Did Wolves and Dogs make us Human?

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posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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I just read the highly recommended Animals in Translation: Using the mysteries of Autism to decode animal behavior by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson (Bloomsbury, 2005).

The most interesting argument for me concerns the relationship between humans and dogs.
We often hear about how humans changed the wolf into dogs, but it seems this was not a one-way process.
Humans not only impacted the shape and behavior of domesticated dogs, but wolves also impacted human evolution!

The authors point out that the first archeological evidence of a dog burial by humans dates back 14 000 years, but genetic research has shown that domesticated dogs diverged from wolves 135 000 years ago (Grandin and Johnson, p. 304).

That's a very long time, and certainly significant in evolutionary terms.
So perhaps the Australian aboriginal saying, "Dogs make us human", conveys a great truth.
(Grandin and Johnson, p. 306.)

The human domestication of dogs (or the dog domestication of humans?) happened at a time when our ancestors had barely evolved from Homo Erectus. Gradually they changed from more ape-like behavior to a culture that is also highly typical of wolves and dogs:


Going over all the evidence, a group of Australian anthropologists believes that during all those years when early humans were associating with wolves they learned to act and think like wolves. Wolves hunted in groups; humans didn't. Wolves had complex social structures; humans didn't ... wolves were highly territorial; humans probably weren't - again, judging by how non-territorial all primates are today. ... When you think about how different we are from other primates, you see how dog-like we are.

(Grandin and Johnson, p. 304.)

The authors illustrate this further, and more astoundingly suggest that our relationship with wolves changed the structure of our brains. In humans the mid-brain (which handles emotions and sensory data) shrank, as did the olfactory bulbs that handle smell. To conclude on the unique relationship between wolf and mankind:


Dog brains and human brains specialized: humans took over the planning and organizing tasks, and dogs took over the sensory tasks. Dogs and people co-evolved and became even better partners, allies and friends.

( P. 306.)

I think it's entirely plausible, and without wolfy we'd still be living in caves, like the Neanderthals, who, as the authors mention (p. 305), never domesticated wolves.

I now wonder how the kitty cats may have influenced humans, although it seems like a somewhat different relationship. Nevertheless, for agricultural peoples they were an organic form of pest control.

In any case, what does ATS think on the theory that dogs made us humans?
Are we "dogmen", or "wolfmen"?
edit on 30-9-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 




Did Wolves and Dogs make us Human?
Yup. They sure did.

They didn't know what to do with their poop, so they created and trained us, so that we would scoop it up for them.



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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Interesting, maybe the story of the child raised by the shewolf has deeper meaning than first thought.

Thought provoking when you think that story could be a metaphor or algory!


www.google.co.uk... 878
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edit on 30-9-2012 by Wifibrains because: (no reason given)
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posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by BrokenCircles
 



Thanks for the satire.

However for tens of thousands of years humans and dogs would have lived in the wild where neither species had a flush toilet, and despite some civilizations that had a form of sanitation, the vast majority of people also lived without it until fairly recently, and they still do in some countries.

Perhaps that's where we took our cue from the kitty cats?
edit on 30-9-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 
Good OP


I think there's a good argument to say that humans might not have made it without our partnership with dogs.

We're naturally vulnerable at night with our poor sight, average hearing and habit of sleeping too. Having dogs would make up for those disadvantages in at least two ways. The first being their superior senses for alerting us to human attackers as well as nocturnal predators. The second being their ability to scare away or deter those same predators. Another underestimated bonus would be how they kept vermin away and lowered the risk of catching whatever diseases they might carry.

Put another way, try and imagine how we would have managed without these benefits?

Even as we turned toward animal husbandry and farming, dogs would be very useful in the same way guard dogs and sheepdogs are today.

Cats on the other hand, if they could spell better, would probably write something like the above about us. 'Yeah humans keep us safe from larger predators and allow us to doss about licking our coats. They give us food and keep us warm. In return we infect massive numbers of them with microbes that can drive them to suicide. meowlol'



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 12:14 AM
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You realize of course modern day humans are nothing like our ancestors? we had excellent night vision, slept only in short intervals and indeed hunted in packs.



posted on Oct, 2 2012 @ 01:18 AM
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nope, but they sure made us lazy ^^



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by morsomnibustyrannus
 

Your point on night vision seems to support the human/wolf theory.

We may have gradually diminished or night vision because our companion wolves took over that task.

As for "pack hunting" - I'm not sure how Homo Erectus hunted or scavenged about 200 000-100 000 years ago.

Clearly some primates do hunt and even have war with rival groups, but I'm not sure to what extent one could call that "pack hunting".

Well, clearly our hominid ancestors must have had something in common with wolves as the relationship was established.
edit on 3-10-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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Interesting read. This just goes on to show how environmental factors as well as preys, predators and companions might mold the outcome of a person, and the their whole race.



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 



Did Wolves and Dogs make us Human?


No.......God did

Sorry about the 3 word answer, but that is all I need to completely answer your question.......



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein
reply to post by halfoldman
 



Did Wolves and Dogs make us Human?


No.......God did

Sorry about the 3 word answer, but that is all I need to completely answer your question.......


Dogs exist,god is a myth !!!



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 08:34 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


I would argue that camp/cooking fires and other artificial sources of light humans use a lot is why we have such diminished night vision.



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


My dog makes me more human. To experience his unconditional love for me makes me question my attitudes, my prejudices and my place in the universe.

edit on 3-10-2012 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by morsomnibustyrannus
 

Good point, but it fails to explain why not all hominids lost their enormous eyes for night-vision, even when they had fire.
The Neandethals are believed to have never lost their night-vision, and yet they had fire, but they never had dogs.

Indeed, it fails to explain why dogs never lost their night-vision, even when their ancestors lay by man's fire for a very long time.



posted on Oct, 3 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by BrokenCircles
 





They didn't know what to do with their poop, so they created and trained us, so that we would scoop it up for them.


Ah jeez ! Even I like this.



posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by randyvs
 


Originally posted by randyvs

Ah jeez ! Even I like this.

lol.
I'm sure that wasn't easy for you to admit.



posted on Oct, 4 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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It's believe oxytocin caused this change in them by feeding camp wolves human breast milk.
Oxytocin I believe oxytocin is unqiue amongst mammals. Builds a bond between mother and child during breastfeeding, also they say it makes you feel good, the hug drug as it's been called.

From Wolf to Dog
www.youtube.com... short video about Protodog.

Also there is a nice documentary called And Man Created Dog. Worth watching if you love dogs, and it's from NatGeo I believe and they always make well produced documentaries.

I'd say dogs were vital to our early survival, and are still extremely useful to this day, plus whats more loyal than a dog?

I also find it fascinating how dogs are used in therapy, saw a video of an ex-soldier who suffered from PTSD and the dog was trainer to reassure him whenever he felt nervous or discomforted, truly a symbiotic relationship for our two species for quite some time
edit on 4-10-2012 by Komonazmuk because: (no reason given)





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