Homo sapiens' drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

February 9, 2018 by Kathleen Holder, UC Davis
Replica of drawing of lions painted in the Chauvet Cave. Art in the cave has been identified as created by early modern humans. Credit: UC Davis

Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. That artistic gap may be due to differences in the way they hunted, suggests a University of California, Davis, expert on predator-prey relations and their impacts on the evolution of behavior.

Neanderthals used thrusting spears to bring down tamer prey in Eurasia, while Homo sapiens, or modern humans, spent hundreds of thousands of years spear-hunting wary and dangerous game on the open grasslands of Africa.

Richard Coss, a professor emeritus of psychology, says the hand-eye coordination involved in both hunting with throwing spears and drawing representational art could be one factor explaining why became smarter than Neanderthals.

In an article recently published in the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Coss examines archaeological evidence, genomics, neuroscience studies, animal behavior and prehistoric cave art.

New theory of evolution

From this, he proposes a new theory for the evolution of the brain: Homo sapiens developed rounder skulls and grew bigger parietal cortexes—the region of the brain that integrates and motor coordination—because of an evolutionary arms race with increasingly wary prey.

Early humans hunted with throwing spears in sub-Saharan Africa for more than 500,000 years—leading their increasingly watchful prey to develop better flight or fight survival strategies, Coss said.

Some anthropologists have suggested that throwing spears from a safe distance made hunting large game less dangerous, he said. But until now, "No explanation has been given for why large animals, such as hippos and Cape buffalo, are so dangerous to humans," he said. "Other nonthreatening species foraging near these animals do not trigger alert or aggressive behavior like humans do."

Drawn from earlier research on zebras

Coss' paper grew out of a 2015 study in which he and a former graduate student reported that zebras living near human settlements could not be approached as closely before fleeing as wild horses when they saw a human approaching on foot—staying just outside the effective range of poisoned arrows used by African hunters for at least 24,000 years.

Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa for Eurasia before modern human ancestors, used thrusting spears at close range to kill horses, reindeer, bison, and other large game that had not developed an innate wariness of humans, he said.

Hunting relates to drawing

"Neanderthals could mentally visualize previously seen animals from working memory, but they were unable to translate those mental images effectively into the coordinated hand-movement patterns required for drawing," Coss writes.

Coss, who taught drawing classes early in his academic career and whose previous research focused on art and human evolution, used photos and film to study the strokes of charcoal drawings and engravings of made by human artists 28,000 to 32,000 years ago in the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in southern France.

The visual imagery employed in drawing regulates arm movements in a manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc their spears must make to hit their animal targets, he concludes.

These drawings could have acted as teaching tools. "Since the act of drawing enhances observational skills, perhaps these drawings were useful for conceptualizing hunts, evaluating game attentiveness, selecting vulnerable body areas as targets, and fostering group cohesiveness via spiritual ceremonies," he writes.

As a result, the advent of drawing may have set the stage for cultural changes, Coss said. "There are enormous social implications in this ability to share mental images with group members."

Explore further: Research reveals effectiveness of stones thrown as weapons by Stone Age hunters

More information: Drawings of Representational Images by Upper Paleolithic Humans and their Absence in Neanderthals Might Reflect Historical Differences in Hunting Wary Game. journals.academicstudiespress. … ESIC/article/view/46

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rrwillsj
2 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2018
This was an interesting article. The results of what we assumed to be the behavior of different Hominids, offers support for the conclusions advanced by the researchers.

It has been my opinion, that a real watershed for modern humanity occurred during the early Renaissance. When 'perspective' became a philosophical concept. The Arts influencing the Sciences influencing Commerce and Warfare.

When 2-dimensional paintings/icons began to develop a depth of perspective with a 3-dimensional view.

When humanity in increasing numbers, began to realize there was a lot more to this world than the fields and forest around a few hovels.
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2018
Since Neanderthals mated with Sapiens, doesn't that make them different races rather than different "species"?

What "new theory of evolution"? There's no support for "evolution" in this piece. Just wishful thinking.
ddaye
not rated yet Feb 09, 2018
I think the article and perhaps the study seriously underestimates differences in conceptual ability in their focus on "hand-eye coordination." It may well be a type of conceptualization required for throwing but I wouldn't call it the same thing as hand-eye coordination. If it were truly a coordination problem they could have just made their drawings big enough to do them with arm and shoulder muscles. Humans by contrast will draw using almost anything available --men in captivity will use rocks on dirt or walls, and adjust the resolution to suit the tools and materials at hand.
rrwillsj
3 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2018
N_o, you are correct, all the known recent Hominid groups, discovered to date, were able to reproduce with one another. The very basic definition of species as one lineage.

Not sure what you meant about your comment dismissing the Theory of Evolution? You need to check out how scientists use the word 'Theory', It's not what you imagine.

And in addition, if you have a disbelief in the reality of evolution? Well, the same sciences you dismiss are the same sciences that explain how light-bulbs work and airplanes fly and ants find food. Any failure and all that goes away and your left sitting in the dark.

ddaye, the basic problem is the lack of complete information. When ninety per-cent of your puzzle-pieces are missing? Good luck on accurately guessing what the complete picture should be.

All we have left of our ancestral Hominids? Are bits and pieces of their lives. Using a whole lot of our imaginations trying to fill in the blanks.

moranity
not rated yet Feb 10, 2018
but we do know that studies show there was complete interbreeding between neaderthals and homo sapeins, one study showing that during the original mixing of populations there was a 10:1 ratio of sapien/neanderthal contribution to the genome, which was selected down to about 2% neanderthal mix for western european. This ten to one ratio was the ratio of homo sapiens to neandethals population wise during the intermixing period. So there was no conquering of the neanderthals, they are western europeans, theres even some neanderthal genes in some african populations, if i remember right.
By european/african etc, i mean nothing more than resident majority populations, obviously there's always been people from most everywhere everywhere,like that population of greeks left in afganistan, is it? by Alexander, or dutch navigators, or monks of all sorts trapsing 3 thousand miles in a lifetime. None of us really know exactly who our ancestors are.
moranity
not rated yet Feb 10, 2018
to take responsibility for anything other than ones own actions is to take responsibility for something you have no control over, for good or bad. Can we please stop this collective responsibility fallacy, for good or bad i am not responsible for the circumstance of my birth and environment.
moranity
not rated yet Feb 10, 2018
oh and is funny that the greatest cave art was done by cromagnon man(also had the biggest brain capacity by a nice portion, but are classed as homo sapiens), just after the neanderthals and homo sapiens mixed. Possibly an example of hybrid vigor
AllStBob
5 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2018
Perhaps the different approaches of Neanderthals in Europe and Homo sapiens in Africa to killing prey can be explained by topography. In Africa you either have to run your prey down, like lions and cheetahs do, scavenge like hyenas or kill or maim them from a distance, like humans. In Western Europe, covered in thick woods at the time, there are many more rivers, dense forests and dead end valleys that would have made for natural places to ambush or corral prey to then kill at close quarters.
eljo
not rated yet Feb 11, 2018
AllStBob, I had exactly the same thought.

"Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls"

That premise is actually under a lot of debate. Cave art in Europe is now found to be so old (41,000 yrs) that the distinction cannot be made whether it is Neanderthal or Sapiens. The populations overlap. The possibility that Neanderthal were (also) symbolic thinkers again is wide open.

e.g. (quick search, sorry): https://www.youtu...ODUpkT2o (2min50s), researchers discuss finds regarding a cave in Asturias.

If they possibly had the same artistic capability, their might not be a need for the theory in the article.

Interesting nevertheless.
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2018
N_o, you are correct, all the known recent Hominid groups, discovered to date, were able to reproduce with one another. The very basic definition of species as one lineage.

Not sure what you meant about your comment dismissing the Theory of Evolution? You need to check out how scientists use the word 'Theory', It's not what you imagine.

And in addition, if you have a disbelief in the reality of evolution?


Since you admit I am correct, then you and this author and other darwinistas are wrong. That means "species" and "speciation" fail.

"Evolution" is fake science. No "reality" there. See why: http://nonlin.org/evolution/
1. "Natura non facit saltum" (gradualism) is illogical and contrary to everything we know about the absolute discreteness of organisms.
2. "Randomness" is unknowable and never a source of creativity
3.-11. etc.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2018
N_o, nope, you are wrong again. Obviously you have a long list of ignorance you pretend is knowledge.

You are the dog baying at the moon. After a few hours, as it vanishes below the horizon. Your gospel of barking must have driven it away.

King Canute found the effusively effluvium of court flunkeys and church officials claiming the He was God's Rightful King. That He could do no wrong and could command all the earth to bow to his royal splendor.

Canute had them haul his throne down to the seashore and held court on the beach at the low tide-line.

When the tide began to rise? All dressed up in his fancy robes, his crown on his head, with orb and sceptre, He confronted the incoming waves.

In his loudest voice, declaring His Righteous Authority as God's Chosen Ruler of the World. He commanded the waves to retreat or be guilty of rebellion against His Scriptural Authority.

He still got wet. As all wet as the gospel of ignorance you are preaching, N_o!

Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2018
Where are your logic and concise counterarguments, rrwillsj?
And stay on topic ...if you can of course.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2018
Where are your logic and concise counterarguments, rrwillsj?
And stay on topic ...if you can of course.
I'm not rrwillsj, but I can answer:

to begin with, you're making the claim so the burden of evidence is upon you to refute the science

a blog is not science, nor is it scientific: it's opinion
it's worse than an opinion if it directly contradicts validated science - it's stupidity or religion (take your pick)

there is plenty of evidence demonstrating evolution in this link alone: http://www.talkor...comdesc/

you would have to bring equivalent evidence to refute those claims, which means validated studies as the references are in that said link

there is plenty more data where that came from, but you will ignore it because that is the nature of your Dunning-Kruger based religious beliefs

there really isn't a point in firther discorse as you'll just ignore the science for your beliefs
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2018
@Captain Stumpy
Your statement is illogical. My site is not OK, but the one you link is? Just because it supports your mythology? Nonsense.

This was my original claim. Dispute this if you can. But note above that rrwillsj already conceded this. And then added some unsupported nonsense, same as you.

Since Neanderthals mated with Sapiens, doesn't that make them different races rather than different "species"?

What "new theory of evolution"? There's no support for "evolution" in this piece. Just wishful thinking.


Do you even know what Science is? Are you aware it's a composite of Religion and Observable? http://nonlin.org...science/
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2018
@nonlin
My site is not OK, but the one you link is?
1- my site has links and references that have been repeatedly validated contained in a single link that directly refutes your claims using science

2- your site is irrational pseudoscience

3- your site is a blog of opinion that is only supported by those who are of a like mind, whereas my site link contains external validating evidence that was also validated by tertiary unrelated sources

my site isn't about mythology whereas your site is - so considering those items, then it surely is more rational to accept my site with multiple validations than your own site of personal pseudoscience

.

now, considering you *again* link your own personal blog of irrational mythological pseudoscience bullsh*t as supporting evidence, then it stands to reason that the only person here who is unfamiliar with what science really is has to be you

rrwillsj
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2018
Thanks Captain. You said it better than I could. And you presented evidence. Which, Frankly & Ernestly, I'm just too fucking lazy to bother with.

And besides, I have too damn much fun ridiculing the fairytails that infest this site!
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2018
1- my site has links and references ...


1. My site has links and references...
2. Your site is irrational pseudoscience and mythology
3. Your site is a blog of opinion...
4. "Your site" is not even your site. You're just a believer that fell for the illogical nonsense. Do you even have one original thought that is not someone else's brain fart? None so far.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2018
@nonlin the idiot pseudoscience religious troll
1. My site has links and references
no: your site has opinionated belief wrapped in pseudoscience
one major red-flag of a crackpot seeking attention is to self reference their own personal page that has Google, Norton and McAfee warnings when it's opened
2. Your site is irrational pseudoscience and mythology
my site contained validated scientific studies which you have just proven that:
1- you didn't read
2- you didn't even check
3- you don't understand becuase your idiot deity didn't teach you about reality
4- you don't know jack sh*t about science or the scientific method
3. Your site is a blog of opinion
learn what validated science is:
https://en.wikipe...c_method
4. "Your site" is not even your site
I never claimed I owned it, you illiterate fanatical cult idiot acolyte
maybe this will help you: http://www.readingbear.org/
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2018
your site has opinionated belief wrapped in pseudoscience

Ok, so it's confirmed that you just escaped from the mental institution.
Hope they find you soon.
drrobodog
5 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2018
1. (gradualism) is illogical and contrary

Is the DNA of a newborn measurably different and a significant leap from a random combination of the DNA of both parents?

2. Randomness" is unknowable

Irrelavent. Random events still exist regardless.

and never a source of creativity

What does creativity have to do with anything? We are talking about change over time.

3. selection is done exclusively by living organisms

Please explain why natural phenomina (floods/volcanic activity/etc) cannot cause selection?

4.[...]just cannot know for sure

Fallacy.

I'm not going to bother with any more. Seems the whole site is just opinion without any logic structure or reasoning.
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2018

Is the DNA of a newborn measurably different and a significant leap from a random combination of the DNA of both parents?
...

1. Yes, DNA is discrete. Mendel has shown and everyone knows. You will get or not get (1 or 0) a series of inherited diseases and mutations.
2. You don't understand: you just cannot tell if something is random or not from outcomes. To get a human out of an ape is like getting a Tesla out of a bike. It's just not happening by accident (creativity of randomness). Not even in a trillion years. "Natural selection" doesn't do anything for you either: http://nonlin.org...lection/
3. Floods/volcanic activity/etc do not "select" inert objects like rocks. The only selection is done by the intelligent living (!) on the living (!). Very important.
4. ?

That's the thing, it's all logic and not at all opinion. Feel free to bring your logical counterarguments if you have any.
drrobodog
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2018
1. Yes

Then how do scientists determine two people are related, and how do they determine the degree of relation?
2. random

Regardless whether the process is random or deterministic, the effect remains.
To get

False analogy. You are drawing a conclusion on the process, which isn't compared in the analogy.
happening by accident

It's not an accident, it is the result of a physical processes.
"Natural selection" doesn't do

I don't understand your argument. Natural selection is an observed physical process.
3.

They do, depending on the circumstance. How much sediment remains? A flood could be the selecting factor.
selection is done by the intelligent living on the living

What selected gene xyz to thrive? The volcano that choked out everyone without it.
4. ?

List how many things we cannot know for sure.
Captain Stumpy
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2018
@idiot creationist crank nonlin
Feel free to bring your logical counterarguments
why?
you're not

"Scientific theories are validated by empirical testing against physical observations. Theories are not judged simply by their logical compatibility with the available data. Independent empirical testability is the hallmark of science—in science, an explanation must not only be compatible with the observed data, it must also be testable. By "testable" we mean that the hypothesis makes predictions about what observable evidence would be consistent and what would be incompatible with the hypothesis. Simple compatibility, in itself, is insufficient as scientific evidence, because all physical observations are consistent with an infinite number of unscientific conjectures. Furthermore, a scientific explanation must make risky predictions— the predictions should be necessary if the theory is correct, and few other theories should make the same necessary predictions" - Theobald
Nonlin_org
1 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2018
@drrobodog
1. Your question makes no sense
2. What "effect" remains?
2.1. What "false analogy"?
2.2. What "process"? A process is "a series of actions or steps TAKEN in order to achieve a particular END." Taken by whom? What END? No intelligent being, no process.
2.3. Natural selection is not "an observed physical process" - see 5.
3. A flood is a "selecting factor" only in your imagination
4. The volcano did not select gene xyz to thrive. This is another Hollywood scenario, not fact.
Follow the link for more. Here, space is limited.

Some retard atheist jihadist craves attention, but won't get any until people from the mental hospital come to pick him up.

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