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Lower testosterone reshaped human face


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#1    seeder

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 11:56 AM

Lower testosterone levels reshaped human face and civilization

Society bloomed with gentler personalities and more feminine faces

Modern humans appear in the fossil record about 200,000 years ago, but it was only about 50,000 years ago that making art and advanced tools became widespread.

A new study appearing Aug. 1 in the journal Current Anthropology finds that human skulls changed in ways that indicate a lowering of testosterone levels at around the same time that culture was blossoming.

"The modern human behaviors of technological innovation, making art and rapid cultural exchange probably came at the same time that we developed a more cooperative temperament," said lead author Robert Cieri, a biology graduate student at the University of Utah who began this work as a senior at Duke University.

The study, which is based on measurements of more than 1,400 ancient and modern skulls, makes the argument that human society advanced when people started being nicer to each other, which entails having a little less testosterone in action.

Heavy brows were out, rounder heads were in, and those changes can be traced directly to testosterone levels acting on the skeleton, according to Duke anthropologist Steven Churchill, who supervised Cieri's work on a senior honors thesis that grew to become this 24-page journal article three years later.

What they can't tell from the bones is whether these humans had less testosterone in circulation, or fewer receptors for the hormone.

http://phys.org/news...s-feminine.html

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#2    The Puzzler

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 02:56 AM

Sounds quite plausible and logical actually, thanks for sharing.

Maybe rather than us being the aggressors toward other homo species, it was our ability to be less aggressive that became our saving grace, we were able to live a more peaceful existence that was able then to generate into new abilities and constructive thought away from dominant, aggressive and destructive behaviours.

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#3    jaylemurph

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:43 AM

I saw an article last week suggesting the male face was evolutionarily shaped to withstand punching. Not sure how these two stories gel.

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#4    Leonardo

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:05 AM

What I find suspect about the article is its suggestion that lower testosterone was the driver of the shaping of the human face, whereas it is more likely it was a result of that reshaping.

It is far more likely, imo, that such subtle changes to physiology which appear to have no physical benefit to species survival are the result of sexual selection. i.e. the human face had many different 'shapes' due to natural mutation, but some of those 'shapes' were more aesthetically pleasing to our ancestors than others.

Because the testosterone levels represented by those particular shapes' genome was generally lower than that represented by other shapes, the (or a) result of this sexual selection was the gradual lowering of testosterone levels across the species.

Edited by Leonardo, 03 August 2014 - 10:07 AM.

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#5    DefenceMinisterMishkin

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:28 AM

Oh god don't tell the feminists

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#6    Timmeh

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:35 AM

 Leonardo, on 03 August 2014 - 10:05 AM, said:

What I find suspect about the article is its suggestion that lower testosterone was the driver of the shaping of the human face, whereas it is more likely it was a result of that reshaping.

It is far more likely, imo, that such subtle changes to physiology which appear to have no physical benefit to species survival are the result of sexual selection. i.e. the human face had many different 'shapes' due to natural mutation, but some of those 'shapes' were more aesthetically pleasing to our ancestors than others.

Because the testosterone levels represented by those particular shapes' genome was generally lower than that represented by other shapes, the (or a) result of this sexual selection was the gradual lowering of testosterone levels across the species.

Maybe not, chances are if it is the result selection it would probably from selecting for less aggressive partners which would throw support into Self-Domestication Theory.


#7    Leonardo

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 03:00 PM

 Timmeh, on 03 August 2014 - 10:35 AM, said:

Maybe not, chances are if it is the result selection it would probably from selecting for less aggressive partners which would throw support into Self-Domestication Theory.

The shape of the human face is not determined solely by the selection of the male partner, in fact it is unlikely that male-partner selection played much part because it was largely the male that selected.

The freedom of women to select their partner has probably been a fairly recent development in the evolution of the modern human species.

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#8    Parsec

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:52 PM

 The Puzzler, on 03 August 2014 - 02:56 AM, said:

Sounds quite plausible and logical actually, thanks for sharing.

Maybe rather than us being the aggressors toward other homo species, it was our ability to be less aggressive that became our saving grace, we were able to live a more peaceful existence that was able then to generate into new abilities and constructive thought away from dominant, aggressive and destructive behaviours.

Since Neanderthals produced art too, I find the premises of your reasoning incorrect. If it would be true, then we shouldn't find any Neanderthal art, since, from the article, art is connected with the testosterone level.

What if instead art started to bloom in our species after interbreeding and/or culturally mixing with Neanderthals?
I remind you that these two species lived side by side for more than 50.000 years in Palestine.


#9    seeder

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 06:41 PM

 Parsec, on 03 August 2014 - 04:52 PM, said:

Since Neanderthals produced art too, I find the premises of your reasoning incorrect. If it would be true, then we shouldn't find any Neanderthal art, since, from the article, art is connected with the testosterone level.

What if instead art started to bloom in our species after interbreeding and/or culturally mixing with Neanderthals?
I remind you that these two species lived side by side for more than 50.000 years in Palestine.

What if it was Neanderthal women... who did the art?

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#10    Parsec

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:19 PM

 seeder, on 03 August 2014 - 06:41 PM, said:

What if it was Neanderthal women... who did the art?

Quite possible.. alone in the caves, the men out for hunting, no tv and no books to read.
That or play hide and seek


#11    seaturtlehorsesnake

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:54 PM

 DefenceMinisterMishkin, on 03 August 2014 - 10:28 AM, said:

Oh god don't tell the feminists

why not tho


#12    Leonardo

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:34 AM

 seaturtlehorsesnake, on 03 August 2014 - 10:54 PM, said:

why not tho

Because you're humourless... :mellow:

:P

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#13    The Puzzler

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

 Parsec, on 03 August 2014 - 04:52 PM, said:



Since Neanderthals produced art too, I find the premises of your reasoning incorrect. If it would be true, then we shouldn't find any Neanderthal art, since, from the article, art is connected with the testosterone level.

What if instead art started to bloom in our species after interbreeding and/or culturally mixing with Neanderthals?
I remind you that these two species lived side by side for more than 50.000 years in Palestine.
Where is this Neanderthal art? All of it is within modern humans sphere.
I like Stan Gooch's ideas too, however, there is no proven Neanderthal art that I am aware of.

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#14    rattpoison

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 04:28 PM

Have you ever compared the face of a bull with the face of a steer.  The steer's face looks more feminine, like a cow's face.  A bull has a strong thick looking face and head.  The face begins to look that way at a young age if they are not castrated soon enough.  This is because of testosterone.
Also, women body-builders often have very masculine facial features.  Since it takes pretty high amounts of testosterone just to build muscle like that it is pretty obvious that these women either take testosterone or produce more than most women (women naturally produce about 10% the amount that men produce).
Of course, me saying this doesn't make it science.  But it's worth looking at the evidence and conceding that testosterone can impact skull structure and developement.


#15    shrooma

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 05:42 PM

 seeder, on 02 August 2014 - 11:56 AM, said:



human society advanced when people started being nicer to each other.


.
shame we've stopped really.....
.


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