N=1 Running and Walking

Recently   I  rare position of having some free time during the day. I am not a big fan of the persistence hunting hypothesis of human evolution but have long been keen to try out some of the “runs” outlined in the paper that dealt with the Kalahari Bushmen. This paper by Lindberg. I dislike persistence hunting as an idea for an evolutionary niche because, it is quite a poorly evidenced hypothesis, most of the anthropology deals with farming cultures (Tarahumara, Apache etc) and indeed very few modern hunter gatherers even run let alone run after animals. The hypothesis also speculates on hominid physiology (running Neanderthals?) providing narrative answers to many of the oddities of the human form. Yet it seems to be very popular even accepted as FACT by many which seems odd given that the idea has such a weak basis. I can smell the “shoe horn” too, running being one of the “approved” healthy activities of our culture despite what, all the evidence to the contrary? At its heart it appears to be a solution for what might not actually have been a problem i.e “how did we hunt or kill animals without claws or spears?” A question which assumes that early hominids despite being able to make blades couldn’t use spears, something modern apes have been observed doing. Or that teeth and claws are essential for hunting despite the successful hunting of other Primates, notably Chimps and Baboons. My insight as I pounded along was just how dumb … read more....

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