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Author Topic: Did dogs drive Human evolution?  (Read 1128 times)

Offline puppypower

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Did dogs drive Human evolution?
« on: 21/01/2016 17:35:56 »
This is a theory I came up with that can explain how the pre-humans, from which modern humans would emerge, separated from the apes. to form a new lineage. This theory is based on inference. 

The theory is that our earliest ape ancestors; still merged, separated from their fellow apes, due to a relationship with wild dogs. These dogs were not domesticated, but were still wild. The two species formed a loose relationship, with the precursor human apes learning new skills that were not part of being an ape. 

Dogs are apex predators and omnivores who have all the skills needed for successful migration through unknown territories. The pre-humans had some assistance, needed to learn all the skills to survive and thrive. 

For example, apes are omnivores, but will not get as much meat in their diets, as dogs. Apes will eat bugs and lizards. A relationship wth dogs will increase the amount of animal protein in their diets, allowing the brain to grow larger than normal apes. The dogs will provide for their pack, which included the pre-humans. In the earliest days, the dogs were the alpha of the two species pack, since they were better suited to migration. Domestication appears much later.

The way this relationship could have begun is with some of our apes ancestors finding a litter of puppies. The mother dog may have been killed. Apes are loving and affectionate, and some of the females would have tried to nurture and protect the harmless babies. As these pups grow, many will return back to the wild, but one or some will remain with their surrogates mothers.

The growing pup's canine instincts will become active, with the dog(s) treating their ape family as part of their pack. Through generations, the dogs remain attached in a loose way, but retain wild canine skills. This loose alliance with dogs, by some of the apes, will create strain with the other apes, until this group is driven away; ugly duckling.

If you have ever watched a packed of dogs, they train and learn to work as a team. During down time, they are always practicing and fighting to be alpha dog. They will not hurt each other, mortally, since they need each other for hunting and defense. But they will fight, so the strongest dog emerges, who will become leader. This also defines the pack order. This rough training is useful because the alpha dog has the most dangerous jobs. He has to be constantly pushed, to be the toughest. This will come in handy with large dangerous prey.

If the pre-humans were considered part of this pack, they will be expected to participate in the fighting and challenge for alpha. Standing upright was a way to look bigger and more intimidating. Although standing was tiring and uncomfortable, the constant challenge will force them to remain upright. When apes are defending, they stand up tall to look larger. With the their family of dogs, they will need to do this often to prevent being attacked during training. It will also move the pre-humans up the chain of command.

I know my dog likes to find and chew sticks. Often he will chew larger sticks to points. The dogs would have unknowingly supplied early weapons; knives and spears. The use of stones to pound sticks to make weapons, copies the chewing action of the dog and his stick; fixed jaw stone and mobile jaw stone. The pre-human will copy the dogs as they sharper their teeth on sticks.

Dogs are also team animals who will work in a chain of command. Dogs, like herding dogs, are unique in that they can work, independently, as a middle man, receiving and giving orders between two other species; man to dog to sheep. Dogs are smart enough to communicate with other animals and even act as a go between two different species. They could learn to herd/drive prey animals, back to the humans, as part of their cooperative hunting strategy.

Dogs like to dig and often dig and live in burrows. The caveman would learn from this behavior, The dogs will also work as team to drive out large animals, like bears, from caves. The female dogs will care for the pups during migration, with the human pups under their care. While all the dogs will provide protection at night.

This theory does not wait for random changes in genetics or a long trial and error learning curve for survival. Instead it begins with teachers and associates, who will someday become the student; domestication. Then dogs learn to do things outside their own instincts.
« Last Edit: 22/01/2016 04:49:29 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Re: Did dogs drive Human evolution?
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2016 04:51:44 »
Our human ancestors evolved about 6 million years ago and the genus Homo about 2 million years ago. Dogs evolved within the last 15,000 years. So dogs are a few orders of millenial magnitude too late to affect the gross evolution of humans. 
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Did dogs drive Human evolution?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2016 13:04:13 »
http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dog-family-tree-traced-back-two-million-years-140131.htm

The above link is about dog fossils that date back 2 million years. Maybe the word dog is leading to confusion, since the term dog seems to be defined to mean descended from wolves and domesticated by man. If you use this definition, this is more in line with the time scale that you are quoting. I am extrapolating this definition to mean canine ancestors with the instincts common to dogs, which means social animals who live and work in packs.

I often call anything before civilization, pre-human. The people of civilization were much different from our ape precursors, yet they are all are lumped as one by science; humans. I am doing the same cataloging, as science does for humans, for dogs. Why are dogs treated as two separate things, while prehuman and human are lumped as one thing? It is like a dual standard in science cataloging. 

The idea of our pre-human ancestors learning practical skills, from dogs/canines, which were not part of their original instincts, is based on reverse engineering humans training dogs. We can train a dog to be a seeing eye dog. Left to his own devices, dogs will not just do this. Rather they will stay in their natural comfort zone and be true to their own instincts. They need to be pushed and coaxed out of their instinctive comfort zone by external pressure, reward and need. Just attaching a blind person to a dog's harness is not enough. Just like having a stationary ape migrate does not make him an expert. He needs training.

Since dogs are intelligent and can empathize with the feelings and language of humans, they are capable of being trained to do complex jobs, independently. The trainer does not need to stand with the seeing eye dog, after he learns. Rather a dog can lead his dependent human to safety. Dogs are good at extrapolating learned knowledge to new situations. This is why they are good at migration. 

I tend to believe that dogs are smarter than apes in terms of applied and extrapolating thinking. We don't train apes to be seeing eye apes. Apes are more like white collar workers, which professors can better relate to. They may sit and ponder abstract thoughts but they can't swing a hammer. The dogs are more like blue collar workers with practical smarts allowing them to apply what they learn. These are the skill sets the pre-humans needed. However, these skills were outside their comfort zone. An alliance with dogs, especially as a common pack, creates the potential for learning none instinctive survival skills that allows adoption to new places.

If the migrating pre-humans stayed on a pure meat diet, due to being with the dogs, there is less likelihood of eating poison plants. Animal flesh is far more reliable in unknown places. However, since humans can't survive on just meat, they have the dogs to act as a litmus test. Dogs will try anything, once. If it is not agreeable or even poison, they can discharge the material sooner than humans.  This allows them not suffer ill affect as often as the humans.
« Last Edit: 22/01/2016 13:39:50 by puppypower »
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Did dogs drive Human evolution?
« Reply #3 on: 24/01/2016 13:59:32 »
It is useful to address the point that Chris brought up. He was pointing out the consensus scientific convention defines dogs as a unique species that appears 15000 years ago. This modern date, for an apex predator species, hints of a type of creationism assumption, where dogs have no genetic roots, but quantum appear 15000 year ago.

Humans are treated differently, so any hint of human creation is avoided, even if the pre-human foundation, looked more like apes than human. There is a dual standard. I don't mind the 15,000 year time of the dog, as long as human is defined as appearing with civilization. This timeline would be based on temperament, instead of genetic superficials. Or if human is 2 million years old, than dog can also be traced to that time, using the same DNA methods and assumptions.

I was pondering why the dual standard. My guess is, at one time in science, humans and dogs were treated more or less the same in terms of time cataloging. It was not that long ago; a few hundred years, that difference human races were assumed to be different species. The caveman would not considered human, in the sense of European human. He word be a savage or a different species.

Modern atheism, which infiltrated modern science, did not like this human cataloging, since it gave credence to a sudden appearance scenario, similar to Creationism. They lobbied to change the way science would catalog humans to help stretch out the timeline, so the connection broke. This was not bad, but they forgot to do this for the dog, to be consistent. This is why you don't want politics in science. It tends to be narrow minded and can't always extrapolate beyond short term gain.

That aside, the basic premise of this topic is one species leaning from another species to gain the skills they lack, but which they need for survival. The pre-humans were the most intelligent critter and would gravitate to the needs of survival in the context of what the environment could offer. The American Indians  have animal ancestors which helped them. These are ancient myths which often reflect the deep past. It may not have been an animal acting like a coach, but more like they built a connection to the animal based on learning and copying.
« Last Edit: 24/01/2016 14:02:30 by puppypower »
 

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Re: Did dogs drive Human evolution?
« Reply #3 on: 24/01/2016 13:59:32 »

 

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