Skip to comments.Dogs Make Us Human
Posted on 03/26/2002 10:29:27 AM PST by blam
Dogs make us human
By Heidi De Wald
Monday, 25 Mar, 2002
About 48% of Australian households own dogs. But can you imagine a world without dogs. And would we be the same if they were not here? Would human beings have developed in very different ways had our best friends not been by our sides?
A recent study suggests that the domestication of dogs mutually led to profound changes in the biological and behavioural evolution of both species.
It has long been known that the first species domesticated by humans was the wolf. In essence, we made wolves into dogs. But did wolves also make us, beginning over 100,000 years ago? This is the key question explored in this study.
New theories about the origins of modern humans, the earliest dogs and the crucial role of human-dog co-evolution are highlighted in this "ground-pawing" paper by Dr. Paul S.C. Tacon, Australian Museum, Sydney and Dr. Colin Pardoe, Bio-Archaeology consultant, Adelaide.
They present fossil evidence recovered by others supporting DNA results of dog domestication over 100,000 years ago and are the first to make the link between the fossil and genetic evidence.
"Our study, along with those of others published this year, shows the origin of modern humans and their behaviour is more complex than either of the popular theories suggests. A more exact picture of who we are and where we came from is only now emerging, one that is richer and more convoluted than the two impressionistic alternative models." said Dr. Paul Tacon, Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum.
Drs. Tacon and Pardoe argue that the early canine-sapien relationship ultimately changed the world forever. They not only elaborate on and provide greater time depth for previous studies that focused on implications of the relationship for recent times but also explore the implications of dog domestication close to the time that modern humans are believed to have emerged. These include:
The origins of human territorial marking and, ultimately, the development of art and a symbolic explosion of land marking.
The development of big game hunting.
The origins of 'mateship' and new forms of bonding to negotiate complex situations.
Implications for the settlement of Australia.
Tacon and Pardoe conclude that, ultimately, dogs were one of a few key forces that led to anatomically and behaviourally modern humans of 100,000 years ago and that this has complicated the recent 'Out of Africa' versus 'Regional Continuity' debate.
Dogs Make Us Human is published today in the Autumn 2002 edition of Nature Australia - published by the Australian Museum.
Media contact: Heidi DeWald, Australian Museum, Sydney, +61 2 9320 6181
I'll be out of here in 2003 anyway.
The thread that is linked at the start of it is good too!
Certainly! - hobbity folk have dogs... good honest beasts they can count on, of the type that are not too fancy or fractious!
Here is a nice little piece I like: (don't get me started on dog poems.... Oh - too late!)
THE CREATION OF MAN'S BEST FRIEND
God summoned a beast from the field, and He said,
"Behold man is created in My image. Therefore, adore him.
You shall protect him in the wilderness, shepherd his flocks, watch over his children, accompany him wherever he may go, even into civilization. You shall be his companion, his ally, and his slave. To do these things, I endow you with the instincts uncommon to other beasts: Faithfulness, Devotion, and Understanding, surpassing those of man himself. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death. Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of man. Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Speak to your master only through your mind and your honest eyes.
Walk by his side; sleep in his doorway; ward off his enemies; carry his burden; share his affliction; love and comfort him. And in return for this, man will fulfill your needs and wants, which shall be only food, shelter and affection.
So be a friend of man. Guide him through the perils along the way to this land I have promised him. This shall be your destiny and your immortality."
The dog heard and was content.
Its a grand little film, about a boy who has problems(as do all kids), and how through his dog, he makes friends, gets a girlfriend, and learns about growing up and life...its a great family film, certainly appropriate for even very young children, yet so well written and done, that adults as well will enjoy it...
And what is the best thing about this story, is that it is actually a true story..it will make you smile, and it will make you cry...
Unfortunately now, I have no dog...I was just about to get another dog, when I wound up with my sons cat, Dizzy, who does not get along with dogs...
But strangely, Dizzy, who is a great big Himalayan kitty, acts more like a dog than a cat...he rolls over for a belly rub all the time, he follows us whereever we go, he greets us at the door, he loves to be held and cuddled...sure wish he would get along with dogs better, so I could get myself another basset hound...
We also have 6 living at this time. All mixed breeds and all rescues. Also 3 cats who are rescues.
Again my sympathy.
Is THIS person serious? What nonsence!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You just can't live without them.
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds.
He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea.
He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being, by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.
He has promised to wait for me...whenever...wherever--in case I need him.
And I expect I will--as I always have.
This piece originally appeared in Tears & Laughter by Gene Hill. Copyright Gene Hill. All rights reserved.
Oh yeah? Prove it! And sooooo? Who the hell wants to be made human?
Dogs rule! Labs rule!