The Next Major Transition In The Evolution Of Our Species

Evening talk

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Christopher Opie

The Next Major Transition In The Evolution Of Our Species

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 18:45

The evolution of life on earth has not been a purely gradual process. Instead, our present world is the outcome of eight revolutionary leaps or 'major transitions', ranging from the origin of the DNA code to the emergence of language in our own species. When is the next revolution due?

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Our evening talks include discussion, are free and open to all.

Next evening class

Chris Knight

How Collective Childcare Works In Practice
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - 18:45
Daryll Forde Seminar Room, Anthropology Building, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW. Tube: Euston Square. map

Anthropologists now widely agree that Homo sapiens evolved with our especially large brains thanks to unusually supportive childcare arrangements. Whereas an ape mother must care for her infant all by herself, evolving humans developed complex systems of cooperative childcare, mothers choosing to live with their own mother and other relatives in order to share childcare tasks. In this workshop, we will explore how sexual relations during human evolution underwent a series of profound changes, with male energies increasingly harnessed to provision and assist mothers and their babies. When did the incest taboo come into force, and why? How does sex in human societies connect up with economics? This session will explore such basic questions as the ultimate nature of distinctively human kinship, family life, economics and sexual morality.