PDA

View Full Version : Weaknesses of the Cromagnid



huntsman
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010, 01:27 AM
The strengths of the cromagnid (both the paleolithic specimens and the remaining examples) are obvious, as they had larger brains, stronger bones, were taller and had generally superior physiques as compared to later populations.

This leads me to wonder regarding the causes for the replacement by other sub-races, as well as the causes for the reduction which has occurred in the surviving cromagnid types.

Possible weaknesses could included need for very heavy nutrition, or possibly a lack of behavioral flexibility in more complex societies.

I await your contributions.

Wittmann
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010, 09:33 AM
It would most likely be the need for a good deal of calroic intake, if I Alan any example to go by, I constantly feel staved and eat a very large amount of food, at least compared to other people, but for me its what I need to eat, as I am very healthy.

Neophyte
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010, 10:39 AM
Interesting question. While I do not know the answer I would caution against drawing too many parallels between the original populatiuon and the characteristics of remaining examples as it would surprise me very much if present "examples" despite their morphological similarity were representative of the paleolithic ones. That said...

The answer, to me, seems to be cultural and genetic. The new settlers were agriculturalists, and that allowed them to have much larger population densities. Thus, in any given area no matter how few settlers that came they would outgrow the hunter-gatherers in a few generations, probably before the original population had the chance to adapt and adopt agriculture themselves. One important factor seems to have been the gene for lactose tolerance which gave the settled farmers a huge evolutionary advantage. The spread of this gene has been explosive and can be found in virtually all present day cromagnids.

On the whole, what happens with gene associations is an interesting game theoretic question. I suspect that what we have is the formation of Nash-type equilibria, that certain genes tend to associate together -- e.g. by being close together on the same chromosome etc. -- due to synergies. When you introduce new genes there is a possibility of new such associations forming between old and new genes over time.

So, my guess is that the practice of agriculture and the availability of the gene for lactose tolerance lead to a new equilibrium in which it proved advantageous for the Cromagnid genes to associate with the genes of the new settlers, whatever they lost in terms of physical and mental prowess was made up for by lactose tolerance and the ability to digest milk.

Also, we know that when you remove or reduce the selection preassure on a certain trait, it tends to degenerate. Agricultural life was probably, hard as it was, an easier life than that of hunting and gathering, and probably places less importance on the traits that you highligthed above. I would suspect that a smaller person is more enegy efficient in an agricultural setting than a large cromagnid; you certainly need less heavy bones plowing a field or hearding cattle than when hunting mammoths and bears.

Irby
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010, 01:38 PM
Agricultural life was probably, hard as it was, an easier life than that of hunting and gathering, and probably places less importance on the traits that you highligthed above.

I accept the other poinst, but this point is progressionist assumption, and a poor one at that. The fact is that from ethnographic evidence the average time hunter-gathers spend in food collection or production is 2 hours a day. This included the Inuit who live in similar condition as the Paleolithic European. A good reference to this topic, is Lewis Binford the American archaeologist, and one of the lead researchers on ethnographic archeology. He was the main authority on Paleolithic France, and his research with the native peoples of Canada, showed that most of the progreesionist none-sense that lives of northern latitude hunter-gathers was all just work and struggles, is simply as assumption, based on no evidence.

Neophyte
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010, 07:55 PM
I accept the other poinst, but this point is progressionist assumption, and a poor one at that. The fact is that from ethnographic evidence the average time hunter-gathers spend in food collection or production is 2 hours a day. This included the Inuit who live in similar condition as the Paleolithic European. A good reference to this topic, is Lewis Binford the American archaeologist, and one of the lead researchers on ethnographic archeology. He was the main authority on Paleolithic France, and his research with the native peoples of Canada, showed that most of the progreesionist none-sense that lives of northern latitude hunter-gathers was all just work and struggles, is simply as assumption, based on no evidence.

Thank you. I can buy that, totally. But I still think that agriculture demanded other types of muscle and physique than hunting and gathering. As a farmer you would probably need more slow-twitch (red) fibre, and as a hunter-gatherer more fast-twitch fibre, i.e. unless you do as the Bushmen and run your prey into the ground. I would also say that when the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer needed his muscles, then he needed a lot of them. The farmer probably had a more even load. But that is speculation on my part.