1. We are a community of readers. Join us!

    Readup is a social reading platform. No ads. No distractions. No liking or upvotes. We help you pay attention to what matters: reading.

    SAPIENS | Karen L. Kramer | 6/9/20 | 9 min
    19 reads8 comments
    19 reads
    PadlockYou must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • sjwoo1 week ago

      Really interesting -- I love the caloric breakdown that leads to these conclusions. No doubt we rule the planet. When the new Tappan Zee Bridge was being built, I remember driving through and seeing these massive structures and thinking, "Humans are making this." We're amazing. Amazingly clever. Let's just hope our collective cleverness keeps it all going for a good while longer.

    • BillEnkey2 weeks ago

      I don't think this is new; farmers in the 19th century seemed to understand this at least, anyway. It is interesting to see it explained from a scientific perspective. I wonder if articles like this will help strengthen modern families, or weaken them? From what I've noticed, when we don't have the biological family to assist in child rearing we turn to the adopted family (neighbors, teachers, et cetera).

    • Raven
      2 weeks ago

      Support is needed for today’s families. Thanks mama’s for all your endless work.

      • Karenz2 weeks ago

        I love Readup for providing articles like this of such interest that I wouldn’t seek out on my own. I was fascinated by comparison of other great ape family behaviors with humans.

    • Kiki2 weeks ago

      This article shows the strength, versatility and necessity of women all over the world. It’s time to treat us with the respect we deserve.

    • Florian
      Top reader this weekReading streakScribe
      2 weeks ago

      Hunter-gatherers developed a distinct feature called intergenerational cooperation: Parents help kids, and children help parents.

      That’s super interesting

    • thorgalle
      2 weeks ago

      Interesting! I love the scientific approach of counting hours-on-task and livelihood contributions by the children. But I'm not sure if the article content fully answers the question asked by the title, or at least, it narrows it down a little to "What made humans able to reproduce in higher quantities than other great apes?"

      Observations in the article from some hundreds of people in modern hunter-gatherer societies can maybe explain the dynamics of population growth in similar societies in the past. It might even explain population growth in large developing (agricultural?) societies today.

      However, in modern western(ized) societies, depending on help from children for nursing, food procurement is more likely to be seen as child labour, bad parenting and a system failure.

      A little bit of Wikipedia shows that the increase in population in western(ized) countries since the 19th century is mostly caused by a decrease in mortality; not by an increase in fertility. This article doesn't talk about that at all.

      Fathers and grandparents certainly play important roles in supporting their families.

      Ahah! This other AOTD zoomed in on the father aspect: The marvel of the human dad, it made the exact same point about weaning differences in humans vs non-human great apes, and some others. Love how Readup brings it all together!

    • TripleG
      Reading streak
      2 weeks ago

      Great , interesting article about cooperation.