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Anthropologist talks about human-dog connection in evolution

Anthropologist talks about human-dog connection in evolution

Posted December. 16, 2017 08:32,   

Updated December. 16, 2017 09:35


Anthropology is the discipline that studies the past and present based on ancient records of human-beings. In her book “The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction,” Dr. Pat Shipman defines anthropology as “science addressing history.” As for time-honored questions in anthropology, she takes a step closer by banking on highly sophisticated analysis techniques, such as mitochondria DNA analysis, radioisotope and carbon dating method.

Dr. Pat Shipman, emeritus adjunct professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, claims that humans are the most destructive species in the history of the earth. She makes such claim on the ground that since their evolution about 200,000 years ago in Africa, human beings have made bold advances, aggressively explored the nature without reservation, and adapted themselves to conquer many parts of the globe.

The biological anthropologist claims that the “wolf-dog” in the process of the wolf’s evolution to the dog has opened a new path for human-beings as a hunting aide while men conquered the ecosystem. She believes that the domestication of “wolf-dog” was an important keyword that determined the extinction of Neanderthals who would stay in Eurasia, and the survival of Homo sapiens.

The capability of neo-men is the ability for neo-men to form an unprecedented alliance with another upper predator along with cultural buffer and flexibility that neo-men possessed, Dr. Pat Shipman states. She singles out “wolf-dog” as the predator that formed such an unprecedented alliance.

The concept of “invader” means more than the process through which one species historically moves into a new realm, the author says adding that one barometer that determines whether it is an invasive species or not is generally the influence that invasion brings about.

Jeong-Eun Kim kimje@donga.com