1. bookVolume 84 (2021): Issue 3 (September 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

An etiology of human modernity

Published Online: 01 Oct 2021
Page range: 337 - 357
Received: 12 May 2021
Accepted: 23 Aug 2021
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Following the refutation of the replacement hypothesis, which had proposed that a ‘superior’ hominin species arose in Africa and replaced all other humans existing at the time, the auto-domestication hypothesis remains the only viable explanation for the relatively abrupt change from robust to gracile humans in the Late Pleistocene. It invokes the incidental institution of the domestication syndrome in humans, most probably by newly introduced cultural practices. It also postulates that the induction of exograms compensated for the atrophy of the brain caused by domestication. This new explanation of the origins of modernity in humans elucidates practically all its many aspects, in stark contrast to the superseded replacement hypothesis, which explained virtually nothing. The first results of the domestication syndrome’s genetic exploration have become available in recent years, and they endorse the human self-domestication hypothesis.


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