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Moved by the PastDiscontinuity and Historical Mutation$
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Eelco Runia

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231168205

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231168205.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 January 2020

Our Own Best Enemy

Our Own Best Enemy

How Humans Energize Their Evolution

(p.179) 9 Our Own Best Enemy
Moved by the Past

Eelco Runia

Columbia University Press

This chapter proposes a theory that explains how human evolution is energized. More specifically, it describes a mechanism that shows the process of autopoiesis in which the earliest hominids became modern Homo sapiens. To this end, it considers how humans were able to maintain the high level of selectiveness needed for speedy evolution without falling apart as a species. It also examines how evolutionary change is connected to the creation of variation, the mechanism by which variation is brought about, and how stress-induced mutation enabled humans to domesticate selectiveness. Finally, it discusses the so-called ratchet principle, the notion of fleeing forward as an adaptive response that brings about a new regime of selectiveness, and how this adaptive response must have transmuted into what might be termed “hyperadaptation”.

Keywords:   human evolution, autopoiesis, hominids, Homo sapiens, selectiveness, variation, stress-induced mutation, ratchet principle, fleeing forward, hyperadaptation

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