martes, 24 de febrero de 2015

How Compassion Made Us Human: Love and Tenderness in the Prehistoric World



Book: How Compassion Made Us Human: Love and Tenderness in the Prehistoric World
Penny Spikins
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd (March 30, 2015)

In the movies, the emotional range of a caveman consists of grunting... and hitting things with clubs.

But early humans had a sensitive side – developing a sense of compassion long before the emergence of intelligence and language, researchers claim.

Three million years ago our early ancestors, who had brains just a third the size of ours, were carrying pebbles shaped like babies’ faces, archaeologists say.

Researchers speculate that by carrying the pebbles long distances, the early humans were displaying ‘tenderness’.

Move on 1.5 million years, when brains had grown to 60 per cent of their size today, our predecessors had learned to care for their ill.

And 450,000 years ago our ancestors appear to have nursed disabled children.

Intelligence and language skills are thought to have emerged only in the past 500,000 years, possibly as late as 150,000 years ago.

Dr Penny Spikins of York University, who details the findings in her new book, How Compassion Made Us Human, says that archaeology suggests pre-humans had unsuspected emotional depths.

‘Human evolution is usually depicted as driven by intelligence, with empathy and deeper emotions following,’ she told the Sunday Times. [...]  dailymail.co.uk