Grandmoms – The Key To Human Evolution?

Interesting new research is adding evidence to that theory.

Grandmothers and mothers were keeping the kids fed, not man the hunter.

Kristen Hawkes, an anthropologist at University of Utah, studies modern hunter gathers in hopes of gaining insight into how our earliest ancestors may have lived. Her work with the Hadza of Northern Tanzania reveals that not only does the food gathered by the women of the tribe account for a larger portion of daily calories, but that helpful grandmothers make crucial contributions to the gathering.

This doesn’t mean that the calories contributed by hunters is unimportant. But, it does suggest that some of our most humane skills – cooperation, empathy, considering the thoughts and feelings of others – likely arose through this intergenerational gathering activity. And, it’s these qualities that likely kept tribal warfare to a minimum.

Kristen Hawkes believes that gatherer’s sharing and cooperation means more food, less war for the Hudza tribe. It may have meant the same thing for our ancestors and human survival and evolution.

Since a basic sense of safety, cooperation, empathy are rich soil for creativity and innovation, interesting to consider … adding a cooperative, empathetic, considerate grandmother or two to the team? 😉

Find more at NPR/All Things Considered

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