Co-evolution of language and tool-making | Neuro-patch
It has been more or less accepted that genetic evolution can affect culture and that cultural evolution can affect genetics. But many favour one direction over the other. A recent paper looks at a long sustained period of genetic/cultural co-evolution. (Morgan, Uomini, Rendell, Chouinard-Thuly, Street, et al.; Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language. Nature Communications 6, 2015). The paper is a ScienceDaily item (here ). Early homo species, our ancestors Homo habilis and Australopithecus garhi, used stone tools for two and a half million years. Through the first 700,000 years the tools, called Oldowan, remained unchanged. The researches show that stone-knapping is not easy to learn. The lack of any improvements to the Oldowan tools probably was because language would have been required to teach more sophisticated techniques. After this long period, about 1.8 million years ago, a new set of stone tools appeared, called the Acheulean,