No, not really then

An ancient barrage of exploding stars close to Earth is the main reason early humans learnt to walk on two feet rather than all fours, according to new research.

Scientists believe the intense period of supernovae, which peaked approximately 2.6 million years ago, caused a surge in lightning strikes which incinerated much of the heavily forested Earth.

Early humans then had to adapt from living in and around trees to surviving in open savannas, meaning the ability to cross exposed grassland at speed and spot predators above the vegetation became crucial.

Such general change in the environment won’t explain why just the one species became bipedal. Not really…..

16 comments on “No, not really then

  1. They’re going to have to explain the link between supernova and lightning strikes long before they get to the point of deforestation causing proto-men to walk upright.

    And they’re going to have to do it in a way that prevents the possibility of solar weather affecting the earth’s atmosphere – otherwise they’re undermining the whole ‘anthropogenic’ part of ‘Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change’.

  2. the thrust of the evolutionary argument is that homo sapiens changed from 4 legs to 2 legs, but there is no evidence that hominids ever walked on four legs. And actually most of the evidence for the rise of humans is the ability to make and use tools, and the ability to work out strategies for adapting the environment.
    And the suggestion of an increase in lightning strikes having an external source, or even an increase in lightening strikes per se, is also lacking in evidence.

  3. About 50 years ago this was called the Deprivation Hypothesis, if memory serves. Forests rapidly diminished, ape species fought over the remaining trees, the ancestors of humanity lost and were forced to adapt to the savanna. Walking upright, and use of weapons, followed.
    It was popularised by Robert Ardrey. But he withdrew his support for the idea as it was too simplistic.
    I think modern evidence suggests human ancestors walked upright long before the Pliocene drought killed the forests.

  4. When will evolutionary scientists explain how those with a predisposition to vote leave failed to be winnowed out of the general population?

  5. To be all grumpy git about it, this shouldn’t be labelled science. These are speculative notions that can’t be usefully tested (other than some of the astrophysics which is subject to observation).

    I always liked the idea that our ancestral bipedalism was partly due to males being able to carry more food to exchange for sex with females. Having seen a clip of a female Chimp approach and offer her rear end to a male with some freshly killed meat, it seems a plausible route. Mere speculation, of course.

  6. Saw something like this on telly. An Israeli scientist reckons that periodically as we float through the Milky Way, we pass through cosmic dust storms, caused by afore mentioned exploding stars and that it is these dust storms that cause huge changes in the climate, mainly by blocking out the sun. I think it is more magnetic blocking ( solar wind) than radiation, but not sure about that bit.

    I also thought that the early hominids migrated to the plains and that developing bipedialism was more efficient for travelling long distances than the lopsided way primates travel.

  7. ‘Scientists believe the intense period of supernovae, which peaked approximately 2.6 million years ago, caused a surge in lightning strikes which incinerated much of the heavily forested Earth.’

    Sure is a lot of speculation crammed into that sentence. Starting with ‘scientists.’

  8. Such general change in the environment won’t explain why just the one species became bipedal. Not really…

    Well, the other species had the sense to stay inside during thunderstorms…

  9. The absence of other species of extant plain dwelling monkeys would seem to indicate that failing to follow that course was contraindicated.

    The remaining simian species originating in, or migrating to, damper arboreal climes less likely to suffer large conflagrations.

  10. When we lived in Queensland there were endless lightning strikes. Moreover the trees were highly combustible. And yet, no fires? Why?

    Because the lightning strikes happen in the wet season.

    If our ancestors happened to live in moist jungles then the theory is a non-starter.

  11. ‘The abundance of supernova activity took place between approximately 320 and 160 light years from earth, which in astronomical terms is relatively close.’

    Relative to what? 940,000,000,000,000 miles is not close in any terms.

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