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Chapter 2

HLTB21H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Thomas Robert Malthus

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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HLTA01- Chapter 2
- Australopithecus anamensis:
scavengers or vegetarians
- Homo habilis:
'handy man'- made and used simple stone tools
- Homo erectus:
hand axes
used fire
- Homo sapiens:
artistic carvings and cave paintings
organized living
- Cro-Magnons replaced Neanderthals with more superior weapons and cultural practices
- population bomb supposedly began with initiation of agriculture and domestication of
animals, which changed environmental restraint (8000 BC)
- Thomas Malthus:
food supply increases arithmetically while population increases exponentially
Malthusian 'checks': disease, war, starvation, etc. would act as 'natural restraints'
- 3 surges of human population: cultural/tool-making revolution, agricultural revolution,
and industrial revolution
2 checks helped stabilize population: external/environmental factors (food, space,
etc.) and self-regulating factors (fewer births, homicide, parasites)
- 50 000 years ago in light of homo sapiens = The Great Leap Forward
made and used stone tools and bones of animals to hunt and kill prey at a distance
invention of rope, made snares and nets to capture birds and fish
clothed themselves using animal skins
changes in cognitive capacities
improvement of voice box = development of language
- agricultural revolution: time when humans domesticated plants and animals and
exerted control over food production
- climate change led to decline in abundance of wild game but favored availability of
domesticable plants, particularly cereal grains
technologies allowed for 1st unconscious steps of plant domestication: baskets,
mortars and pestles
increased population
promoted sedentary (settle down) more births (cheap labor); birth interval of
hunter-gatherer = 4 years, birth interval of farmer = 2 years
domestication requires a special set of animal characteristics: social species that
occupy territories, herbivores, predictable and not panic easily, not ferocious, grow
easily, and able to breed in captivity
- agricultural-based societies promoted group cohesion/inclusiveness through religion
- surplus food given to people of priority, eventually political stratification emerged and
commerce began
- larger populations resulted in family and class structures, invention of writing,
specialization in different areas of work (like artisans), technological advances,
urbanization, rise of civilizations
- transmission of infection became easier with agriculture: using manure as fertilizer and
close contact with domestic animals
- Uruk, the 1st city, established in Mesopotamia
- farming and domestication reduced biological diversity of animals and plants, making
them more uniform (monoculture)
upsets in balance could harm a population