October 11, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

Early Hunters Evolved Into Marathoners

Why are humans so good at endurance running?  According to Dan Lieberman of Harvard, “our body shape evolved to allow our ancestors to run long distances, and reach animal carcasses before other scavengers.”  He figured that “chasing animals until they collapse from exhaustion yields more meat per hunt than hunting with spears or a bow and arrow.”  Lieberman did not explain why the prey didn’t follow suit, or why other predators didn’t pick up on this winning strategy.
    See the 11/18/2004 entry for details on the anatomical specializations humans have for endurance running compared to other mammals.  Everything from the shoulder girdle, neck angle, buttocks, feet, thermal regulation system and balance organs are involved in this distinctively human capability.  If humans evolved from non-endurance-running knuckle-walkers in six million years, how many functional mutations per generation would that have required?

Evolution is not a science, it’s a game for public amusement.  Anyone can play.  You don’t even have to be a scientist.  The rules are simple:

  1. Assume evolution.
  2. Observe a fact.
  3. Make up a story to fit the fact into the assumption.

Once you master these rules, you will understand the vast majority of evolutionary research.  In the scientific journals there are lots of big words to make it look smarter, but really, this is the gist of the game.  Now you know why so many lazy scientists choose to go into this line of work (see 12/22/2003 commentary).  It’s just a grown-up version of our old childhood game of make-believe.
    Make-believe has two meanings.  The first means pretending things that don’t have to be true – just entertaining, for the sheer fun of imagining things.  The second meaning is more sinister.  It’s imposing a belief, by force, onto the imaginations of others, such as in public schools, where no alternatives to the evolutionary stories are ever allowed, in order to make students believe whether they want to or not, if they want to get a passing grade.
    Play the game in school if you have to to get by.  Nobody, though, can make you believe something ridiculous.

Categories: Dumb Ideas, Early Man

Leave a Reply