Sunday, July 04, 2010

Longevity - Homo neandertalis and technicalis

In a world where climate oscillated violently*, and humans wrestled with large animals, was male longevity not an evolutionary priority?

BBC - Radio 4 - Melvyn Bragg - In Our Time - The Neanderthals
... If you were a 30 year old Neanderthal, you were a very old man indeed...

Today, in terra technicalis, at least one population of Homo technicalis has a biological life expectancy of 88. Given what we know about how quickly humans evolve, has our aging rate changed?

Today a 30 yo male today in not remarkably less fit than a 20 yo male; marathons are often won by "older"men. Some loss of strength and healing speed is more than offset by experience. So why did earlier humans die so young?

Maybe we do age more slowly, but if we assume a 20% annual mortality rate among active hungers only (.8**20) *100% or 1.2% will live 20 years. So maybe they just led very dangerous lives ...

* What we have thought of as the "ice ages" might be better thought of as the "age of the chaos climate".

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