspaper about a group
> of boyscouts camping in Yosemite National Park who had
> killed a bear by throwing rocks at it.

I saw it too.

> The point of the article was that they accidentally
> killed it and so weren't going to be proscecuted.
> They were trying to scare it off, but some of the boys
> used baseball sized rocks.

No spears? Humm, maybe then spears aren't even neccessary, to say nothing
of spears with crossbars. . .

> I find this event interesting in light of some of the recent
> discussion about what kinds of animals neanderthals and humans
> could kill with primitive weapons.
> Apparently 11 to 14 year old boys can kill bears with rocks.

Its almost a tailor-made situation, but I'm sure our resident cynics can
come up with some reason why 11-14 year old modern humans make better
group hunters than a group of adult H.n.

> I think William Calvin hypothesized that it was throwing
> ability that provided the selective advantage for large
> brain size in hominds. Perhaps this event is a point for him.

I say let the facts speak for themselves. A group of physically immature
members of a very similar species demonstrated an ability to kill an
animal that is certainly more able to defend itself than a bovine. I
think we've all overlooked the potential of this rock-throwing thing.
Get some good sized rocks and daze/criple said bovine, then move in with
spears, etc.

Sounds pretty effective, yes?

David Sierra