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Article Link: Restless Genes by David Dobbs (National Geographic)

“No other mammal moves around like we do,” says Svante Pääbo, a director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where he uses genetics to study human origins. “We jump borders. We push into new territory even when we have resources where we are. Other animals don’t do this. Other humans either. Neanderthals were around hundreds of thousands of years, but they never spread around the world. In just 50,000 years we covered everything. There’s a kind of madness to it. Sailing out into the ocean, you have no idea what’s on the other side. And now we go to Mars. We never stop. Why?”

TLDR; The 7R gene and human wanderlust.

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What do you think?

Date: 2013-01-04 08:02 pm (UTC)
sonochesono: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonochesono
I agree with your first comment.

Also, I don't think we can definitively even say we're the only species to do this. Some species of cetacean live in all the oceans of the world (the one that comes to mind are orcas) and we can't say for sure if the reason they moved out of one area is resources or not.

I would think many species are actually inclined to expand as much as they can in places where their resources are prolific and the main difference is other species would stop at things like coastlines, whereas humans will explore past that using technology. But we're probably the species that relies the most on environmental manipulation and cultural evolution to survive, which might play a huge role in why we continue doing this past barriers other animals don't move through.

I was reading some essays during finals week on something that broached some of these topics in regards to our development of language and communication over other animals and I think there's probably a lot of crossover to mull over.

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