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Earth Science

Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell 387

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-low-t-cream-please dept.
An anonymous reader writes Even though modern humans started appearing around 200,000 years ago, it was only about 50,000 years ago that artistry and tool making became popular. New research shows that society bloomed when testosterone levels in humans started dropping. A paper published in the journal Current Anthropology, suggests that a testosterone deficit facilitated the friendliness and cooperation between humans, which lead to modern society. "Whatever the cause, reduced testosterone levels enabled increasingly social people to better learn from and cooperate with each other, allowing the acceleration of cultural and technological innovation that is the hallmark of modern human success," says University of Utah biology graduate student Robert Cieri.
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

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  • by war4peace (1628283) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @12:59PM (#47594173)

    Females also secrete testosterone.

    Oblig: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

  • Let's Define Success (Score:5, Informative)

    by avgjoe62 (558860) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @01:02PM (#47594189)
    "Whatever the cause, reduced testosterone levels enabled increasingly social people to better learn from and cooperate with each other, allowing the acceleration of cultural and technological innovation that is the hallmark of modern human success," says University of Utah biology graduate student Robert Cieri.

    The Peaceful Middle East [nytimes.com]

    The newest country on Earth [wikipedia.org]

    Civil society in the West [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

    I am not a pessimist, but I will say that we are a far cry from being a "success".

  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @02:08PM (#47594613)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re... [sciencedaily.com]

    The study's results, however, contradict this view sharply. Test subjects with an artificially enhanced testosterone level generally made better, fairer offers than those who received placebos, thus reducing the risk of a rejection of their offer to a minimum. "The preconception that testosterone only causes aggressive or egoistic behavior in humans is thus clearly refuted," sums up Eisenegger. Instead, the findings suggest that the hormone increases the sensitivity for status. For animal species with relatively simple social systems, an increased awareness for status may express itself in aggressiveness. "In the socially complex human environment, pro-social behavior secures status, and not aggression," surmises study co-author Michael Naef from Royal Holloway London. "The interplay between testosterone and the socially differentiated environment of humans, and not testosterone itself, probably causes fair or aggressive behavior."

    Moreover the study shows that the popular wisdom that the hormone causes aggression is apparently deeply entrenched: those test subjects who believed they had received the testosterone compound and not the placebo stood out with their conspicuously unfair offers. It is possible that these persons exploited the popular wisdom to legitimate their unfair actions. Economist Michael Naef states: "It appears that it is not testosterone itself that induces aggressiveness, but rather the myth surrounding the hormone. In a society where qualities and manners of behavior are increasingly traced to biological causes and thereby partly legitimated, this should make us sit up and take notice." The study clearly demonstrates the influence of both social as well as biological factors on human behavior.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @02:09PM (#47594615)

    Citation needed.

    Animal studies have shown a strong correlation between testosterone and aggression (the opposite of what the GPP asserts). In humans, the data is less conclusive, but tends to show a similar correlation. Wisnoskij's assertion that testosterone makes people friendly and cooperative is not supported by any evidence that I can find.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggression#Testosterone [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2029601 [nih.gov]
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/testosterone-promotes-agression-aut-12-06-09/ [scientificamerican.com]

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @05:02PM (#47595339)

    See the post above your own.

    That was ONE study that found that testosterone can make men more cooperative in very narrow circumstances (when they think it will improve their social status). There are many studies showing it makes both animals and people more aggressive.

  • Re:Men are obsolete (Score:5, Informative)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @05:37PM (#47595499)

    mmmm... no. That is a no true scotsman fallacy.

    At best, a 'coffeeshop' style feminist wants men around as ATM machines and 'tough job' handlers.. These are the ones who think feminism is nothing more than equality between the two sexes, and think that men are or really should be women with penises...except when equality gets too hard for them, then they want their white knight to save the day.

    In the past, the militant kind wanted men reduced in population, made subservient to women, or just outright used as slaves or eliminated. Today, they express that same misandry by pushing policies supporting that mentality in education, media programming, civil law, criminal law, and, are now making/funding their presence in subcultures, like technology and gaming. You have to be careful with this kind of thing, as the poison is in the implied, 'unintended' outcomes of said policies: Schools focus on girls because supposedly they're such victims, and, now, boys are left behind and/or are made to comply effeminately, at the college level, 2/3 graduates are women as male populations continue their decline, media/entertainment has been softened and made more about relationships and feelings (everything is now a 'reality' soap opera), employers must meet quotas and build office policy around feminine imperatives as defaults (destroying male psychoaccoustic spaces and making them female), product design and advertising now also focuses almost exclusively on feminine imperatives.

    It is NOT about anyone's liberation. It uses women's desire for protection and provision to help bootstrap tyrannical power. Like those stories about people making deals with the devil, initially it's great for the recipient, but in the end, everyone gets burned.

  • by a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) on Sunday August 03, 2014 @07:20PM (#47595933)

    So your problem is that it isn't a scientific theory?

    Here's a falsifiable statement: do a small group of elite men dominate society for their own interests? This statement is false if no group dominates society, or if a group of elite women do. Given how subjective many of these concepts are, its not as neatly falsifiable than Newton's laws, for example. Life is complicated. I find it interesting that this theory is basically what people are espousing when talking about inequality and the 1%, its just that the connection to gender isn't as obvious if you are a male. Few would deny that most of the money is in male hands.

    As for what feminism actually does, I'll trust my own judgement on that thanks. The fact that you mentioned 'bra burners' is interesting as it is actually a myth [snopes.com]. I referenced it as an example in one of my posts but I don't literally think it is something that happened.

  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Monday August 04, 2014 @12:12AM (#47596921)

    The fact that you mentioned 'bra burners' is interesting as it is actually a myth.

    Wait, what? Snopes severely overstated that one.

    Bra burning was quite real. Perhaps the origin is mythological, but if that's the case, life imitated art in a hurry, and kept at it for quite some time. My mother has personal memories of protests where bras were burned at the University of Chicago, and two different family friends the same age have similar memories from other places. It was quite real. It made the nightly news. Video exists. Yes some of that video is Hollywood depictions of fictional feminists, but not all of it. Not by a long shot.

  • Re:Men are obsolete (Score:2, Informative)

    by Capsaicin (412918) * on Monday August 04, 2014 @12:56AM (#47597115)

    mmmm... no. That is a no true scotsman fallacy

    And your exclusive focus on the "the militant kind" is a strawman fallacy. Welcome to the club.

    I have yet to know any woman who would eliminate, reduce or otherwise alter the proportion of men (already the minority); not my mother, my current or any previous partners or any other feminist I've known. None, zero, zilch. Where are all these women who frighten you so?

    Today, [the militant kind of feminist who wanted "men reduced in population, made subservient to women, or just outright used as slaves or eliminated"] express that same misandry by pushing policies supporting that mentality in education, media programming, civil law, criminal law, and, are now making/funding their presence in subcultures, like technology and gaming.

    Yup that's it, girls who want to write games or watch three dimensional female characters on TV are just exactly that kind of militant misandric feminists. Mary Daly eat your heart out!. Your insecurity, and that of the many other boys here, borders on the paranoid. Just grow a pair mate!

  • by peter303 (12292) on Monday August 04, 2014 @10:32AM (#47599435)
    Myostation, whihc makes them a fifth as strong as other apes the weight. It is thought this diverted metabolic resources to the brain and running. Undergorund chemists are seeking to neutralize of this statin to improve athletes. Medical scientists hopign to stop muscle wasting in dystropy and old people.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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