680,000 Years Ago – Present – Climate change was an influential factor in the human evolution, human migration (available resources), and religion evolution. The weather patterns are the following:
- 680,000 to 620,000 years: glaciers forms (time of extreme cold),
- 620,000 to 455-410,000 years: glaciers diminish (time of milder weather)
- 455-410,000 to 380-300,000 years: glaciers forms (time of extreme cold)
- 380-300,000 to 200,000 years: glaciers diminish (time of milder weather)
- 200,000 to 130-125,000 years: glaciers forms (time of extreme cold)
- 130-125,000 to 110,000 years: glaciers diminish (time of milder weather)
- 110-70,000 to 12-10,000 years: glaciers forms (time of extreme cold)
- 10,000 years to the present: glaciers diminish (time of milder weather)
Dramatic climate swings created powerful environmental pressures, many animal species were driven to extinction by the advancing and retreating ice ages and human evolution was likely affected strongly by this as well. Humanity survived primarily by becoming more intelligent as well as adaptable such as increasing proficiency at clothing, shelter, hunting and foraging, which required inventing more sophisticated skills and tools. This allowed us to develop new cultural technology to deal with cold environments and changing food sources, especially during the last 250,000 years. These changes were essential for our survival but also would have aided in elements needed in socio-cultural-religious transformations or evolution.
In general, the changes in climate where also a factor of people changing as well as a motivation for people to move and disperse all over the prehistoric world. Although climate change is a big factor, it is not the only one nor was moving the only choice utilized. Depends on the peoples, their various ways of life and ideologies some adapted strategies rather than moving, some changed or merged kinship in order to facilitate reciprocal exchange, some likely used superstitionism or later supernaturalism ideas to connect, change or transition social structures whether they moved or not and others may have resorted to violence and raiding.
O’Neil, D. (2013). Climate change and human evolution. Retrieved from http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo/homo_3.htm
By Damien Marie AtHope
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